Are You Not Complying To Social Media Defamation Laws?
Since the emergence and the acceptance of Social Media, people have learnt the various ways to use the different social media platforms. Tweets, retweets, posts and reposts are quite common these days and people tend to repost a photograph or link without even knowing if that might hurt the social media defamation laws.
In this article, we will talk about social media defamation lawsuits and how it can hurt the social media defamation laws or cyber libel laws.
What Is Social Media Defamation?
Social Media Defamation, also known as the cyber libel refers to being defamed in the cyber space especially on the various social media platforms. Keeping that simple, defamation meaning states that it occurs when someone publishes a statement that is enough to lower the standing of the subject in the eyes of the third parties. In such a case written or posted words, images, and even links might be considered libel. Social media has been a great initiative for society. However, it is an unique and effective breeding ground for the potentially libelous statements.
What Can Activate Social Media Defamation Laws Against You?
Questions had been asked repeatedly if sharing an article on social media might be a risk and that someone will be sued or not. Lawyers had stated that sharing a defamatory article is similar to republishing the material itself. Even if you have shared a web link, it will still be a risk.
For example, someone had posted a questionable article on say, Facebook or re-tweets on the platform Twitter. In some of the cases, the person ends up being sued for doing that. You might be thinking, can this really happen just because the person had “shared” something on social media? The answer is YES. This will only happen if the article contains some potentially defamatory content and even if you have not written anything about it.
Why Does A Defamation Law Exist?
When a person publishes or expresses information about another person, the social media defamation laws balances the right of the first person to free speech and expression while defends the second person’s honor and reputation. Thus, the main purpose of defamation in media law is to protect the subject’s reputation and restore any damages that might have been caused to the subject.
The libel law uses some general considerations that it uses to determine if there had been any defamation:
If the statement had been defamatory and if it lowers the reputation of the subject being slandered.
If the statement had been published, made available and accessible to the public.
If the subject had been identified.
If a person had been sued for defamation, he can provide a number of valid reasons to defend like:
The statement was justifiable and that the statement was true.
The statement had been a fair comment as it was a fair and genuine opinion depending on the true facts and also was a matter of the public interests.
Following this, the court will then look into the matter with individual cases to determine if the person was liable.
Will Sharing Content On Facebook Make You Liable?
You might be liable for a content that you might have shared on Facebook or any other social media platform if that particular article contains slandering information. Sharing or republishing someone else’s content is similar to publication under the law of defamation. The same thing happens with quoting someone else in the quotation marks. Thus, it can be stated that every republication of a defamatory statement is just a new act of defamation and can potentially draw a defamation lawsuit.
If you are a prey of online defamation on any social media website, you might want to check how to deal with online defamation.
So Will Everyone Sharing Defamatory Material On Social Media Be Sued?
The person who has been defamed might sue all the persons who republished the defamatory statement against him. He might hold such republishers liable if they had been the originators of the defamation. Thus, it is left to the defamed person to decide whether he wishes to sue and claim for the monetary damages or any other remedies. While the Act of Defamation is a civil law, yet defamation is also covered under the Penal Code that is a criminal eddict. Social media defamation law in India is equally strict and thus, if you are from India then you need to be careful as well.
Social Media Defamation Laws are strict and you might get a legal notice or serve under a Penal Code if you post, share/republish any article, or content or even links even without any captions on the social media that might defame a person. The defamed person might find this as online harassment and sue you. There are a lot of social media defamation cases throughout the world.
Thus, you need to be extremely careful on what you publish or re-post on social media. You might go ahead and clearly state the purpose of your posts/reposts in the post body making sure you are not hurting anybody virtually in respect of his/her fame, culture, caste and social status.