More on social media and defamation

Not surprisingly the Joe Karam defamation case victory has initiated comment online. See Karam defamation case a warning to blogs?  from yesterday.

There were some interesting reactions to this at The Standard yesterday.

More views on the Karam versus Parker and Purkiss defamation case:

The Paepae: Defamation via Facebook and ‘a private website’

This defamation case should be a shot across the bows of various internet wide-boys who think ‘defence of truth’ or ‘opinion honestly held’ is some kind of magic elixir or Get Out of Jail Free card. It’s worth noting the oh-so-easy-to-reach-for-until-you’re-tested ‘truth defence’ in this case was abandoned during the trial.

Occasional Erudite: The Joe Karam defamation case – what does it mean for blogs and social media?

To my mind though, the way in which Courtney J has applied the threshold test under which honest opinion can be relied upon doesn’t necessarily take into account the way that blogs and social media sites function.

That’s why I’m slightly uncomfortable with the judgment. A comment on a blog post, when viewed in isolation or as part of the individual blog post and the thread of comments that follow, may not appear to have a factual basis. However, when viewed as part of a blogger or commentator’s history of blogging or commenting, may have a factual basis that is well known to others who frequent the blog.

That’s not to say that the defendants in Mr Karam’s defamation suit don’t richly deserve to have been found to have defamed Mr Karam. My concern is whether the case sets a precedent that doesn’t necessarily fit with the way that blogs and social media actually operate.