Fake news played a bigger role in this past presidential election than ever seen before. And sometimes it has had serious repercussions for real people and businesses.
That’s what happened to a pizzeria in Washington, D.C., recently, when an armed man claiming to be “self-investigating” a fake news story entered the restaurant and fired off several rounds.
But once a fake news story is out there, and the harm has been done, what can a person do about it?
Derigan Silver, a professor of media, First Amendment and Internet law at the University of Denver, tells NPR’s Audie Cornish that victims of fake news stories have legal recourse under defamation law.
“Fake news sites are clearly a situation where they’re engaging in a defamatory statement, a false statement about another that damages that person’s reputation,” Silver says. “In that situation, that is certainly actionable.”
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