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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 47914
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I am 20 years old and left my school 4 years ago. Last year

Resolved Question:

I am 20 years old and left my school 4 years ago.
Last year I began making comedy style Facebook videos about one of my previous teachers. The videos insinuate that he is a paedophile and a homosexual who's sexually interested in the pupils within his class.
These videos are posted on a Facebook page the name of which, is the same as the teacher of whom I do an impression of in the videos.
His photo does not appear on the page and the name of the school does not appear on the page.
The only way in which the videos can be linked to the teacher involved is through the name of the page and references to the subject he teaches within the videos.
I have recently received communication from my old school, asking me to remove the page and threatening legal action.
I only want to remove the page if I am legally obliged to do so, and before doing this I'd rather tweak the page to make it legal.
My question is... Do the contents of my Facebook break the law?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 1 year ago.
Hello, my name is***** am a qualified lawyer and it is my pleasure to assist you with your question today. Are these allegations true?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
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Expert:  Ben Jones replied 1 year ago.
Are these allegations true?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
No... There is no evidence to support the allegations that he's a homosexual paedophile who is interested in the pupils within his class.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I don't even personally believe the allegations are true. The idea is an inside joke that developed amongst friends
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 1 year ago.
The issue here is that what you have done is likely to amount to defamation. The following elements make something defamatory: 1. The statement has to be untrue.2. It must directly identify the complainant.3. It must have been published, usually communicated to at least another person.4. It must be in a form of words, which would tend to lower the claimant in the estimation of ‘right thinking members of society generally', expose the claimant to hatred, contempt or ridicule, or cause the claimant to be shunned or avoided.5. Its publication has caused or is likely to cause serious harm to the reputation of the claimant. The problem here is that there is enough information to link your character to the teacher. You need to make changes such as remove the real name and perhaps change the details so that the links to him are removed or lessened, such as changing the subject the character teaches. Also you should remove any infringing videos so that these cannot be linked to future ones. This will significantly remove any risks you face regarding potential defamation. I hope this has answered your query. I would be grateful if you could please take a second to leave a positive rating (3, 4 or 5 stars) as that is an important part of our process and recognises the time I have spent assisting you. If you need me to clarify anything before you go - please get back to me on here and I will assist further as best as I can. Thank you
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Thanks for this clarification1. The video does not make statement about the teacher. The character within the video does however express sexual interest in members within his class... There is however no explicit indication that his class members (with whom he engages in sexual relations) are under the age of consent.2. The page directly references his title and surnameDo you believe that if I change the name for example from "Mr Tomlinson" to "Tommo" this would be an adequate name change?And further if I removed videos with any reference to Science (his subject), I would be protected from accusations of defamation.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
?
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 1 year ago.
Steer away from any direct or close reference. I would not even go with Tommo, change it completely if you can, then also change the subject - together that should give you sufficient grounds to argue that you re no longer referring to this specific person. Hope this clarifies?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Thanks for your help
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 1 year ago.
You are most welcome. If your original question has been answered I would be grateful if you could please quickly rate my answer by selecting 3, 4 or 5 starts at the top of the page - it only takes a second to do and is an important part of our process. I can still answer follow up questions afterwards if needed. Thank you
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