Wednesday, 21 November 2012

Cairns v Modi [2012] 31 October - the Twitter 'grapevine effect' and libel

Cairns v Modi [2012] (31 October 2012): "Australian case law, where the convenient expression, "the grapevine effect" has been adopted: see e.g. Crampton v Nugawela [1996] NSWSC 651.
Mr Caldecott QC contended that with allegations of this scandalous nature it is likely nowadays that word will "percolate" by way of the Internet, and particularly in this case among those interested in cricket – not least because of the responsible position held by Mr Modi and the apparent authority of his words. Dealing with it generally, we recognise that as a consequence of modern technology and communication systems any such stories will have the capacity to "go viral" more widely and more quickly than ever before. Indeed it is obvious that today, with the ready availability of the world wide web and of social networking sites, the scale of this problem has been immeasurably enhanced, especially for libel claimants who are already, for whatever reason, in the public eye. In our judgment, in agreement with the judge, this percolation phenomenon is a legitimate factor to be taken into account in the assessment of damages.'via Blog this'

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