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Defamation on Social Media

As beneficial as social media is to individuals and to businesses worldwide, there are also repercussions of naively expecting there to be no consequences of mistreating other users and disrespecting people on the social platforms.

Defamation is a serious legal case and often takes place in forms of media such as newspapers, television programmes, magazines, radios shows and so on. So why shouldn’t it be the same on social media? Why can’t people be blamed for making incorrect allegations against someone on Twitter or Facebook? Surprise surprise... they can!

Social media gives everybody the chance to become a “publisher” and in cases of defamation where it can be damaging to question someone with false accusations, anyone can become liable depending on what they choose to say, or “publish” on their accounts.

There are possibly hundreds, even thousands of cases on social media, some that you can possibly even think of right now that have falsely claimed something about someone else in a negative aspect. The truth is however that only until recently have courts and authorities begun picking up on social accounts and the issues they face.

Social media is an established part of day-to-day living and it was inevitable that it would be used in negative ways by some, solely due to the nature of some people. A Facebook post or a tweet is an easy way to let off steam and take your anger out on someone, and it’s a heck of a lot easier than telling someone to their face what you think about them.

When this happens, people put themselves at risk of being found out and in some serious trouble. Turns out it’s probably less hassle to actually say something to someone’s face. The social impact on the legal system is only going to increase in the near future. Social platforms affect all areas of the legal practise – being the cause of legal claims but also being able to be used as evidence in disputes.

Reputation for a business is something that can easily be gained or thrown away in an instant. That’s no truer than when using social media. By communicating a brand message via social, there is a huge responsibility to know the dos and don’ts on social. Social shouldn’t be something to be feared, but like any other form of media, if you’re going to use it and advertise a message/brand, you’ve got to know what you can and can’t do.

Dan Barr

I'm a Social Media Executive (Global Community Manager). Previous work includes writing for Social Media Frontiers and working for a major DIY retail company as part of their social media strategy team I have an MA in Sports Journalism and especially love the combination of social media and sport.

Contact us on Twitter, on Facebook, or leave your comments below. To find out about social media training or management why not take a look at our website for more info http://socialmediacambridge.co.uk/.
Defamation on Social Media Reviewed by Alex Carson on Thursday, March 20, 2014 Rating: 5
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