Defamation & Social Media: Do You Have A Case?

Posted on: 30 October 2015

Personal injury cases often involve a lot more than just physical harm. Emotional damages can become a large part of a personal injury case. These types of damages are known as defamation. When you use social media for your business, you are opening up public access and opinions from all types of people. When the interaction is pushed too far, you may have a defamation case on your hands. Understanding the possibility for a case can help you decide whether to move forward and get legal help.

Personal & Business Pages

When you are being harassed, someone might take things too hard by attacking your personal social media page. There is a huge difference between a bad review on your business page and getting multiple posts on a personal page. These pages are separate for a reason, and a lawyer can use them as evidence for a defamation case.

When someone is harassing you on a personal page, you may feel threatened or emotionally attacked. The damages caused by this can lead to the need for professional help and a loss of business. When this occurs, it's ideal to consult with a lawyer about a possible injury case.

Proof of Posts

Providing proof of defamation is one of the most important parts of a personal injury case. Just as quickly as someone posts on your page, the messages can be deleted. This is why it's important to screenshot any harassing posts as you receive them. The screenshot can provide the full details of a post and the time stamps. This evidence can go a long way in showing your case. Multiple messages can showcase the frequency of harassment and the extent of it all.

Along with having digital screenshots, you should print out hard copies. This will give you extra evidence in case your data or files are lost. The hard copies are also ideal for filing evidence with your lawyer.

Harassment & Engaging Arguments

A big part of your possible social media defamation case is your interaction with the harassment. A harassment claim can easily turn into a "he said" and "she said" argument if you have engaged with the other person. Instead of arguing back with someone, you should not get involved with the conversation. This could lead to a dismissed case. If anything, follow the advice of the lawyer or politely communicate with your dislike of the harassing posts.

Depending on the social media company you use, you can use a report feature to document your evidence of harassment. This keeps you from engaging with the person while still trying to end the harassment before it is taken too far.

Length of the Time

The duration of harassment on social media can make a huge difference on your case. In many cases one or two negative comments will not likely go far in the court system. If the harassment occurs over an extended period of time, then you will likely have a much stronger case. It's also important to look over different forms of social media. For example, you may be getting harassed on both Facebook and Twitter. If this is the case, then this is a targeted harassment that may not need to go over a certain length of time to have a case. This is why it's important to gather all the evidence you can and present it to a legal team.

Business Damages

To help prove your case, one aspect to consider is the actual damage it has done to your business and income. A defamation case is based upon lies that people tell. For example, if you own a plumbing company and a person claims that you stole items from their home, other people may not hire you because of this claim. The lies and social media reviews can have a huge impact on your business financially, and a lawyer can help calculate how much damage has actually occurred.

Sometimes the harassment may lead to personal struggles. For example, it can mentally impact you so you are not working at your full potential or even at all. If this is the case, a lawyer can also calculate the loss of income and extra costs that have occurred because of the defamation.

Booking a consultation over the phone or in person is typically free for many lawyers. It can help you determine your possible personal injury case and how social media is directly involved. For more information, contact a business such as Whiting, Hagg, Hagg, Dorsey & Hagg.