On Saturday I posted a piece on slander and libel in online networks, thanks to a piece from Matt at FreshNetworks, which followed a recent court case where defamation on a bulletin board was decreed to be slander rather than libel due to its conversational nature. Talking about it today with my IT colleague Paul (who has a precise way of thinking and is a master of MS Excel), he wondered whether defamatory blog posting as publication would be libel whereas a defamatory comment to a blog, would as conversation be counted as slander?
“Defamation on internet bulletin boards is more like slander than libel, a High Court judge has ruled. Mr Justice Eady said that bulletin board discussions are characterised by “give and take” and should be considered in that context.” Report on 7 August, in Out-law.com.
Thanks to post from Matt Rhodes, of the FreshNetworks Blog, which flagged this up and who makes the excellent point which serves to underline the distinctive value of online communities, especially in an enterprise context:
“For me the most interesting comment is that contributions in online communities and forums are ‘give and take’ and like a ‘casual conversation’ rather than published and printed material. This is certainly more akin to the kind of conversations and contributions we see on our communities at FreshNetworks, as I’m sure it is for anybody else with experience in this area.”