Figures recently obtained from the Court Service show that the Defamation Act 2013 is finally having its intended effect and reducing the number of defamation claims coming before the Court. But even this significant downward trend has not been enough to offset the rise of defamation claims involving social media which is now at its highest ever level. This report prompted Sputnik News to get in touch with Pitmans own specialist defamation lawyer, Will Richmond-Coggan, to ask his opinion on why this one area is still proving to be so fertile for claims through the Courts.
In the article, Will explains that the seriousness of the harm done by a social media posting can be affected by a number of factors, including the number of followers to whom the allegations are posted, and how well those readers know the person who is the subject of the allegation. What is clear is that this area is a mine-field, and one where there is no substitute for specialist advice, whether you are on the receiving end of a possible claim, or the victim of defamatory online allegations.
The full article can be read here.
Sputnik spoke to Will Richmond-Coggan, a partner and solicitor advocate at Pitman's law services in the UK, who said that a comment is defamatory when it lowers the subject or person in the view of "right thinking people." "When it comes to defamatory comments made via social media there are a number of factors connected with it. For example, was the post retweeted and if so how many followers does the person have who wrote the initial post? The higher the number, the more dangerous and harmful the outcome for the victim," Mr. Richmond-Coggan told Sputnik.