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20 August 2012

Posting On Social Media Websites Could Cost You

The Law Society of Northern Ireland has said that members of the public need to act responsibly and respect other people’s rights when using social media websites.

The Society, which represents solicitors in Northern Ireland, has said that its members increasingly have to deal with clients seeking legal advice following comments posted about them on social networking websites such as Twitter and Facebook. In most cases the matter is resolved through a letter or phonecall from their local solicitor.

However the Society’s members have expressed growing concern at the public’s lack of understanding of the implications of posting derogatory, threatening, sexist, sectarian, racist, slanderous or libellous comments on social media websites.

Increasingly the public don’t realise that comments they post on a social media websites may actually result in them receiving a fine, a prosecution or in the worst case scenario a prison sentence.

The Law Society believes that a joined up approach is needed to inform and educate the public about the use and misuse of social media.

Commenting the President of the Law Society of Northern Ireland, Imelda McMillan said:

“It is important that those using social media understand that they are responsible for what they post regardless of the subject matter or person(s) they are commenting about.

Equally important is that we empower those members of the public who have had malicious comments posted about them to seek the advice and support of their friends, family, parents, teachers and when necessary the police and their local solicitor. ”


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