A growing number of people are learning that bad mouthing someone on social media can have very expensive consequences. If you make stuff up or defame people online, you just might find yourself in court and facing hefty fines (like Andrew Farley who was required to pay a former high school teacher $105,000 in damages for making false allegations against her on Twitter).
What is defamation?
Defamation is when someone spreads false information about you, and as a result your reputation is damaged. You can sue someone if they say something about you to other people that is untrue and that is likely to make ordinary people think less of you. Did you just feel someone walk over your grave when you read that? Have you had that horrible moment when you realise that at some point you have posted something on Facebook where you called someone something that was untrue, just for fun? It's time to accept that it's not a good idea. With more and more people taking action against others who criticise them on social media, you need to think very hard before you write something nasty online. If it can be proven to be untrue and damages their reputation, then they can absolutely sue you.
What does this mean to you?
Calling your boss a fascist pig on your Facebook account (regardless of privacy settings) can not only lead to you losing your job; it can lead to you standing up in court and copping a serious fine. Like your nana always told you, if you can't say something nice, say nothing at all.