This Is Why; You Should Always Properly — Punctuate Your Social Media Posts’

This Is Why; You Should Always Properly — Punctuate Your Social Media Posts’
Contributor: Whitney Kimball

An Australian judge may make an example of sloppy punctuation to the tune of over $159,290 in legal fees. Australia: the stone-cold schoolmarm of nations, once dubbed by a reporter the “defamation capital of the world.”

Several outlets have reported that real estate agent Anthony Zadravic is now being sued for defamation for typing “employees” rather than “employee’s” in a Facebook post last year. In the reported 12 hours before Zadravic deleted it, the post read:

“Oh Stuart Gan!! Selling multi million $ homes in Pearl Beach but can’t pay his employees superannuation,” meaning an employer-subsidized pension fund. “Shame on you Stuart!!! 2 yrs and still waiting!!!”

Last week, Judge Judith Gibson reportedly ruled that Zadravic’s employer Stuart Gan would be allowed to proceed with the suit because “employees” could suggest a “systematic pattern of conduct” of shortchanging staff, whereas Zadravic claimed he was only speaking for himself. Gibson also reportedly said that the suit might cost Zadravic up to $340,362.

Another Australian court has lately gone off the rails with social media defamation policy. Last month, the High Court of Australia upheld a ruling in favour of a former teen detainee who sued media companies over commenters’ ridicule under news posts showing him hooded and strapped to a chair in a detention centre.

The court found that media companies (or anyone who so much as runs a Facebook page) for commenters’ speech; as a result, some outlets and the Tasmanian premier have restricted comments, and CNN has blocked Australian readers from its Facebook page.

Last week, Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison said that even platforms like Facebook should be held liable as publishers, calling social media “a coward’s palace.”

Defamation attorneys have warned that precedent implies that so much as sharing a post, without adding commentary, can constitute defamation. In 2018, a former New South Wales mayor — a public figure, who’d have a much harder time winning a defamation case in the US — was awarded $163,374 in damages from a Facebook commenter. And now, maybe some unfortunate soul goes to apostrophe jail.

The Cheapest NBN 1000 Plans

Looking to bump up your internet connection and save a few bucks? Here are the cheapest plans available.

At Kotaku, we independently select and write about stuff we love and think you'll like too. We have affiliate and advertising partnerships, which means we may collect a share of sales or other compensation from the links on this page. BTW – prices are accurate and items in stock at the time of posting.


9 responses to “This Is Why; You Should Always Properly — Punctuate Your Social Media Posts’”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *