Harassment injunctions lawyers
Who said that the courts are not catching up with social media?
For ages there was a rule that said that injunctions had to be served through conventional methods, mainly because of the serious consequences for breaching them.
This rule prevented individuals (notably many celebrities among them) who were victims of harassment on social media, from obtaining an injunction against their faceless abusers as the injunction could not be served properly via conventional methods.
Until as recently as last week, the only remedy for the abused person was to quit Twitter, Facebook or Instagram with their tail behind their legs, which often was the only practical advice given to them by lawyers and the police.
This meant that the internet trolls were able to get away with harassment and abuse, carry on finding new victims or abuse the same poor victim on another social medium.
But this situation has recently changed when I asked a High Court judge to allow my firm to take advantage of new rules that permit for service of injunctions by alternative methods. The judge accepted the application and permit us to serve an injunction on a faceless abuser, via the very same social media she was using to harass my client. Read full post on injunctions served on social media
The case of Hegglin v Google at the High Court in London is reported to have been settled following the Judge’s criticism of Google in the previous hearing. Hegglin wanted Google to stop displaying highly defamatory websites about him on Google search results, not only in the UK but on Google worldwide.
So far, Google has taken the European right to be forgotten to only apply to its European searches and not to www.google.com.
The case of Hegglin v Google seems to have widened the scope of the right to be forgotten to worldwide internet searches as well.
After Mr Justice Edis said in a previous hearing that there was no real dispute between the claimant Mr Hegglin and Google over the fact that the allegations against Hegglin of serious criminal behaviour were untrue, the judge questioned the validity of the legal defence put forward by Google. The Judge did not agree with Google’s contention that www.google.com was not widely used by individuals in the UK.
The case of Hegglin v Google was being watched closely by many individuals who have outstanding disputes with Google over its display of defamatory information about them on search results.
About 2 years ago a challenging case was landed on my desktop. 15 years earlier a young model in had intimate photographs taken by her then boyfriend who later posted them online.
Subsequently the boyfriend agreed to remove all the images and the matter seemed to have been forgotten. Many years later, the images reappeared on various websites. The young model was now a primary school teacher and the damage to her personal being and her reputation was immense.
It transpired that the ex-boyfriend had nothing to do with the reappearance of the images. After some investigations the culprit turned out to be a time machine. Yes, a real time machine.
Read about the WayBackMachine that captures websites as part of a mega archive project on defamation lawyer blog.