The other week we talked about if your blog was illegal or not. Today we keep to the legal aspects and talk about defamation.
As an influencer, blogger or digital marketer, you are bound by laws very much like journalists and other media outlets. It is imperative to remember all content published online is accessible publicly. Therefore it is extremely important that you, as a business entity carefully consider what you say and write about others. Your behaviour has a direct reflection on your public brand. Which if caught up in a situation where you’re found guilty of defamation could lead you to loss of your reputation & even contracts.
There are serious consequences associated with anybody who is found guilty of defamation or libel.
If you are not familiar with the laws surrounding libel it covers any published statements or implications which are alleged to defame a named or companies or identifiable individuals. Which damages their reputation, trade or profession. It is not a matter that should be taken lightly. Libel is a serious court matter and the law is hard surrounding it. Defendants must prove their alleged defamatory statements to be true.
Defamation in the news
If they are unable to prove the statements to be true courts can award defendants to make payments of substantial sums. Earlier this year food blogger Jack Monroe was awarded £24,000 after she brought a case of libel against Katie Hopkins to court and won. Leaving Hopkins to pick up the £101,000 bill for court fees.
A 71-year-old blogger was forced to pay a ‘substantial sum’ to Melania Trump. This was after a defamatory post in 2016 which could have adversely affected her future earnings and opportunities.
If you’re working with brands, come into contact with others both on and offline be sure to make sure your tone and accuracy of facts have been checked. Ensure that you are using reliable and verified sources. If you are lifting quotes and using links then make sure again, these are factually correct.
Guilty by replication
Reprinting defamatory statements is known as republication and doesn’t separate you from being found guilty of defamatory claims.
If you are ever in doubt about if a statement is libellous or not then check if it is factually correct from verified sources before publishing. If you are still unsure, do not publish the statements.