Internet/Media Articles

The libel claim brought by London businessman David Hunt against the Sunday Times shows that cliché’s concerning London ‘gangsters’ may often be more than simply cliché’s, they may actually be defamatory.

The recent FA charge given to Ryan Bennett, for breach of FA rule E3 should act as a warning to all other professional footballers – your social media behaviour is judged against a higher bar than that of the general public.

Ryan Bennett’s example, i.e. being punished for using threatening/improper words on Twitter shows that a footballer’s social media behaviour is under the FA’s magnifying spotlight.

The long running Tamiz saga was finally put to bed yesterday when the Court of Appeal rejected his appeal against Google on the grounds of publication. In simple English terms the panel of three senior judges did not consider that enough people would have seen the comments complained of to truly have damaged Mr Tamiz’s reputation i.e. the age old adage of ‘the candle was not worth the game’ clearly permeated into the minds of the senior appeal judges, when they made their judgment.

This weekend the Director of Public Prosecution, Keir Starmer QC and myself were interviewed on Sky News about the proposed guidelines that are supposed to define a little more clearly, what activities on social media would constitute a criminal offence and what would not. The DPP stated that where there was a sustained attack using social media, which was grossly offensive, there was likely to be an investigation and arrests could follow. However, for one off comments, that are often made in the heat of the moment, which are then taken down, prosecution would be far less likely.

The recent successful obtaining of a privacy injunction by Ned RocknRoll against The Sun raises interesting questions regarding the definition of when someone is considered to be significantly in the public’s eye (or famous enough), to warrant the need for an injunction.

Online Defamation Slur Or Smear? Have Pinder Reaux Solve it for you Quickly!

At midnight, Kier Starmer’s long awaited guidelines on social media offences were published. Guidelines long awaited by the legal profession, the police and no doubt the millions of users of social media.

So, are we any the wiser?

Simple answer, No.

Much has been made of the Director of Public Prosecutions, Kier Starmer’s new guidelines on social networking prosecutions and how this will affect individual tweeters, tweeting on various subjects. Some things have been classified, with others being left to subjective tests, such as what is to be considered grossly offensive, how many followers are considered substantial followers etc.

Yesterday marked the publication date of the 2000 page report into the moral, ethics and standards of the Press, by Lord Justice Leveson. We at Pinder Reaux, along with other specialist media lawyers have read and analysed the report with interest, and have translated and extracted the key points that are pertinent to parties defamed, harassed or those that have had their privacy breached by the Press. 12 months later and £4million of tax payer’s money used, we can tell you that we were definitely expecting big things.

Mark Clattenburg has now been cleared of using racist comments by the FA. As such, he is now free to return to the top echelons of officialdom after 3 weeks in the mire. Mr Clattenburg expressed relief at being cleared of the charges, however, he has maintained all along that he was innocent of these charges, and as such he readily admits that he was scared for his career. The question now, which is on every defamation lawyers lips, is, should he now take action against Chelsea Football Club for defamation of character?


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