Discussing A Toxic Match? You Could Face A Defamation Case

Women around the world are using social media sites to discuss negative experiences with an ex, helping others to avoid them. But some lawyers warn that sharing these allegations in a public setting could lead to defamation cases being set in motion.

The group ‘Are we dating the same guy? London’, is a Facebook community where women post pictures of abusive or toxic men, warning other women to stay away. The group has more than 17,000 members, with many warnings linked to experiences with online dating. 

Similar groups are appearing in Australia, which has seen national attention drawn to the issue of online dating safety. The founders of these groups say that these communities help protect women, especially since online dating platforms are failing to do so, ABC reports. 

However, Lawyer Sophie Robertson SC told ABC that women making allegations about men, even in private groups, could be setting themselves up for a defamation case.

“If it makes the ordinary reasonable person looking at it think less of the person it’s about … they could quite easily commence proceedings for defamation”, she explained.

She points out that women in these groups could claim that since their testimonies are accurate, defamation is not applicable. However, Robertson then warns that defamation proceedings would still bring untold stress and burden to victims. 

Looking ahead, as long as societies still continue to feel the repercussions of unsafe dating platforms, it seems inevitable that these social media communities will grow in number.