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It has been said that almost every concept and rule in the field of defamation law has to be reconsidered in light of the Internet. The Law Commission of Ontario’s “Defamation Law and the Internet: Where Do We Go From Here?” conference, held on May 3, 2018, considered whether or how defamation law should be reformed in light of fast-moving and far-reaching developments in law, technology and social values. Topics discussed included defamation, online speech and reputation, the relationship between freedom of expression and privacy, whether or how internet intermediaries (such as Facebook or Google) should be responsible for online defamation, internet “content moderation”, dispute resolution, and access to justice. The conference was incredibly successful, with over 140 participants in person and on the live webcast, contributing to the discussion. We invite you to continue the dialogue on the issues raised at the conference.
With the assistance of a SSHRC Connections Grant, the LCO funded two students from each of Ontario’s law schools to attend the conference. And we put them to work. Several students took notes of the panel presentations and participated in the audience discussion. A few live-tweeted the event. And five students volunteered to contribute a blog about each panel. These blogs are reproduced here with their permission. Thanks to all of the students for their participation and their insights.
IP Osgoode’s blog, the IPilogue, has published a series of blog posts discussing the LCO’s May 3, 2018 defamation conference. You can read the blogs here:
- Panel 1: Rethinking Defamation Law: The Setting for Reform
- Panel 2: The Harms and Values Underlying Defamation Law in the Internet Age
- Luncheon Debate on Frontline Issues
- Panel 3: Responsibility for Defamation and the Problem of Intermediaries
- Panel 4: Resolving Online Defamation in the Internet Age
Conference Program Speaker Bios Download the archived stream of the conference here This conference was supported by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada.