Defamation and the Keyboard Warrior

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We’ve all come across them: The keyboard warriors who simply must tell the world what they really think about a product, business or person, by posting a statement on one (or more) of the many social media platforms.

It happens everyday and often without any real consequence. However, problems can arise in circumstances where people get ‘carried away’ and post statements that could be deemed defamatory in nature.

Posts that could be deemed defamatory include, but are not limited to, allegations:

  • of a criminal nature;
  • of fraud or dishonesty;
  • of a sexual nature;
  • of a persons moral or ethical standing;
  • that a person has been infected or carries some form of disease etc

A person (or in some circumstances a company) who has been defamed may sue the publisher of a social media post.

A successful plaintiff may be awarded:

  1. Damages for economic loss;
  2. Damages for non-economic loss up to $250,000 (or more in special circumstances); and
  3. Costs.

The Court may also make an order for injunctive relief.

Whether it is a one-off twitter rant, a business review or a Facebook joke between friends, social media users are warned that their online actions could have very serious and expensive consequences.

For more information on your rights, contact us on (07) 3161 2847 or info@ardorlegal.com.au

 


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