Cyber Defamation is the act of publishing false or defamatory statements about an individual or organization on the internet. It can include statements made on social media, forums, blogs, or any other online platform. Cyber defamation can cause significant harm to the reputation of the person or organization and can lead to loss of business, financial damages, and emotional distress.
In India, cyber defamation is covered under Section 499 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) and it was earlier covered under Section 66A of the Information Technology Act, 2000, However, section 66A has been repealed by the Hon’ble Supreme Court of India. These provisions make it an offence to publish or transmit any information that is defamatory or offensive in nature.
Individuals or organizations that have been defamed online may seek legal remedy by filing a complaint with the cybercrime police, or filing a civil suit for damages. The remedies available include an injunction to stop the publication of defamatory material, removal of defamatory content from the internet, and monetary damages.
However, it’s important to note that proving defamation in the cyber world is challenging as the internet is vast and it’s difficult to identify the originator of the defamatory statement. Additionally, laws related to cyber defamation vary from country to country, and it’s important to consult with a lawyer who is well-versed in the laws of the specific jurisdiction.
What is Defamation?
•The action of damaging the good reputation of someone.
•It can be a Civil wrong under Law of Torts; or
•It can be crime under respective Criminal Law.
•Defaming any person, group, community, religion, organization using social networking.
•Posting defamatory posts on Social Networking Websites / Posting morphed photos on Social Networking Websites
•Defamatory posts on Political figures
Types of Defamation
Oral defamatory statement e.g. Video or Audio clip posted online
Written defamatory statement e.g. Written online post
Defamation Law in India
•Section 499, Indian Penal Code
This section says that whoever, by words either spoken or intended to be read, or by signs or by visible representations, makes or publishes any imputation concerning any person intending to harm, or knowing or having reason to believe that such imputation will harm, the reputation of such person, is said, except in the cases hereinafter excepted, to defame that person.
•Section 500, Indian Penal Code
This section provides for punishment. Any person held liable under section 499 will be punishable with imprisonment of two years or fine or both.