The recent decision of Rook v. Halcrow, 2019 BCSC 2253 continues to underscore that social media posts are public domain and that serious censure can follow defamatory social media posts. It appears that courts are perhaps increasingly willing to award very serious damages for particularly malicious social media posts.
Every business knows that online reviews matter. They are today’s equivalent of “word of mouth”. It is to be expected that most businesses will, at some point, receive negative reviews online. After all, unhappy consumers tend to want to share their negative experience with the world. Those negative reviews may have a great impact on the business’ financial success or failure.
One year ago, I wrote about the Canadian courts’ trend of ordering Internet service providers or website operators to reveal the identity of anonymous bloggers, when it is alleged that the bloggers had defamed the plaintiff. A recent decision by the Ontario Superior Court of Justice, suggests that, when the plaintiff is a politician, the bloggers may continue to remain anonymous.