James is a Partner and Head of the Dispute Resolution team and primarily handles commercial…View Profile View all
Our litigation team has recently acted for a client which contracts with musicians, performers and DJs to provide entertainment for passengers on cruise ships. It recently had to terminate the contract of a Trinidad based DJ who had posted abusive comments about a passenger on social media.
Having had his contract terminated, the former DJ created a false Facebook persona and using that Facebook page, made allegations that another of our client’s contractors had raped a passenger and that the incident had been covered up by the client’s cruise director because of a relationship he had with the DJ. The posts, which included photographs of the alleged rapist and cruise director, generated a social media frenzy. The allegations were fully investigated by the client and the cruise line, and found to be entirely false; there had been no rape and no cover-up.
Our litigation team were instructed to get the false Facebook postings removed. Within three hours of receiving instructions, we dispatched a letter by email to the former DJ threatening him with proceedings for an injunction and damages based on malicious falsehood and defamation. Although he responded to say that it was not him, his writing style was virtually identical to that of the author of the posts on the fabricated Facebook page and within minutes of the email being dispatched to him, the Facebook page was deleted, and all social media comments removed.
If you have any issues with malicious or false social media postings affecting your business, contact our litigation team on 01274 306000.