Under the impression that social media is exempt from defamation action? You’d be wrong: an Aussie kid has just been fined a whopping $105,000 after defaming a teacher at his former school on Twitter and Facebook.
The Sydney Morning Herald reports that Andrew Farley, formerly of Orange High School, was ordered to pay $105,000 in damages today by a District Court after defaming a teacher at his former school.
The teacher reportedly read the defamatory missives and immediately took extended leave. She only returned to teaching in a limited capacity recently.
Farley had actually never been taught by the teacher at the centre of the defamatory content, but she had replaced Farley’s father as the head of the arts and music faculty at the school in 2008. District Judge Elkaim said in the judgment that Farley appeared to bear a grudge against the teacher after his father left the school, indicating a potential connection between the two.
The Judge found, however, that “there is absolutely no evidence to substantiate that belief”.
The penalty for the case is $85,000 in compensatory damages, and an extra $20,000 in aggravated damages after Farley reportedly ignored legal orders to take it down from the teacher’s legal representation.
Read the full story on the SMH.
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