We have all had that moment where we have used Facebook to vent about our frustrations with someone. Besides the occasional post about our children’s accomplishments, what we had for dinner or political posts, many of us use Facebook as an outlet for our complaints. What could go wrong, right? Well, it seems that the answer is a lot.
In the age of instant gratification, we can’t help ourselves. We need to tell the world when someone has done us wrong. So we post about it. A recent case in North Carolina, however, is a cautionary tale. A one sentence post without mentioning anyone’s name got this defendant into hot water and she now has to pay $500,000 for it. Jacquelyn Hammond posted the following: “I didn’t get drunk and kill my kid.” Apparently, she was referring to the death of her colleague’s son. This was a false post, because her colleague’s son did not die because she was drunk. So, the colleague sued for defamation. At the end, the case was settled in the sum of $500,000 which Ms. Hammond will have to pay her colleague.
The take away from this is that even if it feels good to vent, think before you do. Making false allegations against someone is still grounds for a lawsuit, even if it is done on social media. Rumors and accusations can spread faster than wildfire on Facebook. So be careful and check your facts before you post.
© 2017 Marina Manoukian