Defamation Law in the USA

The United States of America is a bad country to be defamed in if you’re corned with your Internet Reputation. With the right to Freedom of Speech in the US, the internet is clouded with sites such as Ripoff Report, Complaints board and Scambook; sites with the intention of spreading defamation without fear of consequence. Many legal representatives have attempted to take these internet giants through the legal system in an attempt to have specific exerts of content removed from search results. So far, no one has been successful.


Fortunately for those of you being defamed by a website hosted in the US, The New York State Assembly has proposed legislation that will make sweeping changes to how people communicate on the Internet.  The Bill called the “Internet Protection Act” A:8688 /S.6779 would require the following:


A web site administrator upon request shall remove any comments posted on his or her web site by an anonymous poster unless such anonymous poster agrees to attach his or her name to the post and confirms that his or her IP address, legal name, and home address are accurate. All web site administrators shall have a contact number or e-mail address posted for such removal requests, clearly visible in any sections where comments are posted.


A bill of this nature could solve the ongoing problem of online defamation, and make those the lives of involved with Online Reputation Management and Internet Reputation Management quite a lot easier. It is a cowardly move to voice your own defamatory opinion about a person or business, and not have the courage to publically stand behind your own words. This law is the first step behind creating a unified stance on defamatory material posted on the World Wide Web. It should not matter where you hide your servers; your content is visible throughout the world.


With that said, this does create problems for civil libertarians and others who believe anonymity is vital when engaging in online commenting. The argument against this law is that it is unconstitutional, to the extent that a court would find that it violates the principle that anonymous free speech are matters of public concern is protected by the First Amendment.


As the law was only proposed on the 19th of September 2012, it may be some time before we see laws that circumvent the First Amendment and freedom of speech when matters of defamation are involved; however for those involved with Online Reputation Management and Internet Reputation Management it is definitely a cause to get behind.


While we wait, it is more important than ever to protect your on line reputation, if you want to stay in business.  Defamatory, derogatory, or negative comments or statements can have you out of business quickly. See for all your internet reputation needs from a trusted local provider.

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