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Get your facts right.

 

In June of last year, The Mirror had printed that a Coronation Street star was dead, which they had to quickly retract, as he was not.

Last month the Inquisitir website stated Malik Yoba had been dropped from Empire, a popular American TV show, due to drug abuse. Started by a rouge blogger in Thailand the rumour was published as ‘fact’. Yoba’s solicitors were quick to act and made sure the website removed the article published a full apology.

Three other UK media outlets (the Sun, The Mail on Sunday and Grazia) have had to publish apologies for reporting Kate Moss left photographer Mario Testino’s birthday party in an ambulance. Moss’s solicitors got straight on to the three media outlets for a public apology for not ‘fact checking’ before printing.

More recently, a man from Druids Heath got into a spot of trouble; he opened a fake Facebook account and sent an ex-girlfriend a picture of her preforming a sexual act and threatened to show her family. The picture was taken down within a few hours but the ex-girlfriend was still sued and won damages from him for this invasion of her privacy.

So what do a Hollywood star, a fashion model and ex-girlfriend have in common? They have all suffered as a result of the immediacy of social media and the misguided notion that if it is on the internet it must be true. Social media can be a great of disseminating breaking stories but it can hurt people; by reputation and on an emotional level.

The government is now trying to crack down on revenge porn by the offence carrying a two year prison sentence, but do you think there should be more in the way of policing websites for defamatory information or pictures? Are we doing enough to protect each other?

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