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NSW Friend's Accidental Defamation on a Product?

Discussion in 'Defamation Law Forum' started by Ned Slanders, 8 April 2016.

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  1. Ned Slanders

    Ned Slanders Member

    8 April 2016
    Likes Received:
    I'm trying to find some information on defamation for a friend who may have accidentally defamed a company on the internet. She's a bit of a worry-wart and so I want to try and set her mind at ease (of course, if she should indeed be worried and I need to tell her to put all her assets into a shell corporation, etc. then help/contacts in this regard would also be appreciated!).

    Essentially, she asked for help on an internet forum regarding a product she was subscribed to. She was having doubts whether it was worth continuing the subscription. The internet then took over and badmouthed the product into oblivion, so she cancelled her subscription (rendering her work to-date with the product useless - big sunk cost there).

    Also, the forum thread went a little viral. Now when you search for the company name, this thread comes up as one of the top results.

    Things get a little thorny from here.

    * The company is located in Country A
    * The forum is in Country B
    * When she posted, she was in Country C
    * Now she is in Australia.

    The company has not reached out to my friend. However, they have submitted a complaint to the forum owner in Country B. The forum owner has said she will fight the complaint, and has engaged a solicitor.

    The details of the complaint make it clear that their ultimate goal is to get the details of the original poster ie my friend. Blind Freddy can see that this is a cleanup mission, the likes of which are protected by anti-SLAPP legislation in the US.

    My friend said she should proactively delete the forum post but I told her that doing so would be an admission of guilt so don't do anything until you have legal advice.

    Other possibly relevant points:

    * The original post occurred several years ago. She has continued to participate on the forum in that thread and others.
    * She didn't have malicious intentions when she wrote the initial post, and I think any reasonable person would realise that. However, further down in the thread when she was helping other people with the same concerns, her language became a bit more colourful.

    Assuming they get the contact details for my friend eventually, any clues as to how you expect this will play out? Any tips? Should she proactively find the best Reputation Management solicitor in Australia and engage them? Contact EFF/EFA? etc
  2. Tim W

    Tim W Lawyer

    28 April 2014
    Likes Received:
    Quite honestly?
    Just stop. Do nothing.

    Do not make an orchestral symphony out of a few notes blown on a tin whistle.
    Cairnsdad likes this.

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