Topic: Defamation

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The Rise of the #Hashtag

Every day, hundreds of millions of people use social media to share their thoughts about everything that is happening around them. The most popular social media sites do not have simple ways to search for and organize content, so users turned to the hashtag to solve the problem. Hashtags are words or phrases prefixed with the … Continue reading

Social Media and Anti-SLAPP Cases

In a recent defamation case where the defendant sought anti-SLAPP protection related to internet forum posts about the plaintiffs, a federal district court recognized that social-media speech is no different from “traditional” speech. See Piping Rock Partners, Inc. v. David Lerner Assocs., Inc., No. C 12-04634 SI (N.D. Cal. May 17, 2013) (Illston, J.). “SLAPP” is an … Continue reading

CDA § 230 Safe Harbor

Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act (“CDA”), otherwise known as § 230 Safe Harbor, explains that “No provider or user of an interactive computer service shall be treated as the publisher or speaker of any information provided by another information content provider.”  47 U.S.C.A. § 230(c)(1).  In addition, § 230 precludes liability for providers … Continue reading

Defamation in a Social Media World

Companies of every size are concerned with protecting the reputation of the company, which is often a company’s greatest source of referrals. Protecting the online reputation of a company has become increasingly difficult because the reputation of a company can be ruined very quickly if an unhappy customer, former employee, or competitor of the company … Continue reading

Anonymous Negative Reviews

Austin-based cleaning company Austin Gutter King Corporation, Inc. made headline news in Texas this week by filing a lawsuit against the poster of a negative review of its business on Google Places, the search engine’s business listing and review website. The review originally came from a user named “Norma Lee,” but a court-ordered request from … Continue reading

The Legal Gray Area of Retweeted Content

It seems axiomatic that social media users can be held accountable for making false, misleading, defamatory, or libelous statements in a Facebook post or Twitter “tweet.” This fact is well-illustrated by a number of high-profile lawsuits (none of which have yet gone to trial) brought by individuals against Twitter users, including the recent lawsuits threatened … Continue reading
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