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  1. #1
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    Default Social media harassment with my friend's small business.

    Friend of mine is in the middle of a divorce (kind of) and her soon-to-be ex is trying to ruin her small business reputation on social media.
    Long story short, she was going to leave him anyway but when he found out about her plans before she could get her own stuff in order, he went off the deep end. So now he AND his buddies are slandering her on her small business' FB page. Given the fact that they are all posting within the last 24 hours (he found out last night), and the reviews aren't true, as well as personal comments against her, does she have any legal recourse? I told her to leave the reviews up and keep the review feature on for now, including the comments from others option and just let them shoot themselves in the foot by involving themselves in something they had no part of. Am I right that she could actually sue her ex AND his friends who are doing this for potential damages? She does make a decent amount of income off the business but it is not her sole income yet. She has gotten screen shots of everything and so have I for backup.

    Here is an example of what they are writing:
    Attached Images Attached Images
    "We go through our careers and things happen to us. Those experiences made me what I am."-Thomas Keller


  2. #2
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    Ugly.

    Whoever posted that has set himself up for one hell of a lawsuit, if it is not true then I'd say unleash the hounds.

    That'll quickly stop the harassment as soon as word gets around.

    Additionally, those posts can be used in court to establish the husband's character if there are kids in the mix. Judges don't take kindly to group bullying and harassment.
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  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by NightTrain View Post
    Ugly.

    Whoever posted that has set himself up for one hell of a lawsuit, if it is not true then I'd say unleash the hounds.

    That'll quickly stop the harassment as soon as word gets around.

    Additionally, those posts can be used in court to establish the husband's character if there are kids in the mix. Judges don't take kindly to group bullying and harassment.
    thankfully there are no kids involved.

    The one comment that was showing was actually made by a buddy of the husband's, although he has posted stuff too. This page isn't the only thing being posted on. Any photo album that she has any mutual friends of theirs tagged in that others can see is getting targeted too.

    She is beside herself with this going on but I told her to stay strong and she's gonna stay with me for a bit until she can make other arrangements. She has worked hard on her business and for him to do this is just sick. I told her as soon as she gets herself into a different place and settled a bit, to start printing out every screen capture that was taken and lawyer up. I have heard of social media bullying like this not being taken lightly.

    It is even worse as she has a history of self-harm behavior (PTSD from childhood abuse from parents) from stress and they had been in therapy where this information was recorded.
    "We go through our careers and things happen to us. Those experiences made me what I am."-Thomas Keller


  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by KitchenKitten99 View Post
    Am I right that she could actually sue her ex AND his friends who are doing this for potential damages?
    Technically libel but it's possible and not necessarily related to how much she makes.

    http://injury.findlaw.com/torts-and-...d-slander.html

    There may be things specific to online harassment that are state specific such as cyberbullying etc.

    https://www.hg.org/article.asp?id=36205
    "when socialism fails, blame capitalism and demand more socialism." - A friend
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  5. #5
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    The other thing she is concerned about is the safety of her 2 cats.

    Am I correct in that if he does anything to either one to harm them in any way (even letting them outside untethered or not in a crate), he can be charged with animal cruelty?

    Seriously, this guy is off his nut...
    "We go through our careers and things happen to us. Those experiences made me what I am."-Thomas Keller


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    Quote Originally Posted by KitchenKitten99 View Post
    So now he AND his buddies are slandering her on her small business' FB page. Given the fact that they are all posting within the last 24 hours (he found out last night), and the reviews aren't true, as well as personal comments against her, does she have any legal recourse?
    Written word would be 'libel', slander is spoken.

    If these can be proven as incorrect and malicious reviews, which they obviously are, she most certainly has recourse. But the problem is that it's not that easy to sue for such cases and can end up taking forever and ever, and costing a fortune. Instead of investing a life savings in order to sue someone - it may be more advantageous to spend $200-500 in order to send a cease and desist letter.

    But that's where the next problem comes in. To WHO. Granted, just for a letter, one can take a chance and just send to the EX. But in a court of law it can just be laughed at and ignored. In order to PROVE who is making the posts you would need help from Facebook to get the IP addresses for identification. And nope, they won't just happily give it to you over an email, they will require a subpoena.

    A cease and desist and continual reporting/banning/blocking may be the best way to go in the long run.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by KitchenKitten99 View Post
    The other thing she is concerned about is the safety of her 2 cats.

    Am I correct in that if he does anything to either one to harm them in any way (even letting them outside untethered or not in a crate), he can be charged with animal cruelty?

    Seriously, this guy is off his nut...
    The problem here will be getting proof of any issues, and then getting the police involved. And even then, any civil issues and the animal is sadly treated as "property". But absolutely, at least they are in fact protected via cruelty laws. I'm no expert on what qualifies and what doesn't, and I know that's something that will likely change state by state. I hope nothing happens in that respect, as that would tick me off more than the reviews would. I would go completely overboard in protection from this point forward, just to be sure. If affordable, setup indoor and outdoor cameras.

  8. #8
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    I think she has him calmed down now...

    Turns out his sister saw everything he was doing and sided with my friend. Even though she isn't completely innocent in the whole thing, his sister pretty much told him what you guys posted here and now he is begging to at least work things out and be civil until the divorce is final. So even if any kind of slander or libel suit is not necessarily worth it... he doesn't know that.

    She told him she saved screen captures of everything he and his friends did and is hiring someone to help her with it all. As soon as his sister confirmed that it will get ugly and expensive for him and given what all was written, my friend would likely win. I guess that is all it took for him to realize he was being a douchecanoe.

    He has since backed down and said he wants to work with her on everything and has taken down the posts he made. The ones his buddies and other family members made, I don't know.

    I do know is I am proud of my friend for standing up to him like that and not letting him emotionally manipulate her, which is a good habit of his, and one of the things that she was leaving him for.
    "We go through our careers and things happen to us. Those experiences made me what I am."-Thomas Keller


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