Litigation Team Success in High Court – Think before you Tweet

3rd Nov 2017

Our highly recognised Litigation Team has enjoyed more success for clients in the High Court following clients being the subject of defamatory tweets and facebook postings.

Litigation and Disputes

Defamatory Comments on Social Media

Social media is a great medium for people and society in general, but it is a uniquely effective breeding ground for potentially libelous statements. Postings are often made with little forethought or planning and in fits of anger and frustration – they can be deleted, but very often not before they have been seen and noted by a multitude of other users.

Countless people have learned to their dismay that the internet allows people to speak their mind far too easily – It is full of interesting places where someone could intentionally or accidentally leave potentially defamatory comments or posts.

Just a few of these locations are:

  • letters to the editor of local newspapers
  • public comments on media (i.e., newspaper or magazine) web sites
  • blogs and comments to blog postings
  • social media like Facebook, Linkedin, and Twitter
  • chat rooms or list servers.

While some web sites screen posts for inflammatory or illegal content, the screening systems are not geared to examine every post for defamatory content, and so many questionable postings end up online.

People may be of the opinion that any postings they make are simply their opinion, but they will probably be seen by many readers as statements of fact and so believed and passed on to others.

Injunction

Our Litigation Team immediately commenced High Court proceedings seeking an injunction, damages and costs against a former employee of our client who posted highly defamatory remarks that could be seen publically, on both Twitter and Facebook, about our client and one of their employees. The Court accepted that that the words used on the postings were likely to cause a serious financial loss to our client – the response to the Facebook posts by other users illustrated that statements had been taken at face value.

The Defendant has been ordered to permanently delete three defamatory tweets and nine defamatory Facebook posts. The Defendant must also refrain from publishing or causing to be published any other online posts of this nature about our client and their employee. Significant damages and costs were also awarded.

If you have been the subject of defamatory on line comments, there is a real need to act quickly – we can offer the support and guidance necessary in these stressful and upsetting circumstances. The Litigation team have the resource and experience required to secure urgent injunctions at short notice.

For those who wish to post something online that can be widely viewed, you need to give it some serious thought first. Once you have clicked “send,” you can’t take it back.

If you need advice or guidance on the matter please contact our litigation team on 01603 666001 or email ph@rogers-norton.co.uk.