Healy O'Connor

Social Media and Defamation as Discussed with Victor Barry on RedFM

Just to recap on the content of the show on the 9th of January last. You would be foolhardy indeed to think that you can hide behind the cloak of anonymity that the internet seems to provide. There are ways of catching you! I referenced a case in England where a guy posted defamatory remarks about a competitor. His defence was that he had a party and that someone must have gained access to his computer, set up the Facebook page and posted the comments. The trial judge found this to be a ludicrous defence. I wonder why?!

Any of the large American corporations now setting up here, like Google and Facebook, are subject to Irish and European law. Our defamation law is quite different to the American “Freedom of Speech” approach which seems to grant more latitude to mischievous posters.

The best way to think about it is that the old line that divided the offline world to the online world is now more or less gone. So in future be extra careful before you start tapping out those remarks!

Shane Healy, Healy O’Connor Solicitors, Cork

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