Legal Updates

The “truthful publication” defense against defamation may apply even if not everything stated in the publication is true

April 2, 2022

A person who purchased a product posted on Facebook a complaint about service not provided to him by the seller and contended that the seller preferred other customers over him.

The Court rejected most of the claim and held that the post was protected under the "truthful publication" defense. Defamation is something that, objectively, its publication may humiliate, make its target a target for hatred, contempt or ridicule or demeanor due to acts, behavior or traits attributed to such target. However, such publication may not be considered defamation if it is protected under the "truthful publication" defense. In order to be covered under this defense, two cumulative conditions must be met: The publication must be true from a factual point of view, where the defense will not be denied simply due to the fact that it is unclear whether a negligible part which does not impose any actual harm is indeed true, and the existence of public interest in the publication. Here, the major part of the publication was true, with the only unproven part being that the seller preferred other customers over the purchaser. In addition, there is a social interest that justifies publications that informs customers of the level of service and a business' compliance with its obligations. Thus, the "truthful publication" defense exists in this case as to most of the publication.