Syracuse University College of Law now offers the nation’s first joint J.D./LL.M. degree in advocacy and litigation. The joint degree allows College of Law students to earn a J.D. and LL.M. at the same time, graduating with both degrees in…
‘Is Election Disinformation Free Speech or Defamation? Courts Will Decide’
Roy Gutterman, associate professor of magazine, news and digital journalism and director of the Tully Center for Free Speech in the Newhouse School, wrote an op-ed for Syracuse.com titled “Is election disinformation free speech or defamation? Courts will decide.”
Gutterman, an expert on communications and First Amendment law, says that while the 2020 election results have been solidified for months, controversy regarding the election remains in the form of a series of defamation lawsuits. Gutterman explains that two voting machine companies, Dominion and Smartmatic, have filed defamation cases against organizations such as Fox News, which falsely claimed that the companies rigged the 2020 presidential election.
In the piece Gutterman explains defamation and its history, outlining how the civil action of defamation allows plaintiffs to receive compensation for false statements that damaged their status. He says that the legal process will be essential in determining the validity of these defamation claims and whether the statements truly harmed the companies’ respective reputations.
Ultimately, Gutterman opines that the case could go either way, as there is a complicated relationship between defamation, free speech and false information. “The truth can sometimes be elusive, and the Supreme Court has ruled that even some false information has value in fueling speech and debate,” Gutterman writes.
To read his essay in its entirety, visit syracuse.com.
Syracuse University media relations team members work regularly with the campus community to secure placements of op-eds. Anyone interested in writing an op-ed should first review the University’s op-ed guidelines and email firstname.lastname@example.org.