This module introduces defamation and internet defamation. How we conduct ourselves in the virtual world can have some very powerful real world consequences. PLEASE NOTE: this page provides information ONLY. We do not provide legal or other professional advice. If you require advice, you need to speak with an expert.
The articles below cover cases that dealt with defamation:
A woman was ordered to pay her ex $200,000 in damages after she made more than 85 online posts defaming him on social media sites.
Rancourt was accused of defamation for a blog post that called St. Lewis a racial slur. Rancourt counter argued with fair comment but failed and the jury awarded St. Lewis a total of $794,895 in damages.
Awan was part of a protest that sparked online debate over the Canadian Human Rights Act section for hate speech. Levant was found to have defamed Awan with malicious comments, Levant is to pay a total of $80,000.
"This decision affirms for employers that, absent evidence of malice, negative references about current or former employees will generally be protected from liability for defamation."
Ontario Superior Court ordered Kevin J. Johnston to pay a total of $2.5 million in damages for defamation to Mohamad Fakih, the owner and founder of Paramount Fine Foods.
Johnston had made a series of videos including a claim Fakih was an "economic terrorist" with backing from the Pakistani spy agency. He also alleged the restaurant barred customers who weren't a "jihadist."
Nazerali was the subject of defamatory articles published on DeepCapture.com which falsely portrayed him as an arms dealer, drug trafficker, al-Qaida financier, and a member of the Italian and Russian mafias. Nazerali was awarded $1.1 million, which is one of the largest in Canadian legal history.
Defamation is separated into Libel (written statements) and Slander (oral statements). These are untrue statements that are harmful to someone's reputation. The statements can be about a person, business, organization, group, nation, or product.
"According to Article 17 of the United Nations International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, no person may be subjected to unlawful interference with his family, home, privacy, honor, or reputation. It also specifies that every person has the right to be protected against such interference."
Generally, a harmful statement will not amount to libel, if one of the following defences applies:
This information comes from Legalline.ca's page on defamation laws and the internet.
Sue Scheff won an $11.3 million internet defamation lawsuit in 2006, when false statements were being made about her online. Find out how you can help build your digital reputation, and how to protect yourself. - Opens in a new window
Videos shared on this page fall outside of the Learning Portal's Creative Commons license.