There was that incident with Jack Monroe on Twitter, where she falsely alleged that the food writer had defaced a veterans’ monument.
Then there was that other unpleasant business of incorrectly accusing a Muslim family of being extremists…
Oh, and there was that suggestion that a teacher had brainwashed her pupils by taking them to a Trump protest.
The upshot of all this is that £300,000 has been spent in legal fees after being sued by Monroe.
Even the Daily Mail decided not to renew her contract and Radio station LBC also dropped her.
Why do we care?
We don’t do we?!
Few of us compare ourselves to ‘almost D-list female reality TV celebrity columnists’
However, it is an interesting reminder that social media exchanges are not conversations. Although they have a conversational tone if you put a foot wrong you are creating a libel not a slander. So think twice before mentioning a competitor on twitter!
What is the difference between a libel and a slander?
Defamation is a false statement that causes damage to a person’s character.
There are two types of defamation: libel and slander.
In a nutshell slander concerns all verbal defamations and libel is where defamation is written.
The easiest way of remembering the difference is slander is spoken and libel is literary.
So libel can include comments made in anything from national papers, to review sites to Facebook and… Twitter, of course.
A few points to be mindful of
Defamations could be found in a wide range of areas: a tattle-tail email about a client by a member of staff; a false claim affecting a competitor; a bit of office gossip that gets out of hand down the pub.
A decent professional indemnity policy will usually cover you if you inadvertently create defamation. Fairly generous really.
And one last insight…
The online antics provided by the ‘almost D-list female reality TV celebrity columnist’ shows the havoc that can happen on Twitter by fingers working independently from brain.
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