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Defamation, the Protection of Public Participation Act and strategic lawsuits against public participation

On March 25, 2019, the Protection of Public Participation Act (the “PPPA”) was assented to bringing into force legislation aimed at combating strategy lawsuits against public participation (SLAPPs).

 

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Significant online defamation damages in Canada — are online platforms immune?‎

If only Canada were to have such clear laws. Here, it is critical for operators of online platforms to understand that this issue remains largely unlegislated and left to the common law; which holds that a person will not be responsible, as a publisher, if the person’s sole participation in the publication of the defamatory material is merely their “innocent” involvement in the purely administrative or mechanical phases of publication.

 

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Substantial damages awarded for defamatory social media posts

The recent decision of Rook v. Halcrow, 2019 BCSC 2253 continues to underscore that social media posts are public domain and that serious censure can follow defamatory social media posts. It appears that courts are perhaps increasingly willing to award very serious damages for particularly malicious social media posts.

 

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Keeping things in context: B.C. Court of Appeal considers the roles of context and public debate in defamation cases

The B.C. Court of Appeal’s recent decision in Northwest Organics, Limited Partnership v. Fandrich demonstrates the importance of keeping things in context when determining whether an allegedly defamatory statement has a defamatory meaning.

 

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Libel by tweet: Ontario Court of Appeal upholds dismissal of Twitter libel claim under anti-SLAPP legislation

A recent decision from the Ontario Court of Appeal (ONCA) adds to the growing body of Canadian case law confirming that tweets certainly can be libelous, though protections exist for comments on matters the court finds to be of public interest, including through anti-SLAPP legislation.

 

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The risks of complaining on social media: When airing grievances attracts damages

Social media users are well cautioned to appreciate the difference between a fair and legally justified expression of opinion and reflection of experiences and when posts cross into the defamatory realm of maliciousness and/or untruthfulness.

 

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Top 10 most-read Inside Internal Controls posts for 2017 and Season’s greetings

We are signing off with a list of the top 10 most-read Inside Internal Controls posts for 2017. This year on the Inside Internal Controls blog we’ve been covering some of the hot topics in internal controls, governance, information technology, not-for-profit, and business management among others. The top 10 most-read Inside Internal Controls posts for 2017 include:

 

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Defamation and reference checks

Reference checks can put former employers in an awkward position. Employers want to tell the truth but may be concerned about the potential legal consequences of providing a bad reference. However, a recent case out of Ontario suggests that employers should not be afraid to tell the truth when asked to provide a reference for a former employee.

 

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Updated: Nova Scotia passes new cyber-bullying legislation

On October 5, 2017, the Nova Scotia Legislature introduced Bill No. 27, the Intimate Images and Cyber-protection Act. The Act comes as Nova Scotia’s previous cyber-bullying legislation, the Cyber-safety Act, was struck down in 2015 by the Nova Scotia Supreme Court on constitutional challenge.

 

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The new privacy tort – Another victory for victims of cyberbullying

In the highly-publicized decision of Doe v. N.D., the Ontario court recently granted a victim of cyberbullying significant damages, to compensate her for the serious emotional and reputational harm she suffered in the hands of the defendant.

 

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My website allows users to post comments – can I be liable for defamation?

If you host a website that allows the public to post comments, you may be surprised to find out that you may sued if a stranger posts defamatory comments on it.

 

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Yelp! – How do I deal with negative online reviews?

Every business knows that online reviews matter. They are today’s equivalent of “word of mouth”. It is to be expected that most businesses will, at some point, receive negative reviews online. After all, unhappy consumers tend to want to share their negative experience with the world. Those negative reviews may have a great impact on the business’ financial success or failure.

 

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The ‘right to be forgotten’ on Google – Can it happen in Canada?

“If a tree falls in the forest and no one is around to hear it, does it make a sound? Similarly, if damaging information is posted on the internet and is not picked up by Google, does it cause harm?”

 

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What to do if you are a victim of cyberbullying or cyberlibel – Part 2

In this posting, I will provide tips to adults and businesses that are being cyber-libelled. Anyone can be made a target of online defamation, with devastating consequences to one’s personal and professional reputation. Indeed, at its worst, cyber-libel can bring an individual or business to the brink of bankruptcy.

 

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Is cyberbullying a crime?

Is cyberbullying so serious as to be considered a crime? Apparently so.

 

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