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Liability for anonymous online reviews

The Federal Court handed down a judgment yesterday regarding defamation for anonymous online reviews of a dentist.

Nettle v Cruse [2021] FCA 935

https://www.judgments.fedcourt.gov.au/judgments/Judgments/fca/single/2021/2021fca0935

"The publications in question here were excessive, scandalous and totally unjustified and unjustifiable. I have no hesitation in finding that they were malicious and calculated to cause maximum damage to Dr Nettle. The fact that Ms Cruse chose to publish such baseless and scandalous material about Dr Nettle either anonymously or in false names supports the inference that she well knew that it was false and misleading. That is perhaps confirmed by the fact that, when Dr Nettle eventually commenced this proceeding, Ms Cruse chose to disappear rather than front-up and defend her indefensible actions. Ms Cruse’s conduct towards Dr Nettle was, in all the circumstances, contumelious and disgraceful."

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