What We Do

Social Media

A “quick” post or tweet can ruin a life, lives or reputations in seconds

Anyone with a social media account has the potential to publish material – words, images, video – that can be defamatory, harmful to the victim’s reputation and livelihood.

Whether you are fighting for your own individual reputation, or representing an organisation and its corporate image, you need swift, decisive action to regain control and restore perceptions.

Whether you are dealing with forum posts about your business, comments on your official Facebook page or “protest” websites dedicated to making false claims about your business, timing is crucial. You need to act quickly before harmful publications gain traction and start to become more widespread.

Where material has already made it into the public domain, we can advise on remedies to compensate for harm suffered by victims.

We advise clients on both the merits of claims and defending actions including managing reputation, take-down and containment.

We increasingly act for people affected by comments made on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn or other social media websites.

A libel award of £400,000 was recently ordered following a tweet of only 140 characters. Libel online is becoming a real issue for many. Please contact us if you have issues relating to social media content.

Our clients range from large organisations, such as media companies, websites and businesses, to private individuals, including celebrities, MPs, sport stars, teachers, officials and members of unions and associations.

Recent Social Media Law Experience:

  • Healthcare provider - Successful removal of defamatory material online posted by former patient and handling associated harassment issues
  • Removal of social media posts - Made by former employee, extreme nature of content with potential to incite violence
  • Image licensing online - Advising celebrities and photo agents on ownership and licensing issues relating to use of images on social media
  • Social media training - Delivery of social media training to employees

Your Questions Answered:

What material is covered by the Defamation Act?

Any material published in the UK – including online content on social media – is subject to defamation, privacy and contempt laws.

What do I do if someone has written something defamatory about me on social media?    

The starting point is to remove the original content with a legal letter to the author of the offending material stating your position.

You may also approach the website owner, if not the same as the author, as both can be held liable for defamation in certain circumstances.

You will also want to seek removal of the relevant search result from Google or other search engines.

Read our full article on social media defamation.

I am being sued for online defamation, what do I do?

You are accountable for publishing content whether you are the original author or a ‘secondary’ publisher – eg. retweet, sharing a link to the defamatory material.

Removing the content is the first step. Delays or even editing can impact your liability.

For all enquiries, please call 01244 230000 and a member of our team will be happy to help. Alternatively, you can fill out a quick form on our contact page.

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