What do I do if Someone makes a Post or Statement about me on Social Media that is Untrue?

By Victoria Tchen

Trainee Solicitor

In today’s digital era, social media serves as a platform for expression, communication, and engagement. However, amidst this freedom of speech lurks the potential for harm when individuals or entities make untrue statements at the expense of others.

If you find yourself the target of such false statement on social media, there are steps you can take to address the situation. Your initial course of action should be to report the offending post to the platform and author of the post. Should this prove ineffective, you may be able to bring a claim for defamation of character against the author, whether they are an individual or a company.  

You will need to show that:

  • That the statement had the effect of lowering your reputation or the reputation of your company in the opinion of right-thinking people generally;
  • There must be a degree of seriousness involved; and
  • In the case of a company, it must have caused a financial loss.

Common defences to defamation of character include truth and honest opinion. Defamation cannot be established if the author can prove that the statement made was a true and an honest opinion based on facts so you will not be successful in these instances.

The courts have recognised that posts online, even a small number of posts, have the potential for the harm given that posts can quickly ‘go viral’ so they will consider taking action in these circumstances provided the above criteria are met. 

Furthermore, persistent, and unwarranted posting, especially after being requested to cease, may constitute harassment, adding another legal recourse.

If you find yourself in any of the situation outlined above, whether as the author or victim, we may be able to assist you with your claim. Please contact Lucy Slatter on 0345 646 0406 or complete our enquiry form should you require any assistance.