To our knowledge, Florida appellate courts have considered the application of the single publication rule to the Internet on only one occasion, in Rudloe v. Karl, No. 1D03-4651 (Fla. Dist. Ct. App. Nov. 5, 2004). In that opinion, the District Court of Appeal for the First District wrote that the single publication rule applies to Internet content, and that the statute of limitations does not reset every time that a new user accesses allegedly defamatory material. However, after a rehearing, this opinion was withdrawn by the court and superseded by an opinion that did not address statute of limitations issues. Accordingly, while the original opinion might suggest the manner in which Florida courts would apply the single publication rule to online speech, the opinion itself has no precedential value and should not be cited in court. If you are aware of any additional Florida cases that address the single publication rule in the Internet context, please notify us.
Georgia Defamation Law
Note: This page covers information specific to Georgia. For general information concerning defamation, see the Defamation Law section of this guide.
Elements of Defamation
In Georgia, the elements of a defamation claim are:
a false statement about the plaintiff;
communication of the statement to a third party in the absence of a special privilege to do so;
fault of the defendant amounting at least to negligence; and
harm to the plaintiff, unless the statement amounts to per se defamation. See Smith v. Stewart, 660 S.E.2d 822, 828 (Ga. Ct. App. 2008).
These elements of a defamation claim in Georgia are similar to the elements listed in the general Defamation Law section, with the following exceptions:
Defamation Per Se