Steps to avoid online defamation
In the last few decades, only the member of the press worried about issues such as libel and defamation. However, with the growth of social media in the past few years, nearly every person can have his or her platform and an audience where he or she shares his or her ideas. This means that any person can find himself or herself liable for defamation. This means that topics which were only meant for law students and mass communications are now relevant to the whole public.
If you post, tag, blog, or tweet, the following are some steps to follow to keep yourself out of defamation risk.
How to avoid defamation
Know what defamation is
As the name suggests, defamation occurs when you defame a person by making harmful statements about him or her, which you know is false. Libels, when the statements are written, and slander when they are spoken, are the two types of defamation. For instance, if you tweet that your boss has been sexually harassing you when you cannot verify the statements is considered libelous. However, if you tweet that you have won a judgment against the boss for harassing you sexually, is safe.
Stick to facts
It is true every person is entitled to his or her opinions. However, it is difficult to differentiate between a fact and an opinion. For instance, if you believe a particular politician lied about campaign finances, but it is yet to be proven, it is advisable to precede any written or verbal statements with “in my opinion.” It is a good idea to keep any potential defamatory opinions to you.
Even if you believe a particular celeb is a home wrecker, you should avoid name calling. This is because it may constitute to character assassination. He or she may have committed the affair when their paramour was already separated. In such a case, the home is already wrecked, and your statements are false.
Leave the readers to reach their conclusions. When you face the facts, the majority of your Facebook followers may view your situations just the same manner as you do. In this way, you can avoid exposing yourself to defamation problems.
Spreading defamatory materials
Avoid linking or retweeting another person’s potential defamatory material. Even if another person can originate the rumor. However, this does not stop it from being false. No matter the source of the defamatory statement, any person who propagates it or repeats it is liable just like the source.