Manleys achieves major result against social media giant
The claimant had complained to the platform operator about a statement posted on it, but it failed to respond. Due to legal reasons, the parties cannot be named but the poster remained unidentifiable throughout the case.
Jessica Turner, 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.”
The matter also highlighted that those bringing defamation claims against operators of websites, should ensure that their notice of complaint strictly complies with the requirements set out within the Defamation Act 2013.
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.”
If a social media post is read and serious reputational damage has been suffered, then someone could pursue a claim for online libel. Generally, the more followers the offender has, the greater the likelihood of reputational damage.
Defamation specialists Jessica and her team at Manleys are poised for the next cases and can assist anyone who believes they have been defamed on any of the social media platforms.
For more information, contact Manleys [email protected] or 01244 230000