(CASE CHAT ON ONLINE DEFAMATION)
By Sonny Zulhuda
The online wall that you have on your Facebook or other social networking sites is not like a wall in your private bedroom where you can always at your own freedom stick things from your own photos to class schedules, to your favorite Football Club posters. Those things would remain as your “private’ enjoyment and view.
But things that you, or others, post on your social networking sites wall is not private. There are people who share such wall and are ready to read your posts every time you have something new.
So this is a rather common-sense thing; just be careful, mindful and.. don’t do fool!
Let me just share with you this incident:
“Retiree to pay RM100,000 over FB posts”
It was reported by the Star on October 1st, 2011, that a retiree from Penang has been ordered by a High Court here to pay a total of RM100,000 in damages and costs to a private automotive technology training centre where his son had studied over three defamatory postings on Facebook.
It was said that the man had grouses after his son failed the London-based City & Guilds examination for his diploma in Vehicle Maintenance and Repair, and he “went on a warpath” against the centre by posting comments on Facebook accusing the centre of criminal and inappropriate activities. This took place in November and December 2010. The centre then sued the person for defamation over three comments that the latter posted on the social networking website.
In the court, the person alleged that his grouses were based on three areas that irked him – that the centre was not incorporated, that it had pre-dated and post-dated its students’ portfolios, and the high failure rate of the City & Guilds exam among its students. The court however accepted the explanations given by the plaintiff (the Centre).
Justice Varghese George Varughese ordered the defendant pay DeSpark Auto (Penang) Sdn Bhd RM60,000 in general damages, RM15,000 in aggravated damages and RM25,000 in costs (so, a total of RM100,000!). Besides, an injunction was also given to restrain the defendant from further publication of any material in the nature of the three defamatory postings in any media.
More report from the Star daily.