The impact of reputation management on the law of defamation

I am just reading a post on Lawgarithims about the impact of reputation online on the alw of defamation, privacy and related issues. A couple questions come to mind as I read the post. One question is whether a reputation management firm may find itself cited as a defendant where its report on a party’s apparent reputation online has a negative impact on that party’s perception and this leads to a drop in revenue?

The post also looks at a party’s right to manage its/his/her own reputation in some way and further at a reputation as being a party’s property:

The Attention Trust says that attention is property, that you own it and can store it where you wish, and that such ownership and the right of control go hand in hand. Michael suggests the same is true of reputation. It’s more difficult for me to get my arms around what the sum total of one’s reputation might be, and whatever it is, whether it matters that it’s a joint and not a solo creation (e.g., Tom Williams‘ act of Facebook-friending Michael and vice versa). However, these seem like mere speed bumps to recognizing rights of ownership and control comparable to those posited for attention.

This is a really interesting concept and I am still trying to wrap my mind around the possible issues that this idea of reputation as property may give rise to …

Published by Paul Jacobson

Enthusiast, writer, Happiness Engineer at @automattic. I take photos too. Passionate about my wife, Gina and #proudDad.

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