Online defamation is becoming an international epidemic!
Politicians over in England and Wales are now looking to inject safeguards into their countries’ defamation legislation, as a means to protect website operators from being intimidation-sued by large corporations with deep pockets. Moreover, parliamentarians hope to provide a more structured way for citizens to get defamatory content removed from the Internet.
Recent statistics made public by Sweet and Maxwell reveal that the number of online defamation lawsuits doubled between 2010 and 2011. Analysts surmise the rise in cyberlibel is directly correlated to the rise in online social networking sites, like Facebook and Google+.
Barrister Karieh Duodu – a media specialist at the UK-based Addleshaw Goddard Law Firm – speculates that the rise of online defamation lawsuits is directly correlated to the rise in social networking websites and platforms. He warns, “people don’t check facts like media organizations do.” Duodu highlighted how many journalists are now using information gathered from sites like Facebook and cautioned that if the trend continues, the number of online defamation lawsuits will also continue to rise. After all, one unchecked comment can spread as quickly as lice in a Kindergarten class.
According to the Sweet and Maxwell data, seven online defamation lawsuits were heard by UK courts in 2010. That number rose to 14 in 2011. The total number of defamation cases also rose from 83 to 86.
For the most part, the Internet doesn’t adhere to political borders, thus making online defamation an international issue. If you are currently involved in an Internet libel situation, whether you’re in the states or across the pond, the Kelly Law Firm can help. We have a vast amount of experience with online defamation and have repaired the online reputations of hundreds. Contact us now for an online defamation consultation.