Leita Williams’ Portfolio and Blog


Your Diss Track Might Not Give You the Fame You Want: Defamation

Sarah Hoffeditz – The Odyssey Online

If you’re an avid user of any social media platform, especially Instagram, Facebook, TikTok, or Twitter, then you know the amount of cruelty that can be shown to someone in the comments section of a post.

The culture of social media has enabled users to be incredibly aggressive with their personal opinions, whether positive or negative.

In a positive light, this can lead to a ton of publicity for some companies and individuals. If one of your followers goes absolutely berserk in your comments section, that can generate more viewership because it labels you as a person or company worth obsessing over. Friends can tag each other in the comments or retweet your post and you could go viral overnight.

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But the sad reality is, not all comments or posts that go viral are positive. Social media is riddled with hate comments, rumors, bullying, and even lies that when built up can really hurt your reputation.

This is where defamation comes in.

Defamation is a very serious legal issue on the web, and with how flippant people are about their comments and accusations on social media, it can happen a lot easier than you might think.

According to Wired, in 2016 Kesha sent one single text message to Lady Gaga that would end up costing her greatly. She made the accusation that one of their friends, Katy Perry, had been raped by the same man. In this case, Kesha didn’t even have the intent to harm or belittle this man, she was just passing along information that was false. But, this still involved her in a massive court case because it was used as accusatory evidence that slandered a man’s reputation.

Well, that’s aggressive. That could never happen to me.

I thought you might say that.

Carolyn Daitch – The Morning Sun

Although you are right, most social media defamation cannot be brought to a court of law, or at least make it through all the legal hoops, it is still a serious legal and ethical issue on the web that our generation needs to be more aware of. You never know what rumor is true or false, and how badly a viral rumor could hurt someone’s reputation or business.

In conclusion, be careful what you post online. Sometimes it feels like there is so much freedom hiding behind a screen, but you never know when you have gone too far. The people we interact with online are real humans, with personal lives, jobs, and futures ahead of them. One wrong rumor can ruin the public’s perception of you forever.

Also, it’s just always best to fact check before you accuse. Just because dozens of people in the comment section insinuate something doesn’t mean it is true, and you never know when someone will be hurt enough to take legal action. If Kesha can get sued over a single text, think about the impact your stream of slanderous comments can have on someone’s life, and the action they might take to get justice for that.

If you’re interested in reading more, check out this article on how to avoid comments that might lead to defamation, and what practical steps to take against this.

Would love to hear your thoughts in the comments below, but make sure to keep them kind;)

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