Many people have been upset, tormented, embarrassed and exposed through the publication of false information or private text, images or videos online. There is no limit on where the content will go once that content appears on a single platform. On platforms such as Facebook and Instagram, users are able to rapidly share posts and information, which could result in the content appearing on a greater variety of platforms than the original it was posted to. Users who are subjected to defamatory messages or posts that breach their privacy frequently feel they are powerless to take action and convincing the website to delete the content and furthermore, and even if they do, it can take time.
Facebook recently announced that users of the platform would now be able to appeal to Facebook to get certain posts removed. The appeals will be reviewed by a quasi-independent oversight board, who will make a determination about the content and whether or not it should be removed. As the oversight board is somewhat independent of Facebook, it is hoped that more consideration will be given to the impact of certain posts on individuals and that greater protection will be afforded to victims of defamatory content or publications that violate a person’s privacy.
Prior to this announcement, users only had the option to appeal to Facebook for certain content to be re-instated to Facebook or Instagram. This often related to posts that were removed after being reported for issues such as nudity or pornography. Now, users will also be able to contact Facebook and request that certain content should be removed; the decisions of the oversight board will be binding on Facebook.
How does this affect me?
If you are subjected to content on the internet that is defamatory or breaches your privacy, you may be able to justify to Facebook that the content containing such illegal qualities be removed. Users have often had difficulty getting the large platform to take notice of their complaints, but now with this new set-up, it will be a somewhat independent board making a decision about your complaint. The key to such appeals is to clearly identify what is wrong with the content, as this will help you appeal to Facebook and obtain a successful result.
For example, if the content makes claims about you that are untrue, it may qualify as a defamatory post. If the content exposes your personal information or displays private images of you, this may be a breach of privacy law.
Unfortunately, Internet Removals often sees lower success rates of content removal when users try and appeal to the third party or hosting platform themselves. Internet Removals is skilled in referring to and using legal principles as a basis for the request to remove content. Whilst Internet Removals is well-versed in such content removal applications, the new information released by Facebook will allow us to gain insight into whether consumers are also able to have success on their own.
Now you can protect yourself
If you think you or someone you know has been a victim of cyberbullying, defamatory posts or posts that violate your privacy, whether on Facebook or Instagram, or any other platform, you can contact us at Internet Removals to discuss your concerns. This may relate to social media posts, online articles or others.
We may be able to assist you with:
- Identifying content that constitutes cyberbullying on a variety of online platforms;
- Applications for removal of online content;
- Online Reputation Management.
We can be contacted by either phoning +65-31584706 or sending an email to email@example.com.
Disclaimer: There is no obligation in contacting Internet Removals for advice relating to online defamatory content and our services with removal. Internet Removals is not providing any legal advice. If legal advice is recommended or required, Internet Removals can refer you to IRG Law Pty Ltd. You should not rely upon the contents of this newsletter for any litigation, decision to litigate or decision to publish material online.