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2 file defamation suit following allegations of corruption

Freedom of speech is often a controversial topic among individuals in Ohio and other states across the country. Individuals often claim this right when posting opinions and/or beliefs through online sources. However, some of these posts are false and malicious, and are made with a reckless disregard for the potential damage they can bring. Two people in a neighboring state have recently filed a defamation lawsuit against a local restaurant owner for statements made via Facebook.

The two men, one a community and economic development director and the other a police sergeant, both assert that the restaurant owner accused them of criminal activities in numerous social media posts. The statements apparently accused each person of being corrupt and/or dishonest. The man who posted the comments stated that he was treated unfavorably by city officials, which may have led to the accusations.

A person who believes that he or she is the subject of unfair treatment might choose to vent certain frustrations through social media. Similar statements are often re-posted or shared, potentially spreading them among a countless number of viewers. For city officials and individuals within law enforcement, the widespread circulation of such content can be extremely difficult to overcome.

In the event that the information provided is false and harmful to another party, the accusing party may be held accountable for damages received. Proving malice among similar statements can be challenging, prompting many individuals to seek assistance in the process. A person in Ohio who is subjected to defamation through social media or other sources will often speak with an experienced attorney for assistance in navigating the process.

Source: wcoutlook.com, "Eastern Kentucky officials sue restaurant owner for defamation", Andrew Adkins, May 4, 2017

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