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Defamation and Social Media

According to the Court Service in Ireland, the number of defamation cases has risen sharply in recent years, and it is believed that social media may be a significant factor in this increase.  Whereas traditional media typically involves some checks and balances prior to publication, social media allows individuals to place unchecked comments with great ease, at any time. Unfortunately, such comments, if defamatory, can render that individual’s good reputation, which has taken years to earn, seriously damaged.

Lavelle Partners are leading experts in defamation law, and over the past 30 years, have successfully advised and represented clients in many High Court defamation actions for both Plaintiffs and Defendants.

Our litigation and dispute resolution team, headed by Partner, Ciarán Leavy, have the experience, knowledge and legal skills necessary to successfully resolve any defamation matter.  We are highly experienced in alternative dispute resolution (ADR) methods as a means to amicably conclude a case of defamation.  ADR has the considerable advantage of keeping the matter out of the public domain by avoiding the formal Court system and is typically much faster and cheaper than litigation.

We can assist victims of defamation in obtaining apologies, retractions and compensation for damages.  And in recent years we have developed a strong legal skillset in the resolution of defamation involving the publication of content or comments on:

  • YouTube, or any other public digital video platform
  • Social media including Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, LinkedIn, Google+, Pinterest, Reddit, Tumblr, WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger
  • Media and news websites
  • Other website content
  • Blogs and vlogs
  • Online review sites (e.g. Glassdoor, TripAdvisor)

Our recent experience in social media defamation law

Lavelle Partners acted for Fred Muwema, a prominent lawyer in Uganda, in High Court proceedings against the social media firm, Facebook.  The High Court ruled that Facebook must reveal the name of a Ugandan Activist who had been posting defamatory allegations of corruption against Mr Muwema under the pseudonym Tom Voltaire Okwalinga (“TVO”). 

This case was heard in Dublin as Facebook users outside the United States and Canada, such as those in Uganda, enter into an agreement with Facebook Ireland when they register to use the Facebook service.

Why choose Lavelle Partners to assist you with Defamation and Social Media disputes?

  • Our Litigation and Dispute Resolution department is headed by Partner, Ciarán Leavy, who was voted Litigation Lawyer of the Year in Ireland in the Finance Monthly Law awards.
  • We are a partner-led firm, meaning the partner you meet will manage your case and be available to you if you have any questions.
  • Our Solicitors are approachable, intelligent, and pragmatic.  When it comes to handling commercial disputes, we will assess your situation objectively and provide a clear strategy to move your matter forward.
  • Lavelle Partners is a full-service law firm – meaning our clients benefit from advice and representation which is considered from all possible legal perspectives.  This affords our clients a considerable advantage in formal litigation matters.
  • We have a robust track record of handling some of the more complex defamation disputes in Ireland, and will give you the benefit of our experience and knowledge.

For further information regarding defamation and social media in Ireland, please contact Lavelle Partners in confidence on (01) 644 5800.

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