Tuesday 15 September 2020 9:13 PM UTC
LONDON Sept 15: Defamation lawsuits handled by the Queen’s Bench Division of the High Court has risen from 112 in 2016 to 323 in 2019 according to data from the Ministry of Justice. Law firms tackling defamation cases have claimed that the reason in such a surge is due to people not being aware that they could be held in court over posts made over social media or on the internet.
Some of these actions were started by businesses who claim they have been victims of smear campaigns by having online users post unfair online reviews. Laura Wilkinson, an associate at JMW solicitors has stated “in previous generations the majority of defamation disputes would have involved traditional media, but now anyone on social media is ‘effectively a publisher’.
Social media has been the fuel adding to the fire in defamation cases and without the legal checks and controls in place, it is difficult to monitor such posts which can tarnish the reputation of businesses.
Almost a third of total cases heard last year were worth more than £50,000 according to the MoJ.
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