Defamation is a false statement of fact that willfully damages another person’s reputation. It falls into two categories: libel and slander. Libel is written defamation and slander is spoken defamation.
Defamation can ruin someone’s career, hurt relationships, destroy privacy — and courts take it seriously.
Back in the day, the Internet was the digital equivalent of Deadwood. Ordinal ampoules of information lawlessly roamed the globe, ignoring nation-state boundaries, exciting and uniting rebel hearts. “Anything goes!” encouraged reporters.
Early on, innovative entrepreneurs amassed oodles of money — largely because laws didn’t apply to online business, marketing, and transactions. But politics eventually caught up with invention. These days, the long arm of the law reaches all corners of the ether. And yes, you can be successfully sued for defaming a person or business, online and on social media.