Manleys Solicitors has highlighted the complex world of social media defamation by achieving a significant client victory this week. After allegations of libel and data protection breaches on one of the biggest social media platforms, the solicitors bagged an out-of-court settlement for its client.
The claimant had complained about a statement posted on the platform, but the platform operator failed to respond. Due to legal reasons, the parties cannot be named but the poster remained anonymous throughout the case.
Jessica Turner, a solicitor at Manleys said: “This matter has highlighted how operators of websites – including social media in England and Wales – are still liable for defamatory statements posted on their platforms by third parties, even when it is not possible for the complainant to identify the original poster of the content.”
Those filing defamation claims against website operators should ensure that their notice of complaint complies with the 2013 Defamation Act’s requirements.
Jessica added: “Defamation can be a complicated area of law, and it is understandable that the general public might not know about their right to complain about online content, how to complain, who to or even what their complaint must contain!”
“It’s no shock that some social media platforms do little to help their users report defamatory material, which if allowed to remain unchecked and online, can have a catastrophic impact on the reputations and lives of those affected.”
“When establishing a claim, it doesn’t matter whether a defendant has launched a deliberate attack on your reputation, is mocking you or has shared another defamatory post.”
“Even with Elon Musk’s $44 million Twitter takeover, stemming from an original plea to restore free speech, it’s unlikely that those libelled on some forms of social media will find it any easier to report defamation.”
A claim for online libel may be pursued if a social media post leads to serious reputational damage. Generally, the more followers the offender has, the greater the risk of reputational damage.
Defamation specialists Jessica and her colleagues at Manleys are poised for the next cases and can assist anyone who believes they have been defamed on social media.
For more information, contact Manleys email@example.com or 01244 230000