Defamation on Social Media in Ireland
If your character has unjustifiably been attacked on Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn, you have the right under the Defamation Act 2009 to claim for defamation on social media in Ireland, and take legal action to defend your reputation and to recover damages for any “adverse event” you have experienced.
Your right to take legal action is not limited to unjustifiable attacks on your character on Ireland´s three most popular networking sites. If you have been libelled on any social media site or forum, you are equally entitled to make claims for defamation on social media.
However, taking legal action against those who attacked your character is not straightforward. There are a number of conditions that have to be fulfilled before claiming compensation for defamation on social media in Ireland is worthwhile. This article explains some of those conditions and provides information about where you can obtain legal advice that is relevant to your individual circumstances.
Ahead of Making Claims for Defamation on Social Media
Ahead of making claims for defamation on social media in Ireland, there has to be physical evidence that your character was attacked. If you have only heard a friend or colleague that somebody posted, tweeted or published defamatory comments about you, and you have no evidence to support claims for defamation on social media, any legal action you initiate is unlikely to be successful.
Furthermore, in order to successfully make claims for defamation on social media, it has to be shown that you, your family or your business suffered an adverse event as the result of the defamatory comments. If, for example, a tweet attacking your character was deleted soon after being tweeted, and its exposure would have been minimal, there may not have been a sufficiently severe adverse event to warrant taking legal action.
Even if the two previous conditions are fulfilled, the party you are taking legal action against has to have the resources to pay any award of compensation made in your favour. If the party guilty of attacking your character on social media has insufficient funds to pay an award of compensation for defamation on social media, you may have your character restored, but potentially at the cost of significant court costs.
Awards of Compensation for Defamation on Social Media
Once all three conditions for making claims for defamation on social media are met, how much compensation you are entitled to will be negotiated by your solicitor, or decided by a jury if a court hearing is required. Awards of compensation for defamation on social media vary according to a number of components.
The nature of the attack on your character and the extent to which it caused you to suffer an adverse event will be the primary considerations taken into account. How long before the defamatory post, tweet or comment was removed will also influence how much compensation you are likely to receive.
If the attack on your character was made by a person or persons with a high standing in your personal environment or business community, you may also be awarded punitive damages. Awards of punitive damages are not calculated according to the considerations mentioned above, but are deterrents of a financial nature to dissuade the guilty party from unjustifiably attacking your character – or anybody else´s – in the future.
Speak with a Solicitor for Defamation on Social Media Advice
No two claims for defamation on social media are the same. The nature, the level of exposure and the consequences of the attack are likely to be different in every claim. Furthermore, you may be able to restore your character´s reputation by taking legal action, but it might not result in the recovery of compensation.
In order to successfully take legal action, a lot of pieces have to fall together; and, in order to receive professional legal advice about claiming compensation for an attack on your character, we invite you to contact us and discuss the nature of the attack and the consequences suffered by you, your family, or your business.
We will investigate how much exposure the defamatory posts, tweets or comments may have received and the financial status of the party who published them, before advising you whether you have a claim for compensation for defamation on social media that may be worth your while to pursue.