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Internet Defamation

A French tribunal ordered Twitter, in January 2013, to reveal the identities of the anonymous tweeters who were tweeting their anti-Semitic views.

Twitter was sued by the Union of French Jewish Students. Twitter claimed that they were abiding the laws of the country that they operate in and that only a US judge could make them adhere to the request of releasing their identities.

The Paris tribunal ruled that Twitter must hand over the information such as their names, email and IP addresses or face being fined $1,300 a day.  Twitter is now said to be reviewing the court’s decision.  They have already removed the tweets that the union said strongly breached France’s hate speech laws.

Twitter said that they do not monitor or are aware of all the content on their network but will look at the reports of tweets that may be against their policies or tweets that are illegal.

 
 
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Philippines

14/12/2012

MANILA, Philippines (UPDATED) – The company of controversial Japanese billionaire Kazuo Okada filed Internet libel case versus his partner-turned-bitter foe, Steve Wynn, in Manila for “maliciously” leaking to the press a report adversarial to Okada.

In a December 13 disclosure to the Japanese stock exchange, Okada-led Universal Entertainment Corp. said the group filed a criminal complaint against Wynn, chairman of Wynn Resorts where Okada was vice chair and the biggest shareholder, at a local court in Parañaque City.

 

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Australia

31 October 2012

Google was ordered to pay 208,000 USD after a jury at the Supreme Court of Victoria rejected its defence to a defamation claim, that it was simply pointing to material that others had published and therefore could not be liable for defamation.

 

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Have you ever gone to a restaurant and not been completely satisfied with your visit?  Maybe the food was poor or the service was not up to your standards.  Have you then gone online and write a review about your poor dining experience? Did the owner then start a campaign against you referring to you in a defamatory manner?

This is exactly what happened to Elayna Katz, a 42 year old woman, in Nove,ber 2012, who had written an online review about Mambo Nuevo Latino restaurant in Ottawa.  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 online reviewing and the defamation it can prompt.  In this case it was the owner of a restaurant who was harassing a reviewer but in many other cases online reviews do prompt responses from other individuals.  As mentioned in my previous blog, a similar incident happened to an Amazon customer.  Read the article on defamation lawyer.

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Malaysia

April 2012

Malaysian Sun Journalist, R. Nadeswaran was ordered by a Malaysian court to pay property developer, Datuk Mohamad Salim, RM500,000 for libelous remarks on Twitter.  It was heard that in one of two posts, Nadeswaran labelled Salim a thief.

High Court judge Justice Amelia Tee Hong Geok Abdullah awarded Mohamad Salim RM300,000 in general damages and RM200,000 in aggravated damages.

Mr Nadeswaran is the first Malaysian to be sued for defamatory posts on Twitter. He immediately said he would appeal the decision.

Read the article on The Daily Star.

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