When will a derogatory comment posted on a social networking site amount to defamation?
What can an employer do if an employee posts a derogatory comment about it on a social networking site?
If an employee posts unlawful material, whether defamatory or otherwise, about the employer on a social networking site, the employer should write to the employee putting him or her on notice of the rights that have allegedly been infringed, ie that it considers the material to be defamatory and/or a breach of contract. It should also set out the potential remedies that it may have against the employee (including an action for damages) and demand that the employee immediately remove the offending material from the website.
The employer should also inform the employee that this is a disciplinary matter and instigate its disciplinary procedure, ensuring that it complies with the procedures set out in the Acas code of practice on disciplinary and grievance procedures (PDF format, 1.59KB) (on the Acas website).
In addition, the employer should take steps to contact the social networking site to request that the offending material be removed from the site. Such a request is best done by way of a formal letter of claim putting the social networking site on notice that material appearing on its website is capable of defaming the employer and/or is unlawful and could potentially give rise to a claim for damages. Some social networking sites have an automated reporting system.
What are the defences available to an employee who has posted a potentially defamatory comment about his or her employer on a social networking site?
What are the defences available to a social networking site where an individual has posted a defamatory comment about his or her employer?
Can a defamatory comment posted by an employee on his or her Facebook page be used as evidence in the employee's disciplinary proceedings?
If the identity of the person who posted derogatory comments about it on a social networking site is unknown, what should the employer do?
If an employee has used social media to make a defamatory comment about one of his or her employer's competitors, what should the employer do?
What can an employer do if a former employee posts a derogatory comment about it on a social networking site?
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