Defamation on Facebook in Ireland
If somebody has made untrue and derogatory remarks about you, your children or your business on Facebook, you have the right to defend your reputation under the Defamation Act 2009 by making compensation claims for defamation on Facebook.
However, before exercising that right, there are certain issues with regard to claiming compensation for defamation on Facebook that prevent many people from proceeding with legal action. This article explains what some of those issues are.
Before Making Claims for Defamation on Facebook
Before making claims for defamation on Facebook in Ireland, you need to have evidence that the untrue and derogatory remarks were published on Facebook. It is not sufficient to have heard third-hand that a third party wrote something uncomplimentary about you. Rather than assume that a screenshot is sufficient evidence of defamation, speak with a solicitor about what you require to support your claim.
It also has to be demonstrated that you suffered actual damage to your reputation due to the untrue and derogatory remarks. If somebody made a Facebook post or comment, and deleted it soon after, the exposure the remarks got might not be considered sufficient to support claims for defamation on Facebook.
Before entering into legal action to recover compensation, you also need to know that the guilty party has the means to pay if damages are awarded in your favour. If the guilty party is unable to pay a settlement of compensation for defamation on Facebook, you may have had your reputation restored, but you may also have a substantial legal bill.
How Much Compensation for Defamation on Facebook?
If you have suitable evidence of defamation, and the guilty party has the resources to pay damages if they are awarded to you, how much compensation for defamation on Facebook you will entitled to depends on a series of factors.
The nature of the derogatory remarks and the damage to your reputation they have caused will be the primary factors considered by a jury if your claim goes to court. The length of time that the remarks were on public display and the number of times the remarks were shared will also contribute to how much compensation for defamation on Facebook you are entitled to.
If the derogatory remarks were made by a person or persons with significant influence in the community, they may also be required to pay punitive damages. Punitive damages bear no relation to the damage your reputation has suffered, but is a financial punishment against the guilty party to make them think twice before posting untrue and derogatory remarks in the future.
Speak with a Solicitor for Defamation on Facebook Advice
Making claims for defamation on Facebook in Ireland can be a complex matter, requiring expert judgement and sensitivity. You should consider whether you want to claim compensation for the damage to your reputation or simply have the damage to your reputation undone.
For impartial and practical legal advice about making claims for defamation, it is your best interests to call us and discuss the nature of the untrue and derogatory remarks, and whose reputation was damaged – yours, one of your children´s, or your business.
We will consider the nature of the untrue and derogatory remarks, the exposure they may have had and the financial status of the guilty party before advising you whether or not you have a claim for compensation for defamation on Facebook that may be worth your while to pursue.