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WA What to Do About Harassment Through Social Media?

Discussion in 'Other/General Law Forum' started by Micko, 15 July 2016.

  1. Micko

    Micko Member

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    Our small rural town has been subject to harassment and bullying for a long time by two Facebook sites - pretty much the whole community knows who the author is - and it is the same person that authors both sites.

    We have all reported the posts but they still go on.

    These posts call for the public not to shop locally, accuse the shop keepers of over pricing, ridicule the registered community organisation, misrepresent the interests of the community and are generally contrary to the majority interests of the community. We have a catalogue of the posts but what do we do about it?
     
  2. Rod

    Rod Well-Known Member

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    It may be possible to sue the person for defamation or injurious falsehood. There are limits on who can sue so you'll probably need to see a lawyer to discuss the problem.
     
  3. @thelawbundle

    @thelawbundle Well-Known Member

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    Micko,

    Like Rod says, there is a difference between whether a person is being defamed and whether injurious falsehood is being committed against a business. Where a company is "for-profit" and has more than 10 employees then they may struggle to sue for defamation (for example). See this article for further info.

    It also gives you a good idea of what you could do in this circumstance (sending a concerns notice, wait for an offer to make amends etc.).

    On the expectation that your concerns notice will "fall on deaf ears" you will need to start thinking about whether Court action is possible.

    I imagine that this isn't something that you want to spend a lot of money on. In which case, your local Community Legal Centre (see here) may be able to help you prepare the necessary Court documents. Don't be afraid to be forward and ask your community legal centre to recommend your case for a referral to their pro-bono network of lawyers and barristers - if your case has merit, they may well do so.

    Best of luck.
     
  4. Micko

    Micko Member

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    Thanks gents for your posts.
     
  5. Kim Walters

    Kim Walters Well-Known Member

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    You may also consider engaging a lawyer to write a "Cease and Desist" or what is referred to as a "Concerns Notice" to the offender putting the person on notice of your rights with reference to or samples of the defamatory threads, the date they were made and where they were published. This letter would set out your legal rights, the remedies you have available to you and the "next steps" or amends that the offender needs to take to avoid legal proceedings. This is potentially a quick and cost effective way to stop the offending conduct.
     

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