11. Technology and the Law
Tort law exists in Canada whether it is on-line or off-line. The same rules apply, which may be surprising to some people, especially when it comes to defamation. A feeling of anonymity may encourage unfettered expression on online sites, but uninhibited posts can create potential actions. In organizational settings the actions of employees can also become problematic as the employer may become liable for certain types of employee actions. Defamation is a particular challenge because it can go viral quickly having a greater impact to the business than the person posting the content may have anticipated.
The Ontario Superior Court of Justice has recognized a new tort for online defamation and harassment issuing from the case Caplan v. Atas, 2021: https://www.canlii.org/en/on/onsc/doc/2021/2021onsc670/2021onsc670.html . The Court noted that existing laws are not sufficient in dealing with internet-based campaigns of defamation and harassment and effective methods of dealing with these kinds of cases are needed.