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NSW What can I Do About Defamation on Facebook?

Discussion in 'Defamation Law Forum' started by Dvsttd, 4 June 2016.

  1. Dvsttd

    Dvsttd Member

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    Hi

    I need some help to sort this out.

    I'm a sole trader, running under a business name in a trade related business to construction. have a van with my business name, web address and my phone number on it. I live in a town of 25K people, with the surroundings we say about 50K people.

    I got a phone call from a private number 2 days ago around 2 PM. The male voice said (not word for word but the meaning is clear):

    "You better know, you piece of S#$t, I put up your van's picture on Facebook because you were driving like a lunatic and you almost pushed me down from the road with my 2 years old in the car. That was your luck she was in the car, otherwise I would get you and break all your bones for it."

    I'm asked, "When was this? Because I'm not the only one who was driving my car (business partner, labourer driving it, too)."

    He told me the exact time and I told him, "well, I'm sorry that happened, whatever it was but I wasn't the driver of that car in that time" and if he does such things, put up a picture of my van with my business name. phone number, etc, on it, that can ruin my business in town. It's definitely not helping and I think he is overreacting the situation.

    He's answer was, "exactly, this is what I'm going to do. I will ruin your business and I will break your bones and the police has my dash-cam record and they will get you, too. "

    I'm not a big Facebook fan so I don't really know what people can do in this situation. I kind of felt hopeless and helpless. The driver of my car at that time is not a reckless driver at all.

    10 minutes later, I got a text message from one of my mate:

    " Hey, mate, just seen this on FB thought I better let you know" with a screenshot picture from his mobile.

    On the picture is my van with all my business details on it parking front of our work-site and a comment above it :

    " This bloke nearly ran myself and my daughter off the road doing about 80/90k's up xxxxxx road today. Number plate xyz-123."

    He had the name of a street where the speed limit is 50 km/h.

    I can see who this poster is. He posted on 3 different Facebook group pages, all the three is a local buy-sell-swap group, one of them with 17K members.

    I got several phone calls and text messages even from unknown people telling me my van is up on facebook and somebody "ratting" on me. I got a second screenshot too from an unknown person.

    5-6 hrs later, all the posts disappeared. I heard it had lots of comments stating he is doing the wrong thing without any proof and saying it's different to name somebody as a driver than name somebody's business.

    What can I do by defamation law? The damage is obvious. I really deserve some apology in public (on Facebook) as a compensation.

    The police hadn't contacted me so far, as I heard if they wanted, they could have called by now to call me into the police station. Is that how this works?

    Thanks for reading.
     
  2. Yevgeni

    Yevgeni Well-Known Member

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    Hey Mate,

    In my experience a strongly worded "cease and desist" letter is likely to do it make them stop. However, as to whether or not it is worth pursuing as a claim for damages is likely to depend whether or not the publisher of the defamatory material has any assets or money to satiny any verdict that you might obtain in the event your are successful.

    Have you interviewed your staff about the allegations made? What do they say?



    Cheers,
     
    Sophea likes this.
  3. Sophea

    Sophea Well-Known Member

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    I agree with Yevgeni, a strong letter most often achieves the desired effect, and it appears since he has removed all the posts - that he knows he is in the wrong and may be on the back foot. You would have to evaluate the cost v benefit ratio of proceeding further with a defamation claim however, unless you have knowledge of this man's financial position and capacity to pay a judgement debt.
     
  4. Dvsttd

    Dvsttd Member

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    Thanks for the replies.
     

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