According to the results of a study conducted by Digital Clarity found that most companies who use social media as a marketing strategy are unaware that they could potentially be sued for defamation.
Researchers for Digital Clarity, a digital marketing and search strategy firm, surveyed more than 1,200 companies who regularly use social media platforms to promote their brands and products. Of these, it was revealed that 65 per cent were oblivious of the fact that what they publish on the Web could see them sued for defamation.
A further statistic showed that 78 per cent of firms do not check whether their content could be considered to be libellous or defamatory before publishing it live online. Even more worryingly, a staggering 91 per cent of UK businesses admitted that they had no specific policies for social media in place at present.
For the purposes of the study, social media was defined by three main categories: blogs (i.e. WordPress), Microblogs (Twitter) and social networking platforms (i.e. Facebook).
The costs of fighting an online defamation lawsuit can be high, whether you win or lose your case. This is why it is important for businesses to take out professional indemnity insurance for defamation, as well as implementing social media policies.