Social media can be a great outlet for expressing how you really feel, but you have to be careful what you say about other people. That's a lesson one Vancouver woman learned the hard way. Her Instagram defamation of her ex ended up costing her big in court.
Noelle Halcrow took to the popular social media service after a break up with Brandon Rook. In posts made between August 2016 and August 2017, Halcrow alleged that Rook had an STD. She also implied that he was an alcoholic as well as a failed businessman.
Halcrow and Rook started dating in August 2015 for just one month, before getting back together in February 2016. However, Rook ended the relationship in July 2016, one month before the posts began.
This past week the judgement in their case came.
Supreme Court of B.C. Justice Elliott Myers wrote "The evidence is clear and compelling that Ms. Halcrow did, in fact, put the posts on the web sites."
Halcrow has been ordered to pay $200,000 to Rook for damages and now on social media (where this all started), Canadians are reminding each other to stay out of the same kind of trouble.
Now this is interesting. Defame someone on Instagram (and I assume any other online platform) and get your ass sue… https://t.co/3prQ2wlczl— Mat Wilcox (@Mat Wilcox)1578085296.0
@LawScribes Since we live in a generation where everything is posted online, this case poses as a reminder for peop… https://t.co/XUFSDO55GS— Colleen Battersby (@Colleen Battersby)1578089239.0
"Since we live in a generation where everything is posted online, this case poses as a reminder for people to be aware of what they are posting," twitter user @CVEBattersby posted.
"Online comments don't disappear and the use of social media really can impact our lives," they continued.
Similar warnings have been posted on Reddit in response to the news of Halcrow's case.
In Canadian Law, defamation is defined as "harming another person’s reputation by making a false written or oral statement about that person to a third party."
Defamation can be broken down into libel and slander. Libel is defamation with a permanent record, meaning anything sent in an email or posted on social media. Slander is spoken defamation.
The lesson here is that if you really want to talk smack about your ex, it's better to just do it in private among friends.