What is defamation?
Generally speaking, defamation is the issuance of a false statement about another person, which causes that person to suffer harm. Slander involves the making of defamatory statements by a transitory (non-fixed) representation, usually an oral (spoken) representation. Libel involves the making of defamatory statements in a printed or fixed medium, such as a magazine, newspaper or website. In simple terms, slander is defamation by speaking, and libel is defamation by means of writing. Libel is the common type of defamation that we as a service provider must deal with.
Libelous Online Content A person who publishes a defamatory statement may be liable for doing so. However, "47 U.S.C. sec. 230" states that online service providers are not publishers of content posted on their users' websites. Section 230 gives ISPs the discretion to allow customers to practice free speech or have them remove content, whichever they prefer, in response to claims by others that content is defamatory or libelous.
The Internet is a public media, therefore we believe that serious defamation issues should be resolved by public officials. We will not request that a customer should remove or edit any website content until we receive a copy of a court order declaring the statements defamatory. This immunity does not extend to claims made under intellectual property laws, please see our DMCA section for copyright infringement cases.