July 13, 2011 Articles

Cyber-Defamation: It's Not Just Business as Usual

The question of whether a client should initiate a lawsuit for Internet defamation is one that requires careful consideration of the costs and risks.

By Zachary G. Newman and Anthony Ellis

From starting up Facebook pages (Coca Cola has 20 million “fans”) to establishing “Twitter” accounts (Google has 2.6 million “followers”), businesses around the world are embracing the Internet and the many marketing and business opportunities it presents. Yet, businesses are also learning that the same reasons that caused them to flock to the Internet—the ability to reach millions of people in a quick and efficient manner—can also be an Achilles’ heel. To paraphrase an old idiom, the Internet is just a publishing house, and all the men and women are potential publishers. Never before has it been so easy to reach so many with such limited effort, and the simple fact is that many of those publishers are acting with both animus and anonymity.

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