How has the internet changed proving a case for defamation?

Minneapolis litigator David Olsen of Henson & Efron explains how the internet has impacted defamation law.

Contact David Olsen

Email: [email protected]

Phone: (612) 339-2500


The Internet has made defamation kinda the Wild West right now. Back in the old days, if you said something bad about someone, it might appear in the local paper, maybe on the local news. But now when it hits the Internet or it hits Twitter or any of the other social media sites, it’s immediate and it’s worldwide. So the scope of the defamatory statement tends to do much more harm because it’s broadcast so fast and so far. And on the other end, when you’re trying to prove defamation, like I said earlier, one of the things is you’ve got to prove reputation in the community, what people are saying about you now. And with the Internet and blog posts and comments, sometimes there can be thousands and thousands of comments, and this person is just a horrible person now because of what’s been said about ’em.