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Reputation and Defamatory Meaning on the Internet – Communications, Contexts and Communities

Gary Chan Kok Yew

(2015) 27 SAcLJ 694

The determination of the appropriate scope of protection of reputation in the tort of defamation is crucially dependent on the construction of defamatory meaning. With the continuing rise of Internet publications, it is important to assess the impact of the various modes of Internet communications such as Internet websites, hyperlinking, blogs, e mails, Twitter, Facebook and other forms of social media on defamatory meaning. Such defamatory meaning is being constructed based on the unique contexts and social expectations that have been generated by the various modes of Internet communications. The potential impact on defamatory meaning can also be assessed from the perspectives of the diverse online communities.