Watch out…. What you put on social media may have consequences

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.

Rule number one is not to react on a public forum. You may walk into a trap and end up being liable in some way yourself. If you know the identity of a person then the first step is to contact the social media platform and file a takedown request. The platform will look into what has been reported and why and then make a decision. If the content is deemed defamatory or obscene, it will be removed and the user who uploaded it will be sent a warning which outlines its reasoning for the removal.

Now the first step is complete, many users think that is the end of it and they can go about their day. The issue is that the damage has already been done and the world (in the eyes of the injured party) has seen the content and made assumptions/opinions about their character. So, the next step is to seek advice from us, and we will then consider the content and the damage caused and advise on your position with taking further action.

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.

For further information please contact us and remember not to react, other than contacting the social media platform to request that they remove the content from public viewing.

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