It is no secret to anyone in the world who is on Facebook or Twitter that you should be careful what you post or tweet because it can come around and bite you in the butt. Well according to the Telegraph there is a student in Australia that is learning how expensive a lesson it can be to the tune of $100,000 dollars. That is the amount that Andrew Farley, 20 will have to pay to music teacher Christine Mickle who was defamed by Farley on Facebook and Twitter.
While truth is an absolute defense, a lie is certainly not and that is exactly what a judge determined Farley’s claims were when he wrote defamatory messages about Mickle who had replaced his father, the head of Orange High School’s music and arts department reported the Telegraph. In postings he suggested that Farley had been responsible for forcing his dad out of his job at the school.
There were several holes in the young man’s reasoning according to the court. Chief among them was the fact that Farley had never been taught by Mickle and district court judge Michael Elkaim found that the father had stepped down for health reasons and, “There is absolutely no evidence to substantiate that belief,” that the 58-year-old woman had any connection to his dad leaving his job, reported the Telegraph.
The former student at Orange High School use of social media had been determined by the court to have had a particularly alarming impact upon Mickle’s health. She had to take sick leave when the Facebook and Twitter posts came out.
The judge ruled that even though Farley had apologized for his errant actions they appeared hardly sincere. The Judge reasoned that when the defendant was in court he even attempted to raise the defense of truth, where none existed.
Judge Elkaim stated that untrue social media posts’ evil, “lies in the grapevine effect that stems from the use of this type of communication.” He added, “The defence of truth when it is spurious is particularly hurtful to a person who has been the subject of such unsubstantiated allegations,” according to the Telegraph.
The former student has learned an expensive $100,000 lesson when it comes to Facebook and Twitter, which he may just need to avoid using in the future.
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