As we learn to incorporate the Internet into our social and economic lives, close attention should be paid to Internet defamation issues. The Internet is a media platform that is far-reaching and so incredibly accessible to the public that awareness of Internet defamation has become a growing issue. Because the Internet is so accessible, and posting or publishing one’s thoughts is so easy, the instances of defamation have inflated dramatically.
Generally speaking, there are two types of Internet defamation: libel and slander. These two words are often erroneously used interchangeably, but there is a difference between the two. Libel is defamation in written word. Traditionally, libel pertained mainly to newspapers and magazines, as they were the predominant means of widespread written communication. But, as alluded to before, the Internet has made it easier to dabble in libel than ever before. Slander, conversely, is defamation from spoken word.
What’s important to remember is that libel and slander are necessarily false statements. Truth is an absolute defense to libel and slander.