Defamation is defined as making negligent or malicious false statements about a person or entity. It is generally categorized as either libel, which is defamation in written form, or slander, which is spoken. Defending yourself against defamation in traditional arenas has always been an exacting process, but these days it is made all the more challenging by the existence of Internet defamation. The worldwide web has made defamation as easy as hitting ‘post’ on a comment or social media website or submitting a blog to a publicly-read site. The impact also has the potential for being far more damaging, as commentary can quickly be shared and can go viral. If you have been defamed on the internet, you need an internet defamation lawyer.
The Internet is a completely different forum from those in which defamation has historically taken place, and the complexities of stopping web defamation from continuing and prosecuting a perpetrator require the specialized experience possessed by an Internet defamation lawyer.
An Internet defamation lawyer not only has a thorough knowledge of what does and does not constitute slander or libel, but also understands the technology of the Internet. This is essential in order to be able to quickly assess whether libelous statements can be removed from a website or from search results, whether what has been said is considered protected speech, and whether it will be possible to identify the person behind the defamatory comments. There are many steps that may need to be taken when defamation on the Internet takes place, including tracking an IP address in order to track anonymous email addresses and screen names.
One of the challenges of pursuing those who make personal and professional attacks via the Internet came with passage of the Communications Decency Act of 1996. This legislation was originally intended to regulate pornography on the Internet, but eventually stood largely as establishment of rules protecting Internet Service Providers from being seen as publishers. This means that an ISP is not legally responsible for what is posted on their site by third parties. Despite these protections and the anonymity that it provides to the bad actors, it is still possible to prosecute those who publish defamatory statements online. It is also possible to have social media, message and Internet-based newspaper websites to remove offensive or defamatory posts.
At the Philadelphia law firm of Bochetto & Lentz, our staff includes experts in digital forensic processes that will locate and identify those who post Internet libel and slander or subpoena the information from the ISP. Once that is done we can successfully pursue litigation that will offer you protection from future negative posts and a satisfactory long-term resolution to your Internet defamation problem. Whether you are dealing with online reputation management problems or attacks on your own person, we are here to help.
Read more about Libel and Defamation here: