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Online defamation has become a serious problem in the current scenario. As with digital platforms like Facebook, YouTube, Twitter,etc. in various ways defamation can happen like memes, videos, blogs, media etc.Since many YouTube users roast many celebrities or an ordinary person it may also lead to crime. So in this particular article we will study the effect of defamation on digital platforms.

What is Defamation:-

Defamation may be understood as the wrongful and intentional publication of something either within the written or oral form to a few persons to harm his reputation within the society. Anything to be considered as defamatory, the subsequent essential elements must be fulfilled.

• There must be the publication of the defamatory statement, which implies coming to the knowledge of a 3rd party.

• The statement must refer only to the plaintiff.

• The statement must be defamatory in nature.

Online Defamation-:

The defamation created through audio, video,or transcription within the digital space would amount to the defamation in the digital world. Such imputation must be caused using communication device as provided in section 2 (1)(h)(a) of the knowledge Information Technology Act, 2000 which incorporates ‘any cell phones, personal digital assistance or combination of both or the other device wont to communicate, send or transmit any text, video, audio or image.

For Example:

As we all have seen the video of YoutubevsTiktok in various platforms which is quite a trending topic present. As the one Youtuber who makes a roast video of a tiktoker has defamed that particular person indirect as well as indirect form which we may also call as innuendo.

Defamation as Offence-:

Online Defamation has been made as criminal & cognizable offense in section 66A of data Technology Act, 2000 which has now been declared as unconstitutional by the Supreme Court within the matter of Shreya Singhal v Union of India (on 24 March 2015, WRIT PETITION (CRIMINAL) NO.167 OF 2012) wherein the Supreme Court observed that for something to be defamatory, injury to reputation may be a basic ingredient.  Section 66A doesn't concern itself with injury to Reputation.

The remedies are available for the prosecution of the publisher of such defamatory material under section 499/500 of Indian legal code as a criminal offense and also the damages for defamation may be claimed under by filing suit for damages.

The defamation has been defined under section 499 of the IPC  which provides as follows:

Whoever, by words either spoken or intended to be read, or by signs or by visual figures makes the statement or publish it by knowing this that particular statement can harm his or her reputation is purported to defame that person.

The defamation which is into the net medium falls into the category of libel because the electronic records are designated as documents whether it should be a transcription, audio, or video files. it had been specifically observed by the Delhi tribunal within the matter of Dharambir Vs Central Bureau of Investigation (on 11 March 2008,148 (2008) DLT 289) that ‘Given the wide definition of the words documents and evidence within the amended section 3 of evidence act read section 2 (o) & (t) IT Act, there may be little question that an electronic record may be a document’ and also the same has been observed within the recent judgment by Supreme Court within the matter of P.GopalkrishnanDileep V State of Kerala &Ors. (9 March, 2020, Crl.M.C. No. 758 of 2020).

Defamation & Constitution-:

According to the provisions of the Indian Constitution every person has a right to speak and can express their views that have been guaranteed in Article 19(1)(a) but such freedom is subject to reasonable restrictions. As under Article 19(2) there are some restrictions due to which the protection of thereputation of another person has been given.

Pre-requisite of Defamation-:

To constitute the defamation, it's necessary that there must be a defamatory statement which must be understood by the correct thinking or reasonable minded person as bearing on the person defamed. One of the mandatory requirements is that the defamatory statement must be published and communicated to some persons other than the person defamed. Thus, if the communication of the defamatory statement is direct SMS, E-mail, Whatsapp message etc., it might not amount to defamation within the meaning of section 499 of the IPC. It'll cover the situations where the communication of the defamatory statements has been made to the person i.e. Instagram Group, Internet portal, Blog, etc. where it may be seen by the persons aside from the person defamed.

Difficulty in Cyber Defamation-:

Our tremendously increasing dependencies on the web for the utilization of social networking sites have created several legal issues within the country. Within the context of defamation, the most important issue will be working out the one who has intended to harm our reputation or the third party who has read the defamatory statement on when it involves websites like blogs or other media sites including newspapers or magazines. This can be because bloggers could also be transparent or may like better to keep their names or identities nameless to shield themselves. Thus this could be very hard to see the one who has published the statement if it appears on someone’s blog. It gets even tougher to see the readers who leave comments on blogs or online news articles as most sites don't require people to use their real names. Whether or not they are doing, people could give false information. Thus it becomes difficult to trace these people. Once a defamatory statement is published on sites like Facebook, Instagram it quickly gets circulated and also read by an oversized number of individuals causing damage to an individual against whom the statement is created.


The intense volume of knowledge and a simple way of transferring it on the net makes it a critical source of defamation. After researching on the aforesaid topic, it will be said that the current scenario of India regarding laws don't have an adequate approach towards cases of cyber defamation. Also, defamation laws should be sufficiently flexible to be applied to any or all media because there is a great need for strict laws in this 21st century.

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