Defamation, Group Defamation, Small Group Defamation, Rolling Stone, Elias, Intensity of Suspicion Test, Group Size, Slander, Libel, Erdely, Liability, First Amendment, Freedom of Speech, New York Times, Sullivan, Power, Restatement, Fraternity, Lie, False, Phi Kappa Psi, University of Virginia, UVA, Rape, Sexual Assault, Gang Rape, Balancing Test, tort, plaintiff, cause of action, Brady, Fawcett, Jackie, Gertz, Curtis, Rosenbloom, Rosenblatt


In the fall of 2014, Rolling Stone Magazine published an article describing the rape of a woman at a University of Virginia fraternity house. The story turned out to be false, and members of the fraternity sued for defamation. The suit raises an interesting question: under what circumstances may anonymous individual members of the fraternity recover? This Note describes the case, related common and constitutional law, as well as differences in group defamation doctrine across jurisdictions. After detailing problems with the existing paradigm, the Note proposes a new method for performing the analysis.