November 11, 2013 Articles

Cyber-Defamation: What Is It and How Should Businesses Respond?

A primer on defining and dealing with Internet attacks.

By Thomas J. Mew IV

All businesses deal with criticism, whether from a competitor or from a dissatisfied customer. There is, however, a difference between legitimate criticism and defamation. An increasingly common issue for businesses is “cyber defamation.” Although the details of a particular incident may vary, cyber-defamation attacks share common features. First, the negative statement is communicated over the Internet, perhaps in a blog, in the comments section of a website, via Twitter, or in an online review. Second, the party making the allegedly defamatory statement typically does so anonymously with perhaps only a screen name to identify him or her.

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