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Australian man is ordered to pay $105,000.00 following the publication of online defamation on Twitter and Facebook.

The recent case featured in the Evening Standard, of Pinder Reaux client Joanne Walder and her quest to recover her reputation following a libellous slur by Sharon Smith on Facebook indicates that posting unlawful material on Facebook, even on a private Wall on a closed profile can still be disastrous legally. 

Breaking News: Pinder Reaux Secure Successful Result For Facebook Defamation Victim

Social Media is in the news yet again and this time, it is the turn of Facebook.  Lucky for them however, they are not the ones actually under the spotlight.

The High Court’s ruling in the case of Welsh Conservative PM Mohammed Asghar shows that even foreign newspapers, printing in a different language, cannot escape English libel laws, and the strength of the Court where libel defamation is concerned.

Four years ago, the seriousness of cyber bullying was unknown to me.  I was a litigation and divorce lawyer.  I was then instructed by the victim of the most heinous of cyber bullying that I had seen and my eyes were opened to the real suffering which so many are quick to dismiss, just because the offence takes place online.

In this day and age blogging platforms are the norm if you want to get your opinion ‘out there’ – be it on travel, football, big business or your friends. These platforms are part and parcel of the ways in which we communicate  – and there can be no argument that they fulfil their roles, and allow us to communicate in the modern era. However, their inclusion into our modern life has seen a more sinister side revealed – endless possibilities to defame a business, a boss, a colleague or even a person who once felt they were your friend.

We have purposely kept out the most profane part of the tweet from the title – such is the shocking nature of it. 

Part 2 in our series on the Defamation Act 2013, focuses on the serious harm test – which will be particularly prevalent for big businesses who become the subject of libellous slurs – the key here is that the Court will no longer entertain frivolous cases – however, whether this will have any practical effect is yet to be seen – as the whole purpose behind a claim in libel is that the Claimant feels that they have been wronged.

French premier Francois Hollande has been making waves in the French tabloids recently, not for his policies, but for his alleged affair with actress Julia Gayet. The magazine Closer, owned by Silvio Berlusconi, owner of Mondadori, which, if you remember published the  photos of a topless  Kate Middleton, claimed to have caught a midnight dalliance that involved Mr Hollande and Ms. Gayet arriving at an apartment in Paris and not leaving until the morning. The photos were given pride of place in a 7 page spread in the magazine. The report went viral within seconds.

Leafing through my copy of the Sunday Times yesterday morning, I noticed an interesting article from Richard Bevan, the Head of the League Managers Association, discussing how managers have requested the Football Association to step in and assist the epidemic of sackings, by placing sanctions on clubs who undertake a summary dismissal of technical staff – i.e. a yellow card system that is aggravated should this behaviour continue, which in turn could lead to directors of offending clubs being banned from holding directorships.

The on-going issue of privacy online and whether there really is such a concept as ‘privacy’ online has yet again come to the fore in the latest action against Facebook.


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