How to Avoid Internet Slander and Libel

If you own any sort of blog, website, or even just make a lot of different posts across the Internet, it is crucial that you know about Internet slander and libel. Internet slander and libel are not small charges.  The repercussions of even being accused of Internet slander or libel are enough to jeopardize your entire career.

Internet Slander, Libel and Defamation

Internet Slander, Libel and Defamation

 

Slander and libel are such heavy offenses because these days, our online reputation is everything, that  includes the reputations of both people and businesses. With potential bosses now Googling employees and checking their Facebook pages before hiring, having a single negative word about you on the internet could be the one thing that keeps you from getting your dream job.

 

Committing Libel and Slander

Whether you have an email, a Facebook page, online business software, or the like; you have an online presence. In most cases, that presence is just a name or possibly irrelevant facts like your most recent Amazon.com purchase. In other cases though, people have an entire novel as their online presence, from blogs and reviews, to job experience and posted resumes.  Having a huge amount of online information like that, makes it possible that some of it might be wrong.  If that false information affects someone else negatively, you could be charged with libel.

 

Internet libel and slander consists of any lie or misconstruction of truth told as fact with malicious or neglectful intent. Essentially, this means  that all you need to do to be accused of libel is to write something about a person or company that you did not take the time to research and verify that it was true.  That’s why careful research is so important, especially for internet writers.

 

The difference between Internet slander and libel is the written word versus the spokenword with libel being concerned with the written word and slander with the spoken.  This means that content like articles or blog posts could potentially be libelous, Youtube videos or podcasts could potentially be slanderous. Both cases are classic forms of defamation, and any conviction of either can mean punitive damages, which can run as high as a million dollars depending on the ‘damage’ caused. For instance, if you do accidentally commit libel against someone and they get fired from their Fortune 500 Company because of it, they can then sue you for what they should have made at the job had you not ruined their good name.

 

Being a Victim of Defamation

Aside from the drastic step of suing, if you find yourself being libeled or slandered, there are steps you can take before suing that will allow you to reclaim your good name. The first step is to simply find the site that is ruining your name for whatever reason. The next is to contact the poster to see if they are willing to comply. If they are not, then you must contact the website administrators directly. This can be done by finding their email on their contact page or by looking it up on http://whois.domaintools.com. After you email them and request that the information be removed, you will have to wait, probably anxiously, for them to comply. If they do not, that is when you should start looking into a defamation lawyer. A defamation lawyer will be very expensive and sometimes they will even offer a reputation management company to solve the problem before they begin their work as an alternative.

 

Avoiding Defamation

One of the most important things to remember as an online writer is to always check your facts so that you can avoid Internet slander and libel. If you are a prevalent blogger or Internet writer, then you can lose your entire reputation just by being accused of spreading libelous materials. This is because no one wants to read something by someone who lies about the facts. After all, the whole point of article writing is to report the facts. If you do end up receiving an email claiming that you have committed libel, then you should immediately analyze the material in question and ensure that there is no violation.

 

If you are concerned about an unknown company libeling your good name and not finding out about it for months, then you will be relieved to know there are companies that can help with that exact situation. You can find companies that will constantly check your name and ensure that all your posted information is accurate and one hundred percent fact. This allows you to take a step back and breathe a sigh of relief while you allow them to take care of anything and everything while you focus on your research and writing.