What Is Internet Libel
Internet libel is the publication of false information on the Internet which is harmful to a person’s or a companies reputation. For example, one common area being seen today is the publication of fake, negative reviews by competitors or ex-employees of a business. If this is done is such as way to harm the business and is beyond the normal statement of opinion, it can rapidly transition into Internet libel.
For example, consider the case of a local shutter installer who was attacked by their competitor. In this case, a former ex-girlfriend register multiple fake names and went online to the review section of the company’s google profile. Once there, the person began to accuse the owner of multiple items, the most serious of which was that he had actually stolen money from a client. Because of these reviews, the business lost over half of its revenues in a very short period of time.
The fundamental components of a case of Internet libel consist of;
1. a defamatory declaration or statement where the remarks are somewhat permanent in nature ;
2. it is released to 3rd parties (so not hidden behind passwords, etc.); and
3. the fact that presenter or publisher realized or ought to have recognized was untrue.
In the example above, #3 above occurred because the former girlfriend knew that the business owner had not stolen money but only published this to hurt him.
Libel is typically dealt with under state laws but keep in mind the first amendment rights will also come into play. In the body of defamation law, which covers Internet libel, it is quite clear what constitutes defamation versus what constitutes an opinion. Of course, many times, however, the exact nature of the case makes this line somewhat fuzzy thus requiring the courts to provide their wisdom.
If you are dealing with internet libel, then one very good company to consult with is Cyber Investigation Services, LLC. There entire business revolves around solving these issues for clients. You can see their defamation/libel services at http://www.cyberinvestigationservices.com/our-services/internet-defamation/
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With vast resources in the internet defamation, cyber crimes, and online investigation fields, we can get you pointed in the right direction fast. Just tell us how we can help.
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