Author: Social Media Posting

Have you been targeted by negative social media posts?

A business reputation can be seriously damaged by false online posts and reviews, causing loss of customers and profits. Whether the derogatory posts are from a competitor or from a disgruntled employee, or from an unknown third person, the impact on your business can be considerable.

Your personal reputation can also suffer if you are targetted on social media.  Negative social media posts may be from an ex-partner, a colleague, members of an online group or from an anonymous online “troll”.

Contrary to popular belief you do not have to just stand by and watch if you or your organisation are the subject of negative online posts.  There are many things that can be done to seek urgent removal of the post/s, prevent further postings and restore damage to your reputation.

NetRights law firm can advise you on your options and implement an urgent response strategy. It is important to act quickly to minimise damage to your online reputation.


Visit for more information about what we can do to help you, or email us at or telephone us on 020 7698 4427.

Do you know the difference between…


The terms libel, slander and defamation are often used interchangeably in everyday use.  But what do these terms actually mean and what is the difference between them?

The law of defamation is the overarching term that includes both libel and slander. Both libel and slander relate to an attack on a person or an organisation’s reputation by the publication of defamatory material.

As a general rule, libel occurs where the defamation is in a permanent form and slander occurs where the defamation is in a transient form. Libel applies where the words complained of are in print or written down or published in permanent form.  This includes defamatory newspaper articles, online posts, television programmes and videos. Slander applies where the words complained of are transient in nature such as spoken words. So, for example, a defamatory social media post may be libellous whereas accusations made by someone during a meeting may be slanderous.

Material is defamatory if it tends to “lower the Claimant in the reputation of right-thinking members of society generally” and has caused, or is capable of causing, serious harm to the Claimant’s reputation, amongst other requirements. The Claimant is the person whose reputation has been attacked.

However, defamation is not limited to words. Visual forms such as photographs, paintings and physical gestures can also be regarded as defamatory. In fact, in a case in 1894 against Madame Tussauds museum where a waxwork of the Claimant holding a gun had been placed next to the “Chamber of Horrors” the Court of Appeal held that a statue, caricature, sign or picture – and therefore, a wax figure – may also give rise to libel.

For advice on all types of defamation issues including both libel and slander please contact Laura Baglow from NetRights at or on 020 7698 4427 or see for more information.

Has your personal information been published online without your permission?

It can be extremely upsetting to discover that your personal information has been published online without your permission.

Perhaps your bank details or other financial details are now visible for all to see or even your medical information or details of your address. It could be that a photograph of you or your child or of your home has been posted on social media. Or perhaps some drone footage of your house.

Whatever it is, the chances are that you may not be happy having this information available to the general public. However, you do not have to just put up with the situation.

NetRights can take urgent steps, via legal proceedings if necessary, to seek removal of your personal information from the internet and/or links to it and further postings. In most cases successful results can be achieved by sending legal letters to the person that posted the information or to the social media site, without the need for legal proceedings.

Contact NetRights now on 0207 698 4427 for further information and a free telephone consultation and cost estimate.

What actually happens in a libel trial?

Pirates of the Caribbean actor Johnny Depp has recently been in the headlines for a different reason. The high-profile celebrity, along with his ex-wife Amber Heard, has been giving evidence at the Royal Courts of Justice in his libel case against publishers of The Sun newspaper.

Mr Depp, the claimant, is suing The Sun over an article in April 2018 which described him as a “wife-beater”.

What is libel? When does a case exist? Does it always have to go to court?

To bring a libel claim, the claimant (the person seeking to clear their name) must show that the words that they are complaining about have a defamatory meaning.  The legal definition of this is that the claimant must prove that the allegation lowers him or her ‘in the minds of right-thinking members of society’.

Nowadays a Judge will usually determine whether the allegations are defamatory and identify their ‘meaning’ at an earlier stage in a libel claim before the trial.  It is not uncommon for libel cases settle at this stage without going on to trial. The claimant must also show that the allegations being sued over have caused, or are likely to cause him or her, ‘serious harm’.  This was a measure introduced by the Defamation Act 2013 to weed out trivial libel claims.

Where claims are heard at trial, they are won or lost based on whether the publisher, or defendant, is able to make a valid defence. Libel defences include truth, honest opinion, absolute or qualified privilege and publication on a matter of public interest.

Where the publisher relies on the defence of truth, it will need to prove that the allegations complained of are ‘substantially true’.  The onus is on the publisher of the allegations to prove that they are true rather than on the claimant to prove that they are false.  In practice, both parties will seek to produce evidence to prove the truth or falsity of the allegations. This evidence will usually include witness evidence including from the claimant, as well as documentary evidence such as notes, text messages, emails, photographs and recordings.

After hearing from the witnesses for both parties and considering the documentary evidence the Judge will decide whether or not the publisher has a successful defence to the claim.  If there is a valid defence, then the claimant loses.  But if the Judge decides that the publisher’s defence is unsuccessful, and no other defences apply, then the claimant’s libel claim succeeds.  The Judge may also make findings on further matters including on the level of any damages.

However, most libel claims will settle before they reach trial, and more often in libel disputes an out of court settlement is achieved without the need for issuing court proceedings at all. Such settlements could include an apology, payment of financial compensation and removal of the allegations complained of.

