Legal cartoons and humorous comment (c) Paul Brennan. All rights reserved.

I decided on 101 reasons as I didn’t want to depress the entire legal profession by having 1,001.
Paul Brennan, Lawyer, Sunshine Coast, Queensland, Australia

Saturday, September 28, 2013

Defriend or Foe?


Dear John

On Facebook there is a person whom I wish to defriend. Could defriending be defamatory? Does it amount to an imputation that there is something wrong with that person? Would it be safer to write to the person first setting out the reasons so that they can make any submissions before I take the decision to defriend?

FB user

Dear FBU

Absolutely not, but have you considered the more satisfying and rewarding alternative of suing this interloper?

A writ could be posted on your Friend’s timeline. Rather than being vindictive, you could claim you were just being efficient as it is now possible to serve court documents via Facebook. Others may Like the Post and if your Friend is particularly unpopular it could go viral on Twitter. The writ could be boosted by a tasteful, paid Facebook advertisement. Even something as mundane as a neighbourhood tree dispute could attract thousands of visitors to your Facebook page.

If this proves popular, you may find yourself eyeing up other Friends to sue. Of course, it would be best to choose your targets with the benefit of advice from a lawyer, who practices in the area of anti-social media, as I do. It is a matter of trial and error, but bikini models and accountants have proved extremely popular targets with my clients.

Therefore, it is essential to remain Facebook Friends so that your Friend can not only witness the humiliation of being so publically vilified but also be subject to the added sting of suspecting that they have helped to improve your Klout score.

As the Godfather said “You keep your friends close but your Facebook Friends even closer”.

 John Fytit AO

© Paul Brennan 2013. All rights reserved.

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