The Anna Kavanaugh Charitable Foundation

Internet Defamation

Uncharted Territory

Internet defamation, libel and slander, is a monumental problem facing our society today due to the ease of posting on the internet and the perceived sense of anonymity and self-importance abusers feed on to fuel their damaging online activities that are often for the sport of it and the high they get from hurting their prey. Abusers may leave defamatory comments on blog posts, ratings, in forums, and will use social sites such as Twitter and Facebook to annihilate their victim as publicly as possible.

Defamers want to cause harm and humiliation, and enjoy it immensely. To self justify the grossness of their actions they will often attempt to demonize a victim by claiming in contrast themselves to be good people and faithful worshipers of God, yet what is revealed in their ruthless and vicious behavior is maniacal and frenzied, and far from divine. In what is nothing more than a game to them, internet defamers can catastrophically ruin a life and livelihood in one day, casually destroying years of hard work and sacrifice in building a respectable career and reputation. By default, internet defamation can also gravely damage the victim's family, friends or colleagues. 

The emotional and mental ramifications can be both severe and debilitating. Internet defamation is also often paired with a simultaneous and abusive cyber-bullying, cyber-stalking, and cyber-harassment campaign against a victim. Both state and federal legislation are slowly catching up with the still fairly new universe of cyberspace and the severity of the risk and potential damages to the lives and careers of netizens.


What Is Internet Defamation?

Internet defamation is a false and unprivileged statement of fact that harms the reputation of an individual, published with malice or negligence in a reckless regard for the truth. The differences between defamation, libel and slander can be difficult to understand. Courts in general regard internet defamation similar to real world defamation, but there are key differences. When dealing with defamatory statements online there are a few specific distinctions.

Defamation is considered to be an unprivileged false statement of fact which harms the reputation of an individual or company. This is generally an umbrella term for both libel and slander. 

Libel
is considered d
efamation which has been written. In cyberspace this means written on a website of some kind. The majority of internet defamation occurs through libel by posting defamatory comments on a web page, forum, review, rating, blog, or social network such as Facebook, MySpace or Twitter. 

Slander
is considered to be d
efamation that is spoken and does apply to the internet if through a video or transcribed video, podcast, talk radio or audio file.

In a world where the cyber-world has become a secondary realm of reality where individuals often work, have relationships, shop, bank, entertain themselves and more, officials are beginning to understand that the need for netizen protection goes beyond online credentials security. Recognition is increasing in the drastic need for effective governance, policing, victim relief, and an effective system of accountability for abusers and criminals on the internet. It is a slow process arriving at the needed legislation in the uncharted territory of the world wide web, but with recent court decisions and victim awards for damages, judges and juries are pushing that process forward by awarding millions of dollars in damages to victims and making it much harder through "John Doe" lawsuits for abusers to hide behind the cloak of anonymity. If you are victim of internet defamation please contact us today for help. 

"No one has the right to abuse the internet to abuse you. No one has the right to rewrite the truth of who you are to fit the falsehoods and fantasies of what they want to believe. No one has the right to rape your life and leave you for dead in their merciless and malicious glee. You can reclaim your life." - Anna Kavanaugh