Social Media and Defamation

Updated: Aug 15, 2020

Author: Archana Pandey

Banasthali Vidyapeeth

Social Media is that platform at which everyone have the right to express themselves. There is no barrier of any resources. Now in 21st century most of the people have smartphones in their hands. As everyone has the Fundamental Right to speak and liberty according to Article 21 of Indian constitution. A person has reputation not only in real life but also on social media which also has to be maintained. Although it is very helpful handle to express yourself but after that it is also misused by the people in causing harm to other people's reputation. The best example of it is defamation.

Defamation is defined under section 499 of Indian Penal Code which talks that the oral or written communication of a false statement about another that unjustly harms their repetition and usually constitutes a tort or crime.

It is now becoming a local Trend to harm any others reputation. Cyber defamation is same like defamation but the way for defamatory sentences are only on social media handles. Occurs when a computer connected to the internet is used as a tool a medium to different person or an entity full stop for instance publishing of definite restatement on any social networking sites like Facebook, Instagram or Twitter. The most common thing in all that is spreading for information about a person which is not correct about him.

Although the median of committing this act in the digital and physical world are different but the law of defamation applies is the same. The liability regarding social defamation can be on:

1. On the real author who has published that

2. On the service provider foreign intermediary. According to section 79 of the information technology act 2000 it is clearly mentioned that no service provider can be held liable if he doesn't initiate or modify such defamatory content.

Statutory provisions governing cyber defamation in India are –

Indian penal code 1860

1. Section 500 of IPC: It says that if any person intend to ham persons reputation by defamation, he will be liable simple imprisonment up to 2 years or fine or both.

2. Section 469 of IPC : It says that whoever, forgery e intending that the document or electronic record which harm the reputation of a person was held lab to find and imprisonment for 3 years or may extend the same.

3. Section 503 of IPC: It define the offence of criminal intimidation by use of emails and other electronic means of communication for threatening any person or his property or reputation. He will be held liable for the same and be punished.

Information technology Act,2000

Section 66A : is that any person who send information from electronic means that is grossly offensive or else mincing character for any country information which he knows to be false but for the purpose of annoyance and danger to other people by any electronic mail message, the person is punishable for that message with government for a term which may extend to 3 years and with fine.


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