March 14, 2011

0 Guarding Against Defamation

Be careful what you include on  your website! Publishing any material that potentially damages the reputation of any individual or organization is an  act of defamation and could result in legal case against you.

Defamation is the general term used for anything that is considered libellous or slanderous.  Libel is defamation that can be  seen or read, whether that's in print,  on a website or in art. Slander is defamation that is spoken or heard.

Libel laws exist to protect individuals or organization form unwarranted , fabricated or incorrect attacks on their reputation.

If you run a website, be sure to do the following :

1) Be careful about making statements about other individuals  or organisation.

2) Do not discredit an individual or organization in a way  that affects their reputation.

3) Avoid exposing an individual  to attack, hatred or ridicule.

4)  check your facts, Is what you claim correct? Can the information be verified and substantiated if challenged?

5) Watch your quotes - especially if quoting other people! What they have said could be libellous  but you could also be in trouble for publishing the quote!

6) Be careful about publishing opinions or conclusions that could be libellous.

7) check your web copy carefully to ensure there is no  ambiguity

8) Be objective! Try to present a balanced  viewpoint

Here are some examples of what may be considered libellous

1) An unwarranted, fabricated or incorrect attack on a competitor. Perhaps you have suggested on your website that their products are inferfor or their company is detrimental to people's wealth. This could certainly present a libel case.

2) . perhaps you have written about someone who has once an alcoholic. Referring to him as an alcoholic now suggests that he's still an alcoholic when he may have  become teetotal. This could give the man cause to take a legal action against you.


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