Fake Facebook profile victim wins libel case

By Mark O’Neill
Contributing Writer, [GAS]

A man who saw his whole life laid out in a fake Facebook profile has won his libel case against a former friend in the High Court in London.

Mathew Firsht was awarded a total of 22,000 pounds ($43,500) after a judge ruled that Grant Raphael had libelled Firsht by setting up the fake Facebook profile to settle a grudge, and then putting in Firsht’s life information, accompanied by blatant lies.

Those lies included implying he was homosexual, changing his political views, saying he and his business were in serious debt and that he and his company were not to be trusted, amongst others.

Luckily though, Mr Firsht’s brother spotted the profile after 16 days and it was swiftly taken down.

Raphael claimed that the profile was made by friends at a party at his home but that defence was rejected.

This case could set an important legal precedent as social networking profiles become even more widespread in our lives.   More and more personal information is being included in these profiles so the potential for abuse is rife.   Therefore the next libel trial is probably not that far off.

I wouldn’t be surprised therefore if this judgment isn’t quoted as a precedent in another courtroom either in Britain or another part of the world soon and many more times to come.

Via Times Online