Tuesday, August 15, 2017
Female blogger loses defamation suit for making accusation of sexual assault when she was in the Army
A recent case in Virginia shows the danger of making accusations against people online if you can’t prove them. Tom Jackman has a detailed story in the Metro Section of the Washington Post Tuesday August 15, 2017 here.
A Fairfax County jury awarded a retired Army colonel $8.4 million (which may exceed state limits) in litigation against a female blogger who wrote posts accusing him
National Review, in a story by David French, has jumped on this story as a refutation of “#BelieveAllWomen”, story.
The Blogger’s hosting provider, under Section 230, has no liability because the host could not possibly know in advance what is going to be posted or whether it could be problematic.
One observation could be that links to her blog posts might have made others defendants had the plaintiff gone after them. But secondary liability for defamation by links has been very rare in practice.