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Posting offensively on a social network and filing a false complaint with the police may be deemed defamation

December 19, 2021
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A fisherman filed a false complaint with the police against an inspector of the Israel Nature and Parks Authority for threatening to kill him and even published on a Facebook group a movie in which he accused the inspector of putting a gun against his head and threatening him.

The Court accepted the defamation claim filed by the inspector. Defamation is something which publicity may objectively be humiliating, make a target of hatred, contempt or ridicule or contempt due to acts, behavior, or characters attributed to the person. The law enables for compensation without the need to prove damage. When the damage is intentional, the law enables double the compensation. Here, the defamatory publications attributed the plaintiff a serious criminal offense of threatening to kill with a weapon and abuse of his position as inspector. These publications are humiliating the inspector, demeaning him, and damaging his good name in the organization in which he works. The potential harm to the inspector was most devastating and could have harmed his continued work as an inspector and removed him as an interfering factor in the fisherman's fight on behalf of a group fishermen. Thus, the publication, whether in the false complaint or the Facebook, showed a clear internt to damage the good name of the inspector. Therefore the fisherman was ordered to compensate the inspector by a high amount of ILS 120,000.