Tuesday, June 30, 2015


I know little of defamation law, but it is rather odd that, apparently, you can be defamed by a headline on a poster when the newspaper article itself does not defame.  Who believes that newspaper headlines are always literally true?   Are Gillard and Rudd now free to cast their eyes back over 5 years of stupid Daily Tele and Herald posters to see which are defamatory?

I hope there are grounds for appeal on the Hockey case.

Even if there are not, unless this dud of a Treasurer declares that he is giving his damages to charity, the win is not actually likely to improve the public's poor perception of the guy.

Update:  having watched 7.30's explanation last night, the most interesting thing is the way the case found that the tweet with a link to the story (with the story itself not defamatory) was still defamatory.   The logic was that the hundreds of thousands who saw the tweet but did not follow the link had been given the defamatory claim without checking the detail which would have set them straight.

But surely the fact that so few people who got the tweet clicked on the link can be used to argue that people know not to trust headlines, and the fact they didn't follow the link shows they did not interpret the headline to be literally true.   I mean, if they thought the tweet meant that the Treasurer had literally changed policy due to a bribe, then many more would surely have wanted to follow the link to the story.

I can't see why the judge made law shouldn't be aligned with what people actually expect from the media:  attention grabbing headlines that are given proper explanation in the article.   


Not Trampis said...

yes the decision sounds remarkable. 120k for the headline and 40k for each tweet.

Not Trampis said...

the Judge dismissed the reasons Hockey thought he was defamed as the article was fine. As you say his reasons were strange.