Facebook defamation case awards significant damages

My partner David A. Crerar published a short piece on the recent case of Pritchard v. Van Nes. He explains how Facebook users who angrily vent to online friends may think that they live in a magic bubble free of liability for defamation but that intsead, given the ease and encouragement of sharing on Facebook and other social media, the risk of harm, and subsequent substantial legal damages, may be greater than with defamatory statements in more conventional forms. Further, defamation-spewing Facebook users may well wear liability for the comments made by others on their own Facebook pages, in inadvertently acting as a publisher of those comments.

The defendant in this recent case learned these lessons the hard way, and gave the Court the opportunity to provide useful guidance on such disputes in future. The judgment may prompt readers of his article to frantically review and remove some of their more inflammatory Facebook or other social media postings made at a time when their guards were down.

To read the article, click here.

This content has been updated on May 2, 2024 at 15 h 09 min.