In today’s interconnected digital society, high profile examples of online abuses abound. Cyberbullies launch attacks on the less powerful, often significantly damaging victims’ reputations. Outside of reputational damage, online harassment, bullying and stalking has led to severe emotional distress, loss of employment, physical assault and even death. Recent scholarship has identified this phenomenon but has done little more than note that current laws are ineffective in combating abusive online behaviors. This article moves the debate forward both by suggesting specific reforms to criminal and tort laws and, more importantly, by situating those reforms within a new multi-modal framework for combating online abuses and protecting victims’ online reputations. This new approach advocates a combination of enhanced public education initiatives, enhanced access to effective reputation defense services, the development of more pro-bono reputation defense services, reporting hotlines, appropriate social norms, and industry self-regulation strategies. The aim of the multi-modal framework is to use the law and other methodologies to facilitate the development of a more civil and accountable global online society.
Lipton, Jacqueline D., "Repairing Online Reputation: A New Multi-Modal Regulatory Approach" (2014). Akron Law Faculty Publications. 145.