QLD Defamation in a Facebook Group - What to Do?

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2 May 2017
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Hey all,

I'm needing some help or if anyone knows some legal things please. I have been posting my opinion on another public group & I have unintentionally really pissed off a person in this group who is the father mentioned on the group.

There is lots of speculation and controversy surrounding the father and possible suspicions against him & I wasn't the only member who asked him questions & stayed calm and never personally attacked him but obviously he's taken the whole group as slander / defamation. And because I asked the most questions he has personally targeted me and gone back to a group he runs supporting himself with 13,000 followers etc and media attention on him.

He has stated my full name and the town I am from and stated that I am apart of a group sharing child pornography and slandering his name on this group and sharing the material. This is all untrue and I could prove there are zero pornography and no way would I be apart of or share child pornography. This is done to obviously destroy my reputation as my family & friends and work colleagues have all seen this post on Facebook.

Is there anything I could to have this removed without paying for a private solicitor, which I know I won't win the case as we've both perhaps slandered / defamed each other. I have removed all of my comments and publicly apologised to the man for any damage I may have caused to his character etc and I asked for him to do the same. His response has been basically a nasty comment and he will see him in court. Facebook won't remove his post despite it breaching their own community standards.

The police have taken my report but can't ask him to remove it as it's a civil matter. Legal aid won't assist me as it's defamation so have to get a private lawyer to get him to remove this false allegation when I have no money as a single mother who's working and just getting by from pay to pay & he has deep pockets & legal connections.

I've obviously learnt my lesson surrounding sharing an opinion on social media now and deeply regret what I've done but hindsight is a beautiful thing. Is there anything else I can try to get this removed off his Facebook page?
 

Rod

Lawyer
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27 May 2014
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Try writing to Facebook again, telling them the matter involves allegations of serious sex offences and that if they don't remove the posts they will joined in a lawsuit to have the posts removed and costs sought against both parties.

If that doesn't work your only other options are to find a lawyer or forget the matter. BTW, Facebook knows Aussie defamation laws are tougher than the US laws but they also know some people can't afford to start legal action.
 
2 May 2017
4
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Actually can I also ask about the letter that I could get drawn up by a lawyer asking for them to do something ie remove it? Does this generally work and the other party generally backs down or because he's got deep pockets and connections will more times than not take legal action?

The hard thing about is perhaps he could try claiming I slandered him first on the smaller group and counter sue? If that exists?

I believed at the time I commented on the truth was not a lie as my opinion was based on the evidence provided on the group of affidavits and reports by qualified professionals etc video evidence etc now this has happened I worry what if the evidence is not true and has been modified on the group although I honestly do not believe this to be true.

There's that small doubt in mind could it be? I've learnt a big lesson about social media. How can anyone really comment or share your opinion or point of view about things presented on Facebook for example a article saying x had done yz and I commented my opinion on that origin article not knowing if it's 100% the truth. Unsure if that makes sense.

Every day I guess we risk being sued for defamation just by typing say this celebrity is xy and it could be untrue
 

Rod

Lawyer
LawTap Verified
27 May 2014
7,225
972
2,894
and counter sue? If that exists?.

Yes he can make a counter claim. Each are independent of the other, but heard at the same time.

While honest opinion is OK, it needs to be based on good reliable material and this is where you might have an issue. I have no idea of the validity of the information and you are unsure.

Some people are finding out the hard way that the internet does not give them open slather to attack and defame other people. Same can also apply to SMS and voice mails, it's not just main social media sites like Facebook.

re: Commenting on celebrities. They each have a different threshold before considering action and the laws of defamation in each country are different. Some sue, some don't.