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Thursday 13 December 2012

Crackdown on trolling

New laws could have a “chilling effect” on internet users and their freedom of expression online.  The Joint Committee on Human Rights warned that website operators may have to delete statements that may not have even broken the law.

There have been proposals in the Defamation Bill that aims to protect sites such as Facebook and Twitter from claims made against them when defamatory material is published, as well as making it easier to identify those who have wrote the defamatory posts.

For website owners to be entitled to protection against claims by their users they must either make contact with both parties to resolve the matter or remove the defamatory material when they cannot establish contact. 

Although these new proposals aim to protect website owners, who are solely hosting the content, there could be great consequences for those who publish the offensive material.

A post is regarded defamatory if it has caused or is likely to cause serious harm to the reputation of an individual or a company.  However no claims for damages will be awarded if it can be shown that the statement is true.

Visit the Internet Law Centre for the lowdown on internet defamation.

Internet Law Centre
Internet Law Centre

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