Category Archives: Online 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/

Advertisements

Lower legal costs for defamation victims

By Cohen Davis defamation lawyers:

The Ministry of Justice has proposed new measures to help individual victims of defamation take on big corporations. The new measures are due to be implemented during the spring of 2014.

Currently, losing claimants in England and Wales are ordered to  pay the winning side’s legal bills, on top of their own, which means many individual victims are too scared to bring a claim just in case they lose.

Under the new plan, some losing claimants in defamation cases will only be responsible to pay their own legal bill even if they don’t win the case.

There will be a new ‘one-way’ costs order that Judges will be able to issue to ensure that individual claimants are put off by having to pay the other party’s legal costs.

Justice Minister Helen Grant said:

Defamation and invasion of privacy can have a devastating effect on lives and it is crucial that people, whatever their means, can stand up for their rights in court, even when they are facing a wealthy opponent who can afford to appoint a team of expensive lawyers.

Yair Cohen

Cohen Davis Defamation Lawyers

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

page_rank

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.

Defamation on reviews

Have you ever eaten in a restaurant and not been completely satisfied with your visit?  Maybe the food was not what you had expected or the service was not up to your standards.

Perhaps you then decided to write an online review to warn others. Did the owner of the restaurant then commence a campaign of harassment against you referring to you in a defamatory manner?

This is exactly what happened to Elayna Katz, a 42 year old woman who had wrote an online review about Mambo Nuevo Latino restaurant in Ottawa, Canada.  The owner, Marisol Simoes then hit back at the review and started a 2 year campaign to humiliate Katz. She branded Katz as a “lonely, unstable, sexually insatiable transsexual”.  Simoes had also set up a dating site under Katz’s name and sent various emails impersonating her. Katz described this ordeal as a very embarrassing time.

Simoes was then charged by Ottawa police under Canada’s defamation laws which are rarely used.  She was found guilty of 2 counts of libel and was sentenced, facing up to 5 years in prison.

This further highlights the dangers of posting an online review and the defamation it can prompt.  In this case it was the owner of a restaurant who was harassing a reviewer but in other cases online shoppers might be targeted with internet defamation. See our blog post Is Amazon a compassionate organisation?

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.