We can all agree that breakups are the worst. Whether you made the call or you've been dumped, it's never a good situation. Sometimes relationships end in a way where you still love and respect one another, other times you're left craving revenge. In the case of this Vancouver breakup scandal, an ex-girlfriend got hit with a $200,000 charge after taking to the internet for revenge.
"The courts have recognized that the internet can be used as an exceedingly effective tool to harm reputations. This is one such case," reads the citation from the Supreme Court of British Columbia.
The case between Brandon Rook and his ex, Noelle Halcrow, deals with several “defamatory posts” that the judge concluded were motivated by an intent to harm Rook, or rather, harm his reputation.
The two began dating in August of 2015 and broke up for the first time in the same month. They then got back together in February of 2016 and broke up again in July of 2016.
The relationship lasted just under seven months in total. The posts began to surface two months after their final breakup. The posts continued for a year.
Halcrow was throwing endless shade at Rook online on Instagram, online databases for STDs, and The Dirty, among others.
Her posts included things like “Known cheater, proud of it! STDs and spread them,” “Has STDs spreads them to people,” “No care or compassion For those that struggle with illness. No time for them or understanding,” “Drunk again !!,” according to the citation’s appendix.
Some of the hashtags that were commonly associated with the posts included #drunk, #loser, #stdspreader, #loserlife, #drunkagain, #uncaring, and the list continues.
Though these messages may sound bad, they’re nothing compared to the extensive scathing paragraphs written on websites like Bid Biz Report, Encyclopedia Dramatica, and Cheaters Website.
Apparently Halcrow said she was not responsible for any of the posts, but evidence linked her computer to the posts and texts between her and her ex about the posts further confirmed that she was responsible.
The judge ruled that Rook would receive $175,000 in general damages and $25,000 in aggravated damages.
As a result of all of the online hate, Rook spent just under US$30,000 on reputation consultants; the judge also stated that he is entitled to get back the money he spent for this reason.
Though we love to watch shows like You on Netflix that depict obsessive lovers, it doesn't sound ideal in real life.
If you struggle to date in Vancouver, it looks like you're not alone. Stay safe out there, lovers. You never know what a little heartbreak might do.