Human beings are governed by the rule of law. However, not everyone can keep up with the laid down laws, not forgetting the legalese that not everyone understands. This leads to many misconceptions about the law. You do not have to be a lawyer to understand the law and its goings-on. Most importantly, if you can stay out of court, you will have a happy life. For one to understand the law, it is better to read it in plain English to help in demystifying some aspects of it. Laws vary among the nations of the world, and as such, it is better to know the limits.
Online Defamation Misconceptions
Defamation law is one of the most misunderstood areas especially the one that touches on online defamation. Some of the misconceptions include:
Using the traditional PR approach will protect you from defamation. Public Relations experts will advise you to respond to any defamatory remarks almost immediately. They also advise you to replace those remarks with positive information. This aspect does not work in the online fronts.
It is thought there are inactionable opinions regarding defamation. This mistake is rampant because some people believe that actionable defamation relies on factual assertions. However, in some cases opinions can contribute to defamation.
Online defamation has a trend of looking at Market Share Damages Approach to calculate the extent to which a defamatory statement damaged a reputation especially if there are several sources. Defamation cases sometimes have far-reaching consequences where damages are paid in millions of cash. One has to be ready with a good Dallas defamation lawyer if they are faced with a defamation case, or they are suing for the same. Other legal myths that you need to be aware of include:
It is also thought the attorney-client privilege is absolute and will protect from defamation suits. This privilege has so many requirements for it to work. However, there are exceptions to the rules, especially in circumstances where the courts extinguish this privilege if they deem it right.
In case someone is injured in your property or place of business, you are liable for damages. You cannot be liable for another person’s criminal act. For instance, you cannot be prosecuted if someone commits a felony on your property and someone else is injured. You can be responsible for someone else’s negligence, stupidity, or clumsiness.
It is thought the First Amendment protects commenters and bloggers from libel claims. This is not true because as per the U.S. Supreme Court, everyone has equal rights and responsibilities outlined in the defamation law. Written defamation or libel is a published false statement of fact that injures the reputation of another. A public figure plaintiff must prove beyond reasonable doubt that there was actual malice to the highest standard.
It is thought you can say, ‘in my opinion,’ to defend yourself against defamation. Telling the truth is the best defense. An opinion can be a good defense against libel but only applies in some context. You need to understand the difference between an opinion and a statement of fact. Defamation can be established using context and using “in my opinion” in a statement doesn’t make it an opinion.