Module 5: Defamation
Summary Modules on Digital Rights and Freedom of Expression Online in sub-Saharan Africa
- Defamation claims are frequently used to stifle dissent. However, it can provide a genuine remedy for those harmed by the statements or actions of others.
- Criminal defamation is generally considered to be disproportionate in terms of international law. Civil defamation is often punished too harshly, rather than righting the wrong that was committed.
- Truth is a core defence against defamation claims.
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- Some types of speech are excluded from defamation laws, such as opinion and satire.
- The growth of Strategic Lawsuits Against Public Participation (SLAPP) suits by corporate actors using defamation laws to silence or intimidate critics is a concerning contemporary development that needs to be challenged.