Defamation may be different on the Internet, says Canadian court

Posted On July 12, 2012
In Defamation in Cyberspace / Reply

The Court of Appeal for Ontario has reversed the dismissal of a proposed action for defamation in the context of online political discourse in the “blogosphere”.

Oslers reports that in allowing the appeal and directing that the action proceed to trial, the court acknowledged that the “internet blogging world” is an environment where caustic commentary and hyperbolic language may be commonplace. In so doing, the court went so far as to raise the possibility that different legal considerations might even apply to different Internet forums, such as Facebook or Twitter as compared to blogs.

The Court of Appeal’s ruling did not ultimately resolve any of these issues, nor did it comment upon the merits of the plaintiff’s defamation suit. Rather, its decision was limited to a procedural determination that the proceeding should not be disposed of by means of a summary judgment motion, but rather should be determined on its merits on the basis of a full factual record.

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