Club’s ‘name and shame’ of patrons is 'defensible': Digital law expert
Lester Kiewit spoke to Emma Sadleir, Digital Law Company founder and CEO.
A string of "most wanted" photos and captions by Cape Town’s Saint Champagne Bar & Lounge made waves on social media on Sunday. The popular night club took to various social media platforms, posting pictures of patrons who owe hefty sums of money to the establishment.
They were posted after the club issued a warning, urging indebted patrons to pay up.
Sentiment is divided on whether the 'naming and shaming' tactic is the best way to resolve conflict. Some have questioned if this practice is legal.
According to digital law expert, Emma Sadleir, “defamation can be defensible’’.
Sadleir said Saint Lounge’s stunt meets the criteria for defamation but is not necessarily illegal.
Of course there is defamation here, but defamation is not always illegal…the point really is what you saying is both true and for the defence of the public.Emma Sadleir, Founder and CEO - Digital Law Company
The onus to prove whether what is being said is both true and for the public benefit is on the individual making the statement, she explained.
Allegations that outline any unethical or illegal behaviour amounts to information rendered for public benefit, therefore the establishment may be off the hook if it is able to prove their statements are correct, said Sadleir.
The attorney said for comments to be defamatory, they must be published to at least to one other person, refer to an individual directly, and damage their reputation.
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