What is defamation?Defamation is when a person says slanderous things that may cause damage to another’s reputation.
Common defamatory comments include:
- Accusations that someone has committed a crime
- Accusations that someone has a disease
- Accusations that someone is conducting fraudulent activities
How do the rules apply online?To make a defamation claim, you must meet three requirements.
- The information must be communicated to others verbally, in writing, gestured or through pictures.
- The communication must identify you.
- The information must be defamatory in nature, whether it was intentional or not.
The first social media defamation case in Australia cost a student $100,000 for making a comment on twitter about a teacher.
You may be able to defend defamation provided the comments were true or the comment was an honest opinion.
Steps you can take before the legal routeDefamation cases must be brought to the court within one year of the publication date. Compensation is not the only option, when it comes to defamation claims. Some options include:
- A written apology
- Retraction of defamatory imputations
- A letter stating each imputation published is untrue
- Publication of a correction
- A promise not to publish defamatory imputation in the future
At Shine Lawyers we have a team of experts in defamation law, who can assist in determining if you have a case and how to progress. If you believe that you have been subject to defamation, please get in touch.
Written by Shine Lawyers on July 21, 2016. Last modified: September 6, 2018.