Online Cases - Assignment 4 Online Cases 1 The internet has...

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Assignment 4: Online Cases 1. The internet has caused great confusion with the distinction between what is slander and what is a libel. The term libel refers to “…a written defamation, requires no actual damages, and is generally considered the more serious of the two, given the assumption that a written statement is more deliberate and premeditated, and is more permanent in its longevity.”(Takach, 2003). The term slander refers to “…an oral defamation, generally attracts smaller monetary damage awards and requires the proof of financial loss on the part of the plaintiff.”(Takach, 2003). Having defined these two terms, the conclusion that defamatory statements made on the internet via e-mail, bulletin boards, and usegroups are libelous can be determined. These mediums are all text based and require premeditation on the part of the poster which would classify them as a libel. There are certain online communication mediums however that blur the lines between written and oral defamation. For example, instant messaging is a very commonly used internet communication medium that would blur the lines between the laws view of oral and verbal defamation. Because the conversation over this medium is so fluid and quick, one could make the argument that defamatory comments made over instant messaging could be considered more oral defamation than verbal defamation, because the aspect of premeditation does
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