Lowdown on libel: know your rights regarding online defamation

The same defamation laws that apply to traditional media like newspapers also apply to online content but the high financial cost, anonymous posts and resistance from some social media companies make going down the legal path a very risky proposition

Tech platforms are not insulated from responsibility for what they host. Picture: Getty Images

It’s a nightmare scenario. You’re minding your own business when your phone pings with a notification. ‘Have you seen this?’ a well-intentioned friend asks, along with a link to a post on Facebook or Twitter.

You look at the post and immediately get a sinking feeling in your stomach. Someone has levelled a serious accusation against you in public, accusing you of behaviour that could ruin your reputation and cause serious problems for you in ...