What is online defamation and how to tackle it?


“A lie can travel halfway around the world while the truth is putting on its shoes.” Mark Twain

Internet and social media hold immense potential for networking, connecting and promoting, and even running online businesses. But it also provides a quite potential ground for libelous and damaging statements. As it all seems to run quite smoothly and good online until something called an online defamation attack or an attack on reputation takes place. As aforementioned lies travel faster than light. If there’s a bit of fault too, things can escalate quite fast, and it can be very tough to protect the reputation from the harsh criticism. This can ruin one’s name as well as reputation.

It can happen in two ways either libel or written defamation and slander which is verbal defamation. Mostly when social media such as Facebook or Twitter is involved these statements are made in written words, which make up for libel defamation. In this scenario, one should handle it with a kid’s glove as it can stir up new controversy. But it doesn’t mean one should handle it with one hand tied behind one’s back.

The non-legal legal approach:

According to a study by blog search engine Technorati,94% of bloggers will retract, edit, or delete incorrect information if contacted and corrected. That comes as good news because it is easy to approach that way without incurring a heavy bill by an attorney. One can proceed with a friendly but firm email to the blog or person in question to take down the misleading content followed by providing the right content with appropriate facts and figures if any. By insinuating that further publication of such inaccurate material can result in financial ramifications.

Taking legal action:

If at all by such a friendly and non-legal approach and the request doesn’t yield any results one can take legal actions. A firm and sternly worded letter will spell it out clearly by an attorney what is the business. This can be enough for them to withdraw as running into an expensive legal fight isn’t a comfortable choice for anyone else there is much at stake.

Watch for the echo chamber:

At last on even securing a legal victory, one should not be at ease. As there is a need to diligently monitor for any reoccurrence of the inaccurate statements. The last thing to happen on earth is to see that defamatory statements take the form of some twisted urban legend that will continue to haunt one’s reputation.


Although there are laws and rights which can be helpful to protect privacy and help one to tackle such cases of defamation as the right to be forgotten by it is always better to act promptly and avoid getting into the legal tussle owing to its expensive and time-consuming nature.