The Defamation Law, 5725-1965, seeks to strike a balance between freedom of expression on the one hand and a person’s or a corporation’s right to their good name and reputation on the other.
The Defamation Law and the vast case law that has built up around it also apply to postings on the Internet: Talkbacks, video clips, discussions in forums, responses and posts on Facebook and other social networks, etc. In the last several years, we see more and more lawsuits for defamation being filed against web-surfers and against website operators and operators of various forms. The most famous of these are the lawsuit against the reporter Amit Segal for his tweet on Twitter about Knesset Member Oren Hazan and the lawsuit by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu against reporter Igal Sarna for a Facebook status.
The ease of posting on the Internet, together with its availability, its openness to the public, and the distribution of information on the web, are likely to cause very severe harm to a person whose good name is sullied on the Internet. Online smears that rise to the level of defamation are often done anonymously and at times, just exposing the poster of such defamation requires a court order.
A website operator’s or owner’s liability for defamatory posts by Internet users is an important issue that is unique to defamation online. Under certain conditions, it is possible for website owners to be liable to the victim of such a post and to be forced to pay compensation for the damages that were caused, along with removing the post from the website.
Our firm specializes in Internet defamation law. Among other cases, we handle:
- Removing injurious posts from the Internet
- Lawsuits for compensation for damages caused as a result of defamation
- Disclosing the IP of the poster in order to initiate legal proceedings against him
- Preliminary consultation prior to posting news about a person or a business
- Defense in lawsuits for libel and slander on the Internet.