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Defamation and the Internet

Sticks and stones may break your bones, but words…could land you in court. The digital age has introduced cyber bullying. Sites like Facebook, Twitter, and gossip sites like Campus Gossip make it easy for any person with computer access to start rumors and ruin someone’s reputation. But before you type your post, remember you are running the risk of being sued for libel or digital defamation.

Oxford Dictionary lists defamation as, “The action of damaging the good reputation of someone.” This is any false or harmful statement that is unprivileged. Defamation falls under two categories, slander or libel. Slander is spoken defamation, while libel is written defamation.

Digital defamation is exactly what it says, libel or slander that occurs on the Internet. Although many may think they can post anonymously on the Internet, almost everything leaves a trail that could be traced back to the cyber bully. Since defamation isn’t a crime, it cannot lead to imprisonment. However, it is considered to be a civil wrong, or a tort. Quite a few defamation cases have ended with high monetary damages.

You may be wondering, “What about my freedom of speech?” People are free to talk about their experiences, even involving other people, as long as it’s true.   However, if you are making false accusations that could ruin someone’s reputation, that person has the right to sue.

How Do I Prove a Defamation Lawsuit?

Defamation laws are different in each state, but each case has similar standards. To prove your defamation case, you must provide evidence that:

  1. Someone made a defaming statement
  2. The statement was published
  3. Injury was caused from the statement
  4. The statement was not true
  5. The statement was unprivileged

If you believe your reputation has been damaged due to defamation, it is important to consult an attorney. Defamation lawsuits can be difficult and require professional help.

At Ray Hodge & Associates, we believe in personal injury handled personally. At our office you see a lawyer from the very first meeting because we believe your case deserves an experienced personal injury attorney right from the start.

If you have had a Kansas personal injury that was not your fault and need medical treatment, you need an experienced professional who can help you get back on the road to recovery. Call us today at 316-269-1414 or visit our contact page here. Our Kansas personal injury attorneys will provide you a free initial consultation and if we take your case you don’t pay a dime unless we recover money for you. Even then we only take a percentage of the total amount of your recovery.

If you have questions on what you should be looking for when you are making a decision to hire a Kansas personal injury lawyer, read our article located here

Make sure you download our free car accident app for iPhone or Droid to protect yourself in event of an auto accident.


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Ray Hodge & Associates proudly represents victims and their families across the state of Kansas, including Wichita, Andover, Derby, Goddard, Haysville, Mulvane, Rose Hill, Newton, El Dorado and Hutchinson. Call today for a free consultation all over the state of Kansas. We have proudly served clients in Sedgwick, Butler, Sumner, Harvey, Kingman and Reno Counties.