Category Archives: Help with internet defamation

Defamation solicitor served harassment injunction via Instagram

UK First Ever Injunction Served Via Instagram

Serving harassment injunction via Instagram

On 5 June 2015 we made a bit of a history by having obtained permission to serve the first harassment injunction on an anonymous internet troll via Instagram. We represented the Claimant in the case of DDF v YYZ before HHJ Nicol J at the High Court.

The Defendant activated a series of Instagram accounts through which he terrorised the Claimant for over a period of 3 weeks by constantly posting racial and sexual abuse.

The Claimant sought an Order to be permitted to serve the claim for harassment and the injunction on the Defendant via Instagram.

CPR r. 6.15 provides for service by an alternative method or at an alternative place, where there is a good reason to authorise service by a method or place not permitted by the relevant part of the CPR. The application must be supported by evidence and may be made without notice.

The most important purpose of service of an injunction and a claim for harassment is to ensure that the contents of the documents are communicated to the Defendant, in this case an internet troll who defamed, harassed and breach the privacy of the Claimant.

On behaf of the Claimant we sought an urgent injunction against the Defendant because further and more widespread harassment and/or disclosures of private information were threatened. The Defendant was not identifiable so the only means of contact which with him was Instagram.

The judge accepted that the combination of the urgency and the unusual method of communication used meant that there was good reason for the Court to authorise service of the harassment claim and the injunction via Instagram.

The service itself presented a new challenge. We had to create a number of high resolution images to make sure the content fits with Instagram’s requirements and that it was readable. It was also important to obtain proof of service of the harassment claim and the injunction because unlike email, once an Instagram user deletes their account, the evidence of communicating to them also disappears. You must therefore be able to take screenshots of the service very quickly before the Defendant deleted the account. And thirdly, the only practical method of serving the injunction and the harassment claim was by using a smart phone which meant the use of Microsoft SharePoint was helpful as it downloaded all the relevant files to the smartphone and made them easily accessible for service.

I believe this was the first case in the UK (and am told in the USA too, by my American internet law colleagues) of service on an injunction via Instagram. You can read more service of injunction via Instagram

http://www.5rb.com/news/injunction-ordered-served-via-instagram/

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Defamation on the internet by Paul Britton and his company Origin Design could result in a prison sentence!

Defamation Legal Advice » Defamation on the internet might land you in jail!.

Paul Britton, a web designer who created websites to defame his own client pleaded guilty last week at Kingston Crown Court to one count of harassment of his own client. The Judge told Britton that his offence could attract a jail sentence, it was reported by the Evening Standard. The conviction was possible after  the UK based law firm Cohen Davis Solicitors secured evidence linking Mr Britton and his company Origin Design to the defamatory posts through legal action in the USA.

Paul Britton, of Turnham Green Terrace Mews, Chiswick, is also a director of a web design and internet marketing company  Origin Design. He created a campaign of defamation and intimidation against his own client, falsely describing him as a paedophile, following a dispute over a small amount of money.

Britton is not the first web designer to do such thing. Our defamation lawyers dealt with about 6 similar cases last year. Professional web designers who engage in such dubious practices tend to know their way around the internet, which makes it easier for them to avoid detection and to ever be brought to justice.

The police is often unable to assist the victims because the quality of the evidence that a serious and expensive criminal investigation might produce is not likely to meet the required standard of proof in criminal courts which is “beyond reasonable doubt”.

In the case of Paul Britton it took extraordinary efforts to be able to prove the web designer’s guilt. …Read in full on Defamation Legal Advice blog

Why it is a bad idea to click on a defamatory link

If you or your company are defamed online it is important not to click on the link where the defamatory material appears.  It is best not to share the link with anyone else and if you do share it, keep the number of people you share the defamatory link with to a bare minimum. Even when you explain to others that clicking on the defamatory link will add to the website’s popularity, people may still not be able to resist to check it out for themselves.

Search engines give priority to websites that attract the most traffic so remember that every click counts!

By Yair Cohen. Defamation lawyer.

Internet Law Centre

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Defamation lawyer gives 5 steps to follow following online defamation.

Online defamation problem. Cohen Davis Solicitors

Online defamation Solicitors. Cohen Davis

Many victims of online defamation do not know what to do when they have discovered that they are being defamed online. It is essential to act appropriately so that you do not cause further damage to your reputation.

I have put together 5 simple steps to follow for those who have found themselves victim of internet defamation. These effective actions will ensure that you are taking the right steps to dealing with the defamation quickly and effectively.

1) Be discreet. Try and tell as few people as possible about your online defamation issue. The more people you tell the more popular the link will become resulting in it to be placed higher on search engines. Although you may automatically want to tell family and friends try not to because … read more and the other 4 tips on our new social media solicitor at Cohen Davis blog.

By Defamation lawyers.

Internet defamation business risk management

Some people forget how important it is to carry out a thorough risk analysis prior to deciding on the most appropriate response to internet defamation. Here is a quick guide to how we suggest it is best to carry out risk management when it comes to responding to internet defamation.

Online defamation

  • Find  out as much as you possibly can about the capacity of the individual or company which are responsible for defaming you online. Are they a blogger? A “professional” self-appointed individual? Are they a competitor? The more you understand about their practices, motives and technical and financial abilities the more accurate and effective your response to internet defamation would be.
  • Calmly evaluate the risk to your business by first refraining from taking any particular action. Never act impulsively or upon advice which is not based on proven experience and understanding of the issue. Carefully consider the best, worst, and most likely consequences of the various options which are available to you to defeat the defamation on the internet.
  • Consider all your available solutions and in particular the legal, technical and social solutions to the defamation issue and always look at the big, long term picture.
  • Develop a strategy based on all of the above and never react sporadically.

Follow this simple guide because it is important that you get things right first time round as there might not be a second chance.

The Internet Law Centre

0207 183 4123

Internet  Law Centre gives all the advice you need on internet defamation.

Defamation lawyer asks whether you should respond to defamatory web posts

Defamation lawyer Yair Cohen advises to remove emotions from any response to internet defamation.

You may have suddenly discovered that there is something defamatory written about you or your company over the internet.  You may, perhaps out of anger, respond to that post without thinking through the long-term consequences. If so, you may have just made the situation a thousand times worse with serious long term implications to your organisation.

It is not always a good idea to respond to negative comments on the internet.  Although you may feel the immediate urge to defend your reputation, consider your reaction carefully. If you decide to respond, you will need to plan what you say and ensure that anything that you do say will not cause you greater problems in the future. Defamation lawyer Yair Cohen says that the last thing you probably want to do is to enter into a never-ending dialogue with your accusers.

It is best to avoid using explicit language or to come across as defensive.  If you are responding on behalf of a company you will have to be aware that whatever you say may have a huge effect on the company’s reputation and even on its share prices.

Responding to negative comments could attract search engine results to the original defamatory post.  This means the comments you do not want people to see will become more visible on the web, drawing more attention than if they were simply left alone. This would then seriously damage your reputation, or your business, which could lead to huge consequences.

Whatever you decide to do, don’t gamble. Obtain professional advice immediately as you become aware of the defamation on the internet and follow it through.

Visit the Internet Law Centre to read tips on internet defamation.

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The phenomenon of trolls

There may soon be amendements to the Defamation Act which will enforce stricter rules on interent trolling.  Read via Defamation Solicitors: The phenomenon of trolls.