FAMU Law Blog

Law Review Online Article

Redefining Defamation Law’s Stagnant Community Standard In A Rapidly Changing World

Written By: Daniel Lewis


Defamatory statements cause reputational harm to an individual in the eyes of their individual community. During the adjudicative process, courts must muddle through the complex interaction between defamation, reputation, and community values which comprise defamation claims. This process begins with assessing the plaintiff’s community and communal norms. As global modes of communication evolve rapidly, how communities and sub-communities are defined evolves equally quickly. This problem is exacerbated by the modernization of social trends and changing standards of what constitutes appropriate conduct. The current legal regime’s structure by which the court identifies a plaintiff’s community is in need of reform.  

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