Originally written on April 6, 2010
Let me first start by offering a common definition of libel courtesy of the free dictionary
a. A false publication, as in writing, print, signs, or pictures, that damages a person’s reputation.
b. The act of presenting such material to the public.
Here are a few more definitions of libel pertaining to US law and defamation of character courtesy of a legal site
To defame, or expose to public hatred, contempt, or ridicule, by a writing, picture, sign, to lampoon.
To publish in print writing or pictures, broadcast through radio, television or film something that is false about someone else which would cause harm to that person or his/her reputation by bringing the target into ridicule, hatred, scorn, or contempt of others.
Published material meeting three conditions: The material is defamatory either on its face or indirectly; The defamatory statement is about someone who is identifiable to one or more persons; and, The material must be distributed to someone other than the offended party; i.e. published.
The purpose of this article is to give a personal account of my recent experiences trying to remove and defend myself against libelous statements published about me on the internet. It is my intent to spread awareness of websites that post, and in many ways, encourage libelous actions. I am referring specifically to a website that allows supposed ex-girlfriends/boyfriends to give accounts of their particular experiences with a former lover/spouse/significant other. I will not give the actual name of the offending website for obvious reasons, but suffice to say, anyone with an e-mail address can create an account and anonymously write anything their heart desires about the “offending” ex-boyfriend/girlfriend. Names, places of residence, colleges attended, mental health diagnosis’s and any other sort of personal information can be posted (other than social security/credit card numbers which would get the website removed from Google). There is no limit whatsoever as to what can be written, and no accountability by either the website, the website hosting company or the person writing the libelous statements. continue reading…