Trolls are a nuisance and obviously unwanted…. You have probably upset them at some point but it should not manifest itself and result in false and consistent allegations being made on social media about your business or you personally. This is damaging and if left, could be costly. Stamp it out and do not let it get to you. There is always something that can be done as it could be harassment and defamation.
The Defamation Act 2013 (the ‘Act’) in particular section 1 of the Act sets out what is required for a statement to be considered as defamatory.
It provides that a statement is not defamatory unless its publication has caused or is likely to cause serious harm to the reputation of the person. Section 2 of the Act provides that it is a defence to an action for defamation for the defendant to show that the imputation conveyed by the statement complained of is substantially true.
There are more and more phone calls coming into the office from people who wish to know what can be done about a user who has uploaded a post which is untrue or an inflation of the truth which has resulted in their character being tarnished.
We can draft a letter outlining your position and how you have suffered damage as a consequence of the user’s actions and throw in some law to support this. We will then ensure that it is not left there and provide next steps which include paying legal bill, damages and an undertaking to make a public apology for what was said. If we do not get a positive outcome from you in the first instance and end up with some defence (which we will cover in a separate article) that is put forward after they have taken legal advice then we can reply to this defence and give a final warning to settle this before you start proceedings. It is then important to know how far you are prepared to go because it can get costly after this point and can be dragged out for months.
If you are the person that is frustrated with a business and wish to make your voice heard online, then be careful and take stock before you act. You may be slightly twisting the truth.
It is important to note, that defamation depends largely on the precise words used as to whether it is considered as defamatory. It does not matter where or how the words were used, they are considered as a society standard concept, at the time of publication and society in general, not a specific type of group of people.
If the problem persists then you could have cause to take action for Nuisance or harassment against the other party. It is quite common for trolls to have a grudge against your business or you personally and then make themselves a nuisance, make it their mission to harass you until you fold and offer something just to make them feel rewarded. This is not something to put up with and again there are things that can be done.
If you wish to discuss matters further whether you are on either side of the dispute then call us to talk it through. You may have received a scary letter from a solicitors firm which you need to respond to but need advice first so always take legal advice in these matters.