Legal Updates

Tagging on Facebook may be deemed defamation

May 10, 2024

A person published defamatory posts on Facebook about several people in connection with franchise services, inter alia by implying that they are involved in fraudulent activities. Furthermore, the person tagged their names in the posts.

The Court held that the posts amount to defamation. Defamation is defined as something the publication of which may humiliate a person in the eyes of mankind, disparage him for acts attributed to him, or damage a person's business. The humiliation can be done explicitly or by implication. As far as defamation on social networks is concerned, the act of tagging is deemed defamation due to the fact that its purpose is to convey the content of the post to others, although the tagger has the option to remove the tag. Here, there is no doubt that defining the franchisors as "crooks" amounts to defamation, when an insinuation that the franchisers are involved in an act of fraud also amounts to such. Beyond that, even the very act of tagging of the franchisees in posts amounts to defamation.