Internet Defamation of Character Primer: What is a defamatory statement?
An anonymous comment was posted about your company on a review web site stating that your company cheated them out of money, that the people at your company are crooks and that customers should avoid doing business with your company at all cost. The web site where the statement was posted is coming back as the third Google search result just below your web site and domain name. Your first impulse is that the statement is defamation. Your second is to contact an attorney to send a threat letter to the web site owner demanding that comment removed.
The First Question: In order for a statement to be defamatory under law, the statement posted on the internet must be a false statement of fact, rather than a statement of opinion. Clients are often confused about what is a fact versus an opinion. Surprisingly, so are courts, judges and many lawyers who do not practice defamation law. The reality is that defamation can law can be hard to decipher on this critical issue of “what is a false statement of fact” as the first element of proving defamation on the internet. Continue reading Defamation is Defined as a False Statement of Fact. »