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Social Media - Be Careful!

Published on May 24, 2019

The legal dispute between Elon Musk and Vernon Unsworth, the man who helped to rescue boys trapped in a cave in Thailand, may have dropped out of the press over the last few weeks, but a recent case shows the lack of accuracy of Mr Musk's assertion that Twitter was just the forum for a 'schoolyard spat' that would not be taken seriously by users who expect to read 'opinion, not facts'.

The case involved a tweet made by the agent of a former chairman of UKIP in the run-up to the last General Election. It showed a man said to be standing next to 'child grooming taxi drivers', the apparent inference being that he kept company with paedophiles. The High Court awarded the man £40,000 in damages.

In the circumstances, Mr Unsworth's claim for $75,000 does not look excessive. If you use social media, it is important to remember that publishing defamatory comments on the Internet can wind up causing a deep hole in your pocket.

If you have been defamed on the Internet, the law may assist you to obtain recompense and to prevent further untruths being spread. Contact us for advice.

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