Libel: be careful what you post in cyberspace

Photo by Wolfgang Zenz

cyber bullying

A recent Ontario court decision shows how attacking someone personally and falsely on the Internet can result in a criminal conviction for the attacker.

The line between criminal and civil libel can be a fine one and may come down to whether the police decide to get involved or not.

Often these cases are left to the victim to pursue in the civil courts which can be expensive for both sides but ultimate success will result in damages (sometimes significant, especially where the internet is involved) and court costs to the victim.

Cyberbullying is not restricted to teenagers. Adults, who should know better, are also guilty of this kind of bullying, even if they might think of it in different terms, i.e. revenge for some slight (or even real damage) they feel they have suffered.

So, if you are thinking of launching any kind of Internet campaign against someone else, take a deep breath, count to ten and think twice before posting anything on the Internet that is false and is likely to harm the other person’s reputation.

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