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Fake News?

Rosie Frank, a student in Jon Pfeiffer’s Fall 2016 Mass Communication Law class at Pepperdine University, wrote the following essay in response to the prompt: What is fake news? How have you experienced it? Should it be stopped? Can it be stopped?

Does fake news really exist?! Now, more so than ever, fake news does in fact exist in our day and age. Fake news can be characterized as deliberately publishing information in the form of news, propaganda, and so forth to mislead its audience, gain profit, and/or social media…

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  • Pepperdine Student Comments
  • Jan 31, 2017

Reading, Writing, Speaking… Published?

In order for a statement to be defamatory, it must be published.  This means that the statement must be seen or read, as well as understood by a third party.  So, your little brother finding your diary where you “defamed” him won’t count, nor will sending a defamatory letter to someone who can’t read your sloppy handwriting.

In the 1964 case filed by Curtis “Curly” Hunter against Harry Hornby of the Uvalde Leader-News, the Texas Court of Civil Appeals upheld the district court’s verdict, ruling that a newspaper is…

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  • Defamation
  • Jan 24, 2017

How Much Truth Is Enough?

No one likes to be the subject of gossip. However, a plaintiff has no redress under the law regarding true rumors because a statement’s truth is an absolute defense against defamation claims. To be defamatory, the statement must be false. But when it comes to defamation law, truth can be relative. U.S. courts are constantly striving to strike the perfect balance between the intent, meaning, and effect of the statement while also considering any spoken or published inaccuracies.

In a 1989 defamation case filed by terminated firefighter Anthony Jones…

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  • Defamation
  • Jan 18, 2017

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