On June 19, 2017, in a unanimous decision, the United States Supreme Court struck down a controversial law North Carolina preventing registered sex offenders from using social media. A copy of the full decision can be found here. The law made it illegal for a sex offender "to access a commercial social networking Web site where the sex offender knows that the site permits minor children to become members or to create or maintain personal Web pages."
Lately you may have come across various "consumer gripe websites" which offer an opportunity for unhappy consumers to vent about products, people, goods, services and pretty much anything else. Even if your company refunds the unhappy customer or remediates the situation, your customer may be unable to remove the now outdated offensive and false post. Under many websites' terms of service, the author assigns away his or her rights to the post and it is at the website's sole and absolute discretion on whether to remove the offensive post.
Certain businesses in Ohio and elsewhere often rely on donations and investments to continue operations within a specific field. Owners and operators of similar ventures work hard on building a positive reputation, generally considering this aspect to be paramount to the success of a business. If subjected to libel and slander, securing future investments can become challenging, and the future of a business might subsequently be at risk.
Individuals who are in pursuit of a government position may have a tendency to be extremely competitive by nature. Although competition can be healthy in some situations, in some cases it can lead a candidate to attempt to bring down his or her opponent/s. Although at the time a person may believe these accusations to be mere words, victims of libel and slander in Ohio can suffer serious damage in various areas of life, personal and professional alike.
A recent phenomenon stemming from the evolution of social media is the seemingly unfiltered airing of personal opinions. Social media rants about tension with co-workers, disputes between spouses or disagreements with family members are part of the everyday news feed for most people in Ohio. However, when those rants contain libel and slander, people's reputations and businesses may suffer. One man had just such an experience when his son apparently retaliated online.
People in Ohio and across the country are no longer surprised to learn when the private intrigues of their political candidates become fodder for scandal. However, sometimes a story takes an unusual turn, and what was originally taken as revealing truth is suddenly suspected to be lies and slander. Voters in another state are watching their candidates closely in the months leading up to their gubernatorial election.
The advent of social media seems to have given people in Ohio a platform that they may not otherwise have had for expressing their opinions. With that open opportunity, some people may say unkind or hurtful things, stirring up emotions and even violent reactions. The words libel and slander are tossed around these days with apparently little understanding of their legal implications. Not every insulting post is necessarily defamatory.
Businesses in Ohio and across the country are finding themselves harassed online more frequently these days. This may come from dissatisfied customers, aggressive competition or disgruntled employees. Company owners may find that their business is damaged by negative reviews or critical posts. While a large corporation may find these defamatory comments merely bothersome, small businesses often cannot afford the hit to their reputations. In those circumstances, a libel and slander claim may be appropriate.