It is true that in the modern era defamatory material may be communicated broadly and rapidly via other media as well. The international distribution of newspapers, syndicated wire services, facsimile transmissions, radio and satellite television broadcasting are but some examples. Nevertheless, Internet defamation is distinguished from its less pervasive cousins, in terms of its potential to damage the reputation of individuals and corporations, by the features described above, especially its interactive nature, its potential for being taken at face value, and its absolute and immediate worldwide ubiquity and accessibility. The mode and extent of publication is therefore a particularly significant consideration in assessing damages in Internet defamation cases.

This article originally appeared in the materials for CLE British Columbia, Electronic Evidence and eDiscovery CLE: Electronic Evidence and eDiscovery, and Investigations and Computer Forensics, Vancouver (April 27, 2006), and is republished with acknowledgements and thanks.

type No Hiding in Cyberspace: Electronic Discovery from Non Parties