Legal Updates

Publishing a negative post about a business owner may be considered defamation even if its name is not specifically mentioned

January 29, 2024

A customer posted a negative review about a beautician without mentioning her name, but invited women to contact her privately and get her identity.

The Court accepted the claim and held that the customer must compensate the business owner for defamatory publication. Israeli law defines defamation as a publication which may humiliate a person in the eyes of others who are exposed to the content of the words, when their purpose is harming the person's occupation. Defamation can be implied from the publication itself or from external circumstances. Here, the customer published negative posts in three different Facebook groups regarding the business owner using extreme words such as "charlatan" or "fraudster" without any factual basis. Although the business owner's name was not mentioned in the posts, the customer invited women to contact her and shared her name with dozens of women. In doing so, the customer actions constitute defamation and she will compensate the business owner.