Data protection: Facebook enemies
The recent case of Applause Store Productions v Raphael - the 'Facebook case' - received a huge amount of publicity. Although it heralded no change in the law, two key points of website defamation were reinforced: that there are ways to trace the identity of some anonymous internet posters in order to bring them to justice, and that the courts will apply serious penalties to those posting defamatory material on the internet. The facts of the case are as follows: Grant Raphael set up a fake Facebook profile in the name of his former friend, Mathew Firsht. The profile contained a link to a Facebook group entitled "Has Mathew Firsht lied to you?" These pages made defamatory allegations that Firsht owed "a lot of money" and had "constantly lied" about when he would pay. The false profile itself contained private information, including information as to Firsht's sexual orientation and preferences, as well as his political and religious views.
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