Internet libel is officially an international epidemic!
Authorities in the United Kingdom are currently in the process of updating their online defamation laws. In an effort to protect both website operators and defamed citizens, parliamentarians want to establish more structured slander and libel statutes.
Sweet and Maxwell, a research firm out of the UK, recently revealed that the number of online defamation lawsuits doubled between 2010 and 2011. Analysts hypothesize that the rise in Internet libel is directly in relation to the rise of online social networking.
Karieh Duodu a barrister and media specialist at the UK-based Addleshaw Goddard Law Firm says that the rise of online defamation lawsuits has everything to do with our international obsession with online social networking. “People don’t check facts like media organizations do,” he warned. Duodu also brought up the growing number of journalists who are now using information gathered from sites like Facebook and cautioned that if the tactic continues, the amount of online defamation lawsuits will also continue to rise.
According to widely published reports across the Internet, UK courts heard seven online defamation cases in 2010. In 2011, that number climbed to 14. The total number of libel and slander cases – online and off – rose from 83 to 86.
The Web doesn’t understand political borders; that means online defamation often turns into an international legal issue. Are you currently dealing with a cyberlibel situation? Whether you’re in the United Kingdom or the United States, the Kelly Law Firm has the know-how to help you out. Contact us today for an international online defamation consultation.