Sunvoice

EDITORIAL: Landmark Case Will Make People Think Twice Before They Attack Others Online

The landmark case of Fiji Fashion Week/Ellen Whippy-Knight versus Emosi Radrodro is welcome. In the first case of defamation involving comments made on social media, the Civil High Court has
20 Jan 2017 12:21
EDITORIAL: Landmark Case Will Make People Think Twice Before They Attack  Others Online
Editorial

The landmark case of Fiji Fashion Week/Ellen Whippy-Knight versus Emosi Radrodro is welcome.

In the first case of defamation involving comments made on social media, the Civil High Court has ordered that Radrodro pay damages of $10,000 to Mrs Whippy-Knight.

Fiji Fashion Week and its managing director Ellen Whippy-Knight had taken former radio personality Radrodro who also goes by the name Amoz Walsh Radrodro and Prince Radrodro on Facebook for comments he made.

High Court judge Justice Brito Mutunayagam ruled that comments made by Radrodro directed at Mrs Whippy-Knight alleging that she hooked up young models with rich older men were defamatory and libellous.

Radrodro has also been ordered to pay a further $2500 in court costs.

Justice Mutunayagam also found that comments Radrodro made on his various Facebook pages directed at Fiji Fashion Week were neither defamatory nor libellous. For bringing this action against Radrodro, Fiji Fashion Week has been ordered to pay him $2000 in court costs.

Justice Mutunayagam  also stated in court that Radrodro’s reasoning that he was not the source of the comments he had posted on his Facebook pages and that some other individual called Joseph Raga had informed him of it did not absolve him of his responsibility towards the comments that he made, which were widely circulated.

This sentence sets a precedent that will no doubt have a bearing on our social media conduct. It sends a strong message that before you hit the button and do a posting, you must think carefully about the content.

People should not make remarks that may be deemed as libellous and defamatory against people and organisations.

We know that there are people who hide behind the veneer of fake addresses and vilify others. They operate with impunity without any regard for the dignity of people.

We hope that eventually the long arm of the law will catch up to them.

A good start has been established by this first case and it will make people think twice before they launch unprovoked attacks on others.

It will act as a deterrent from engaging in online attack or bullying.

Feedback:  nemani.delaibatiki@fijisun.com.fj

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