Social media has created a breeding ground for the widespread dissemination of false and defamatory statements. Conversely, many people also find themselves being sued after simply stating the truth online, or expressing themselves about legitimate issues relating to the public interest.
Defamation is a complex area of law. A simple review of the Libel and Slander Act is unfortunately insufficient to understand the law of defamation in Ontario. There is a large body of case law that governs how defamation law is applied. If you have an issue relating to libel or slander in Ontario, you should be cautious of lawyers who merely dabble in this area of law or do not have sufficient experience litigating defamation lawsuits.
For your convenience, we have published resources on our blog to help people understand how defamation works on social media platforms such as Facebook and Twitter. It’s important to keep in mind that legal action can be taken for other things that people do on social media, even if it was technically not a defamation case.
KPA has litigated cases that have helped shape the law in the area of cyber libel, including this case involving statements that were made in a WhatsApp chat group.
One of our co-founders, Ryan Keeney, has consulted for news agencies such as Vice for our comments regarding major online defamation cases. If you would like to speak to a lawyer about a defamation case, you can book a telephone call with an associate here, or speak with Mr. Keeney here.