Dealing With Online Defamation
The online world has definitely made it very easy to get slandered. Anyone can defame you by writing a post on social media, blogging or creating a video. The definition of defamation is a statement that damages a person’s reputation. Defamation can affect your social life and damage your career, and if you are a victim, you should not take it lightly. If you are a business, defamation can negatively affect your business. Here’s how you can deal with online defamation in Canada.
Get in Touch with the Platform
Your first option should be to get in touch with the platform and ask them to remove the content. Social platforms like Facebook and Twitter have the option to report the post and user. However, such large social platforms are slow to take action and may deal with the post a month later. You can send an email to website admins or other contacts to pull down the post. If a news site has posted the story, you can ask them to double check their source or provide information disproving the claim. Forget.me is an option that erases your presence off the web.
Flood the Net with Positive Stories
If the platform or administrator does not comply and your business or individual name is suffering, flood the internet with positive stories. From blog posts to social media posts, get multiple people to flood the internet about positive things that you have done.
This is an effective way to refute the defamation.
Cease and Desist
Sending a cease and desist notice across to all parties involved in the defamation is a threat of legal action if they don’t comply. It’s a good option to take as individuals and small websites don’t have the money to defend themselves or their users against a lawsuit.
However, this won’t work if the location of the website operator is not within Canada. If the website operator is outside Canada, the laws and court judgment may not apply to it.
The legal route is one that requires patience and may not always yield the results you hoped for, so before you start a defamation suit utilize the above options.
- Preserve Evidence The internet is fickle, what’s there one day, disappears the next. Take screen shots of the post or comment so that you preserve the evidence. If there is a need to bring in context to the post or comment, ensure that you do so.
- Determine the Parties
In an online defamation case, there are multiple parties that are involved. The poster is the one who actually wrote the defamatory words. The internet service provider is the one who hosts the message. There could be additional parties such as search engines and other sites that share the content.
- Scope of Defamation How badly is the defamatory comment affecting you? How many people have seen it? The scope will also determine how seriously the court will take the issue.
- Hire a Lawyer
A lawyer needs to represent you before you to move to court.
- File the Case
Once you run everything through the lawyer, the lawyer will file a case against the responsible parties. If you are in Alberta, you can file it under the Defamation Act.
Defamation against you or your business is not pretty. However, there are legal and non-legal choices for you to deal with it. Get in touch with Prowse Chowne if you need help against online defamation in Canada.