A student has been ordered by a NSW court to pay a teacher at his former school $105,000 in damages for posting defamatory comments on Twitter and Facebook.
The case – Mickle v Farley – is the first social media defamation case to go through to a final decision in Australia.
The case clearly demonstrates that social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter are just like any other form of communication – if you post something defamatory, you may be liable for defamation. This applies even if you are only “publishing” to your own circle of “friends”.
The take out is to think before you post: whatever you post online may be found – and the potential for a court to award a large sum damages against you may increase if what you post is then retweeted or shared.
The judgment is available at: