Defamation is nothing new. People have made untrue, hurtful comments since humans developed language. However, our age of computers, the Internet and social media has made it easier and quicker than ever to spread damaging lies. Since 1980, Denton & Denton Attorneys at Law has defended the victims of defamation in communities throughout Virginia Beach. Our lawyers have remained current on the ever-evolving laws that affect the rights of Internet users and the individuals who become the subjects of statements delivered in this method.
Internet discourse presents the challenge of balancing the rights of individuals to be free from unwarranted attacks with the rights of online writers to Constitutional protection. Although defamation is not protected speech, distinguishing when the language crosses the line from First Amendment territory into defamation requires complex analysis and interpretation.
We have substantial experience proving that the offending statements fall outside the scope of the First Amendment. When the forum where the statements were posted claims to be a media outlet, our Virginia media defamation attorneys hold them accountable under the laws governing news sources, Internet usage, slander and libel.
Cyber slander can be conducted anonymously through blogs and chat forums or social media sites such as Facebook, MySpace and Twitter. Anonymity often lowers people’s inhibitions and empowers them to make bold statements for which they believe they can avoid personal accountability. Our first challenge is often identifying the originator of the defamatory posts. Using advanced technology, we determine who is responsible for the Internet defamation and collect solid evidence to prove your case.
Sadly, teens are often the victims of Internet slander by their classmates and adults. The Virginia Department of Education (VDOE) released Guidelines and Resources for Internet Safety in Schools that establish policies for student behavior and consequences of violations. In 2009, the legislature passed §22.1-279.6 of the Code of Virginia to govern the Board of Education model policy for the prohibition of bullying, harassment and intimidation through the Internet and social media platforms. Our lawyers take action against the culprits who have bullied your child. We may also have a cause of action against the parents of the bully and the school board for failing to properly supervise the student bully and stop the harassing behavior.
Cyber slander can intensify into cyber stalking or cyber harassment, placing you and your family in frightening circumstances. Using the Internet to threaten, stalk and harass another person is illegal under §18.2-60 and §18.2-152.7:1 of the Code of Virginia. Our attorneys defend victims of cyber attacks in the civil courts and support you if prosecutors pursue criminal charges against the perpetrator.
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