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Jenny
Jenny, Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 6428
Experience:  Qualified Solicitor specialising in Employment Law and general legal matters. Please start your question For Jenny Only
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Can I be at risk of legal action because of a comment within

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Can I be at risk of legal action because of a comment within a non public forum on Facebook? I own and company and a competitor has been shown my comment of " don't even get me started on about him" and " I saw him at hearth and home and had to walk the other way as I knew I'd do something bad". He's basically a young man not very liked within the industry locally and these comments were pretty much what I considered a private discussion in a closed group. There was no mention of his company name and comments were not posted publicly.

Hello my name is***** am a solicitor and I am happy to help you today. What was the nature of the 'closed forum'?

Customer: replied 29 days ago.
It's a group for fireplace/stove installers in the UK.

was he identifiable from the comments, i.e was it in response to his name being raised by another person? Has he threatened action against you and is he likely to suffer any financial loss as as result of the comments?

Customer: replied 29 days ago.
It was in response to his name being raised by someone else. As the page would be only view by competitors then he would not suffer any financial losses at all

Has he threatened a claim?

Customer: replied 29 days ago.
he has. He claims it will severely damage his reputation and I was threatening with no reason and tries to suggest it's deformation of character but I made no false statements or accusations

Under new UK libel laws (which were redesigned for the internet age) you may find that he can bring a claim this is because defamation is defined as 'a statement which would cause someone to think less of the person to whom it refers'. There is no need for the statement (as used to be pre the changes to be made in public - although I think that the closed forum you describe may well be deemed to be public if it were to be put to the test). That being said the claimant will have to show that he has suffered 'damage' as a result of the comments though (and from what you have said he will struggle to do that.

I think that it is likely that he is just blowing hot air, claims of this nature run to tens of thousands of pounds in legal fees so he is very unlikely to claim unless he can show a real adverse impact on his business.

Is there anything further you would like to know.

Customer: replied 29 days ago.
No Jenny that's Okay, thanks for your help.

No problem, please do remember to rate my answer before leaving the site as I am not otherwise credited for my time and do come back to me in the future if you need to.

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