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WA Defamation Through Social Media - What to Do?

Discussion in 'Defamation Law Forum' started by Feelingsad, 23 December 2015.

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  1. Feelingsad

    Feelingsad Member

    23 December 2015
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    In January of this year, I had a falling out with a friend. He sought a misconduct restraining on myself and lost the case. I have some belongings at his house that I would like back, so I asked my local legal aid what to do and was told as there is no current order, I could email and ask for my things to be returned.

    I did this, the person then posted a copy of the email I sent onto social media, made some humiliating comments and revealed very personal information about myself. Other people commented on this post and they were not very nice. I would like to know what I can do to have this defamation stopped.
  2. Sophea

    Sophea Well-Known Member

    16 April 2014
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    Hi Feelingsad,

    Whether or not what you are experiencing amounts to defamation will depend on whether you can prove 3 things:

    1. Publication – That someone else (a natural person, company or incorporated association) communicated information to another person or other people (other than yourself);
    2. Identification – The information identifies you or makes it clear to others that the communication is about you; and
    3. Defamatory Content – The information is defamatory.
    There has more than likely been a publication and identification of you as the brunt of the negative comments, however, you will also need to establish that the comments are defamatory. Defamation requires that the comments damage your reputation, expose you to ill feeling or ridicule or cause others to avoid you or think less of you. The court will ultimately decide whether or not the information in question was defamatory in the eyes of an ordinary person. The court will take into account the ‘natural and ordinary meaning’ of the words used, associated innuendo or the implied meaning of what was said.

    There are also defences to defamation which the publishers of the comments may be able to rely upon.

    If you feel you have been defamed, you can send a letter to the offenders requesting a public retraction and apology for the things that were said. If they refuse you can threaten legal action and depending on whether or not you can make out a case (you will have to speak with a solicitor) sue them.

    Check out these articles: Have You Been Defamed? What You Need to Know About Defamation Law in Australia - Legal Blog -
    Defamation - What Is a Concerns Notice? - Legal Blog -
    Defences to Defamation in Australia - Legal Blog -

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