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Four Steps for Care Homes to Limit the Impact of Defamatory Comments Online

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We have seen a recent increase in the number of instructions on defamatory online social media posts which are made by disgruntled family members and ex-employees and relate to care home staff and care homes.

hlwKH logoWhilst people are entitled to voice their opinions and concerns, there are certain circumstances in which prompt action is required to limit the impact of defamatory remarks made online. This is particularly the case in respect of social media, where posts can often snowball within short time periods.

With this in mind, here are four steps for Care Homes who find themselves at the centre of online smears:

  1. Preserve the evidence by quickly securing a copy of the offending comments. Web postings (particularly those on social media) can easily be removed and may be very difficult to locate subsequently.
  2. Act fast to minimise reputational risks. A long delay in challenging a defamatory remark can jeopardise a successful claim.
  3. Resist the temptation to respond to the upsetting material. A spat in a public forum is likely to draw further attention to the defamatory remark and is likely to be counterproductive.
  4. Establish a consistent approach to dealing with defamatory remarks. A reputation for taking a firm but fair line can be effective in preventing further defamatory comments.

Always take expert advice from an experienced solicitor, who can guide you on the most appropriate course – then put this into action.

For more information, contact Andrew Broadbent on 0114 252 1416 or andrewbroadbent@hlwkeeblehawson.co.uk

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