Laura Baglow is a defamation lawyer with over 17 years’ experience.  For advice on potential defamation issues please contact Laura at NetRights on or 020 7698 4427. See for further details.

Reputation matters: Defamation court claims increase by 22%

The latest figures published by the Ministry of Justice for 2019 reveal that defamation claims issued in the Royal Courts of Justice are continuing to rise significantly year on year. The figures show that litigation over defamatory statements has increased by 22% on the previous year and by as much as 107% on the year before that.

This upward trend underlines the tremendous importance of reputation.  The old adage ‘sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me’ no longer holds water in today’s world of permanent publications and first impressions. Whereas previously a libellous statement written in a newspaper article would eventually be forgotten about, nowadays articles and online posts are available online indefinitely, making it difficult to outgrow a besmirched reputation. A positive reputation is vital for business and professional success so it is unsurprising that so many are taking to the courts to defend their honour.

The increase in social media use is likely to play a part in this upsurge in defamation claims. In the arena of Facebook and Twitter, anyone can become an instant publisher to a wide audience at the click of a button, leading many to experience the anguish of online defamation.

For help protecting your reputation including seeking removal of malicious or false online posts please contact NetRights at or telephone 0207 698 4427.

Staying safer in video meetings

There has been a dramatic surge in the popularity of remote videoconferencing in recent months. Meetings in person have not been possible due to social distancing requirements so video meetings have been the next best way to keep in touch.  Remote meeting systems have proved to be valuable tools to help companies to operate whilst many staff are working from home. They have also been vital forms of communication for separated families and friends wishing to stay in contact with each other throughout the lockdown

However, use of video conferencing facilities can expose you and your company to risk. There have been cases of unauthorised people hijacking meetings where the platform has not been used securely and there is an increased risk of phishing.

To help protect yourself, your family and your staff, consider the following precautions:

  • Do not leave video meeting settings as “public”.
  • Set screen sharing to “host only”.
  • Send meeting links directly to the people you are inviting to attend the meeting, rather than posting or sharing links on social media that could be available to other or the general public. Only allow signed in users to participate.
  • Meeting hosts should set a password for access to the remote meeting or use the platform to control who is permitted to attend the meeting.
  • Use ‘waiting room’ facilities to screen participants before they are allowed to enter your meeting.
  • ‘Lock’ your meeting after all the expected participants have joined to avoid unwanted intruders.
  • Avoid file sharing with any users that you don’t recognise.
  • Where possible avoid referring to confidential or private information.
  • Make sure that you and your fellow meeting attendees keep video meeting applications fully updated.
  • Ensure that your firm’s information security policies deal with appropriate use of remote working systems.


The use of remote video conferencing facilities will always carry a degree of risk due to the nature of the platform, but these considerations should help you to avoid becoming a target.

NetRights is the Social Media, Internet and Media Law department of Parnalls Solicitors. For legal advice regarding breaches of confidential or private information, please contact NetRights at or telephone 01566 772375.

The contents of this article are for purposes of general awareness only and do not constitute legal or professional advice.

Would you like to publish online with minimal legal risk?

Do you want to publish a controversial story or statement online or in the press? Or are you going to publish a book or magazine or video? Are you concerned about legal risks such as defamation, breach of confidence, infringement of privacy or trademark or copyright infringement?

Our experienced media lawyer has helped to safely publish and broadcast controversial articles for newspapers and magazines as well as television programmes for Channel 4.

Our aim is to enable you to say all the things that you want to say, but in a way that does not expose you to unnecessary legal risk. We will work closely with you to ensure that whatever it is that you wish to publish, gets published safely.

Contact NetRights on 0207 698 4427 or for a no commitment fixed cost estimate.

Increased risk of online harm

As people are spending more time at home at the moment this means that more time is also being spent online.

This has its advantages, from enabling us to keep up to date with essential news to online shopping and staying in regular contact with family and friends. Social media use is on the increase with people searching for other ways to keep themselves entertained.

However, there is a darker side to this increased online activity, with more people turning to vindictive or malicious social media posts such as:

Revenge porn

Revenge porn is where intimate photos or videos of someone are shared online without their permission.  Often the sharer is a disgruntled ex-partner.  The government’s Revenge Porn Helpline* has reported increased number of calls from victims of intimate image abuse during the lockdown period. It is believed that both the increase in social media use and the heightened emotions at this time are responsible, with revenge porn often originating from controlling or abusive relationships.

Trolling and harassment

It is an unfortunate reality that people can feel more disinhibited when they are online and may engage in unacceptable behaviour that they might not contemplate in person. It is also easier for people to let their emotions get the better of them and make a malicious post in the heat of the moment. Unfortunately, disgruntled people can turn to social media to target their victims and this can lead to repeated online insults, provocations or even threats.

False or malicious online posts

Some people decide to publicly air their personal grudges or grievances online or are even just motivated by boredom.  This can lead to false or malicious social media posts that attack the reputation of an individual or a company.

If you are on the receiving end of any of these activities, then we know that it can be deeply distressing as well as damaging to your reputation.


For help with any of the above issues, including seeking removal of online posts, please contact Laura Baglow at NetRights on 0207 698 4427.


*The government’s Revenge Porn Helpline number is 0345 6000459 and the Samaritans can be contacted at 116 123 or by email to