Hard to undo defamation damage to Hervey Bay business
HERVEY Bay lawyer Justin Geldard said when a business was defamed on a social media platform, it was difficult to undo the damage that had been caused.
He said by the time a letter was sent to the person making the defamatory statement asking them to remove it, the post might have already been shared by their friends, or the rumour might have spread.
But people needed to be aware that going online and making slanderous statements could have repercussions, whether that was via a civil lawsuit or a charge of criminal defamation, he said.
Sandra Holebrook, president of the Hervey Bay Chamber of Commerce, said the region was extremely active on social media and people sometimes posted without getting both sides of the story.
She said it was critical to avoid impacting unfairly on businesses as the damage was often irreparable.
"There are a lot of keyboard warriors out there," Ms Holebrook said.
She said while children were taught about the harmful nature of online bullying, it was also something that needed to be reinforced with adults.