Legal Question in Legal Ethics in Georgia

i make news videos on youtube, where i look for funny or disturbing news on different websites and basically blog about them, where i did a video back in Nov.2012 about a woman who was accused of sexually assaulted an elderly in a old folks home, its been almost a year since i made that video, well this morning i got a comment on the video that said this-

"quitamay2010 23 hours ago

I'm writing on your senseless, noninformed video to let you know that if you do not delete this video in three days, you will be listed as a defendant in a defamation case. I'm not playing games with you, or talking smack, this is the only official warning you will get. I have been found not guilty and acquitted by a judge and jury, so this bullshit video is a violation against me and the person that I am. If your fat ass did your research, you would know that the women's family lied. Idiot"

-i assumed it is a comment from the woman who was a accused, but there is no proof to know its her, so i wanted to know is anything in her comment true, can she sue or force me to take my video down with just that comment, can she pull me into a defamation case, even tho i can the news story from 2 other major online news sources, what should be my plan of action?

Asked on 9/14/13, 8:03 pm

1 Answer from Attorneys

The question is how confident are you that you are correct and do you have the money to spend on lawyers to defend you IF this woman is indeed depicted in the video and was falsely accused?

What purpose is this serving by posting possibly incorrect information?

There have been some court cases recently which have resulted in very high awards for plaintiffs who were defamed by tasteless videos of the sort you mention or by facebook posts. The defendants believed they could say or do what they wanted and refused to remove the information and ended up losing in court.

Defamation is making an untrue statement or depicting someone in a false light. Obviously accusing someone of having sex with an elderly patient of a nursing home is defamatory. However, the truth is a defense. So if I were you, I would check out the facts and see if the woman was indeed acquitted. If she was, then you would be well advised to take it down or run the risk of defending a defamation suit.

Litigation is very costly nowadays and this case is not going to be an exception. Unless you have the money to defend yourself I would take it down.

And I suggest that you maybe consider another line of work or hobby. Defaming others has no purpose. And even if the information is true, you are not a journalist and there are plenty of "news of the weird" sites run by others with the resources to sift through the facts to avoid situations like this.

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Answered on 9/17/13, 6:06 pm

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