When someone makes an untrue statement that injures your reputation, he/she is said to have used defamation. Defamation can either be verbal (slander) or written (libel) when false statements about you are made online through social media, this can be said to libel since it contains the written word.
Such information is said to amount to negligence. But proving such negligence is the expensive-the victim is required to establish that:
- The defendant made a statement that was considered to be defamatory by the court.
- Information was published or was communicated to a third party
- The defamatory statement was false. The plaintiff may be required to prove with convincing evidence that the statement made was false, and the defendant had doubts about the truth of such statement
- The statement was injurious
If you are a victim of defamation, you might be eligible to take legal action.
Online defamation can be considered libel, which means any falsely expressed information in writing, picture, or printing directed to an individual for mockery, disrespect, or meant to criticize their trustworthiness, honesty or any other negative thing to the public. While the internet has allowed people to connect globally, it has also provided loopholes where people make abusive posters that harm others’ reputations. Though individuals have freedom of speech, some use it to make defamatory posts or comments.
If you feel that someone has made a false and injurious statement on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, among others, you may consult an attorney to help you file a claim
Alaska’s law assumes that if a false statement injures someone, then one seeking damages need not prove such damages. Certainly, if you can prove that a defamatory statement led to your loss of earning or would cause a financial decline to your business earnings, in future you may recover your economic earning in your defamation lawsuit. However, proving such may not be easy as one may think as online defamation is hard to prove due to the anonymity involved.
How To Take A Legal Action
While many posts made are screened by Google for illegal content, this doesn’t happen to every post. If the defamatory statement hurt you, you may contemplate taking legal action. At common law, a libel is actionable without proof of damage. However, some courts require proof of damaged. In such instances, it’s vital to consult an attorney in Anchorage to understand whether you will be required to prove damaged or not. Typically, if you are to prove damages when bringing up a lawsuit, you will be required to prove elements as of any other form of libel in other mediums:
As a plaintiff, you will be required to probe the defamatory statement was false. The court has to determine or distinguish between a statement of opinion and that of fact for liability. These elements include:
- It was an unprivileged communication made to a third party
- The defendant acted through negligence or malice. Actions are taken depending on whether the plaintiff is a private person or a public figure.
- The defamatory statement caused harm.
A good recipe for your case would be to identify the person who defamed you. Sometimes, it becomes tricky to identify someone who may have posted something false and hurting on social media about you. Nevertheless, while some posts may be anonymous, there are ways one can identify the culprit.
Difference Between Private And Public Figure For Defamation Case
Defamation of character affects both public and private figures, but public figures have more to prove.
Private figure in Alaska: Where the published defamatory statement is made to a private person, then the burden is placed in place of mere negligence. Meaning, obtaining liability will depend on whether the defendant acted negligently by making the defamatory statement.
Public figure in Alaska: If the plaintiff is a public figure, the liability is based on actual malice. In Alaska law, where the matter is of public concern, proof of actual malice is needed. However, if a plaintiff is to prove elements needed for establishing liability, he/she may recover without any proof of damages in the case of a public figure.
Online defamation proves to be different from other kinds of defamation. Meaning the legal implication may also be different. Thus, if you are to take legal action, it’s advisable to first talk with an experienced lawyer who can guide you on Alaska rules concerning online defamation cases. An alleged fact has to be established by convincing evidence, and this must be based on to the belief that such fact is highly probable. Due to such complexity, you should decide to file for damages with an attorney’s help to discuss the legal options to be used in your case. If your legal action prevails, you can be sure of getting both compensatory and punitive damages.