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defamatory online review?

defamatory online review?

Postby jeremy2017 » Tue Nov 28, 2017 9:29 pm

Hi. A while ago, I posted a less than flattering review of a local company on a review website.  I have now been asked to withdraw the review as the firm has made a complaint for defamation.  However, my account was truthful and accurate and did not use any offensive language.  Do I have to withdraw anyway? Many thanks for any opinions!
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Re: defamatory online review?

Postby atticus » Tue Nov 28, 2017 11:45 pm

Can you please clarify what is meant by "the firm has made a complaint for defamation".

If you are faced with a threat of court action for defamation that you judge to be serious, then withdrawing the review may be a price worth paying to avoid litigation.
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Re: defamatory online review?

Postby jeremy2017 » Wed Nov 29, 2017 8:18 am

Thanks for your reply! The firm has asked the website to remove my review as they feel it constitutes defamation. The website in turn contacted me for a comment. I'm not familiar with the law, but to my mind the remarks I made are not defamatory, as I did not use any abusive terms and my review was 100% truthful.
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Re: defamatory online review?

Postby atticus » Wed Nov 29, 2017 11:39 am

The owner of the website will decide what to do. I suggest that you explain to the website owner why you consider that the review was fair, even if unfavourable, so that you can show that you were giving a fair reflection of your experience and not being malicious.
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Re: defamatory online review?

Postby jeremy2017 » Wed Nov 29, 2017 1:31 pm

Sounds like a good idea. Many thanks for your thoughts.
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Re: defamatory online review?

Postby gid » Wed Nov 29, 2017 1:52 pm

I was asked by a review website to remove the phrase "rip-off" from my review about a company that had objected to the said review, leaving the bare facts of what happened between me and the complainant still there on the website to this day.
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Re: defamatory online review?

Postby jeremy2017 » Wed Nov 29, 2017 3:16 pm

Funny thing is that I didn’t even use a word like ripoff. My review was factual through and through but the company called it “lies“. I stated 4 facts which the firm calls lies and I can only prove that two of them are true ...
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Re: defamatory online review?

Postby dls » Wed Nov 29, 2017 3:54 pm

The remarks I made are not defamatory, as I did not use any abusive terms and my review was 100% truthful.


Sorry, but the words have meanings, and can be defamatory even if true according to the meaning. If you wished to plead justification in answer to a claim of defamation, then it is for you to establish the truth of what you say, and each meaning found in what you say.

If the website had any sense they would simply have taken the words down.

Better than justification is the fact that very very few web pages have any number of readers, and modern defamation law says that a complaint can be thrown out because no real damage has been done.

Whether not and in any event, this is really not a party you wish to attend. Defamation actions are very very expensive and very unpredictable. It is just silly to get involved.
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Re: defamatory online review?

Postby jeremy2017 » Wed Nov 29, 2017 5:35 pm

Thanks for your comments, David. The said post is nearly two years old, is there not a 12-months-time limit to bring defamation claims? I know it's probably silly to take them on, but I'm a bit of a maverick and might do just that... :-)
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Re: defamatory online review?

Postby jeremy2017 » Wed Nov 29, 2017 5:38 pm

I'm not sure what you mean by "words can be defamatory even if true". Surely, if I make comments that are true (and can be supported to be so with corroborative evidence), this cannot be seen as defamatory, no?
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