What Is Cyber Defamation: What You Must Double Check Before Posting On Social Media

28 Oct, 2021 10:50 IST|Sakshi Post

Cyber defamation is the publication of defamatory material about another person via a computer or the internet (social media, chat channels, or emails).

Cyber Defamation: To be more specific, cyber defamation occurs when someone makes a defamatory statement about another person or entity on a website, social media platform, or messaging channel, or sends emails containing defamatory material to another person or entity with the intent to defame the other person or entity about whom the assertion was made. It is not a minor offence, given that it has the potential to have a significant impact on a country's economy, depending on the information and the person to whom it is disclosed.

Who Is The Perpetrator Of Defamation?

News Outlets On Social Media – There's a new economy where public shaming is a commodity and humiliation is a business. Nowadays, money is produced by clicks; the higher the humiliation, the more clicks and advertising income.

Disgruntled Employee – An employee who is dissatisfied with his or her job sends disrespectful, libellous, rude, and abusive emails to the company's supervisors or management.

Ex-friend/ex-spouse — Obscene communications are sent to friends and family or even posted on pornographic websites.

Political Rivalry - Using fake material and context to defame a rival party.

Religious Rivalry - attempting to influence people's perceptions and spread incorrect information.

Defamation vs. Free Speech

The right to freedom of expression and speech is guaranteed by Article 19 (1) (a) of our Constitution, which states that all people have the right to do so. Such liberty, however, is subject to reasonable limitations. The preservation of another person's reputation falls within the scope of reasonable limitation, and any word or remark that harms another person's reputation will be subject to defamation responsibility under the law.

Find Out Below What The Law Says About Cyber-Defamation In India:

Section 66A - In our current IT Act, the Supreme Court threw down Section 66A of the IT Act, 2000, on limits on online speech, as unconstitutional because it violated the right to freedom of expression given under Article 19 (1) (a) of the Indian Constitution.

Section 499 of IPC: Section 499 of the Indian Penal Code states that whoever makes or publishes any imputation concerning any person, whether by words spoken or intended to be read, or by signs or visible representations, intending to harm, or knowing or having reason to believe that such imputation will harm such person's reputation.

Section 469 of IPC: Section 469 of the Indian Penal Code states that anybody who forges a document or electronic record with the intent of harming the reputation of another party, or knowing that it is likely to be used for that purpose, will be penalised.

Section 503 Of The IPC – Says that whoever threatens another with any injury to a person, reputation, or property, or to the person or reputation of anyone in whom that person is interested, with the intent of causing alarm to that person, or to cause that person to do any act which he is not legally bound to do, or to omit to do any act which that person is legally entitled to do, as a means of avoiding the execution of such threats, commits criminal intimidation.

What's Trending On Social Media These Days?

Social media is used to announce engagements, divorces, and baby bumps. Many of us are proclaiming relationship statuses, expressing opinions, acknowledging mistakes, and disclosing sexual identities on social media.

Online defamation and trolling have both immediate and long-term repercussions on freedom of expression, as shown above. Online defamation and abuse may cause mental and physical distress, as well as damage to one's or a brand's name, credibility, and financial and other consequences. Bots have been abusing technology in the past by replying to posts and leaving comments.

Apart from establishing an effective grievance redressal process, social media intermediaries should proactively monitor material and take necessary action against individuals who publish defamatory content.

Tips On How To Use Social Media

  • For each social media account, you hold, use unique, difficult passwords (special characters) that you change regularly.
  • Turn on two-factor authentication (2FA) for all of your social media accounts.
  • Control information sharing by configuring privacy and GPS settings for your social media networks.
  • Never post personal information on social networking sites.
  • Avoid clicking on questionable links from unfamiliar contacts (Google Forms and Short Links).
  • Do not connect with individuals you know and trust.
  • For all intents, consent should be considered the same way whether it is given offline or online.
  • Use end-to-end encrypted messaging software.
  • If necessary, utilise a Virtual Private Network (VPN) or browse incognito or private mode.
  • Control information sharing by blocking cookies and configuring privacy settings.
  • Before you send it to others, do a Google reverse image search or utilise www.tineye.com to verify the photo.

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