A WOMAN who accused a female prison officer of abandoning her children at the side of the road on social media, has been ordered to pay her $75,000 in compensation for defamation.
Ama Charles has also been ordered to pay Heidi Joseph’s legal costs in the sum of $19,652.
In a ruling delivered on social media defamation, Justice Margaret Mohammed ruled that the nature of the allegations in the Facebook post, made by Charles, “ were of a very serious nature since it called into question the fitness of the Claimant as a parent in a society where the acts of parents with their children are under immense scrutiny both by private citizens and state agencies.”
Mohammed quoted from the text “The threat posed to reputation by the emergence of social web technologies” by Sarosh Khan, which reads: “Social web technologies have profoundly changed the way in which the average individual interacts with the web, no longer merely taking from the wealth of content online but now actively contributing to it to a potentially large audience.
“This power, however comes with inherent concerns in particular attacks on reputation in light of the way in which individuals perceive and do not appreciate the power of these technologies.”
Joseph took Charles to court for posting certain statements on the social media website, Facebook on January 24, 2016.
Charles admitted publishing the words on her Facebook page, but denied that she caused the post to be shared on the Prison Service Facebook page.
Joseph was represented by attorney Kalena Maharajh and Whitney St Clair while Gem Emmanuel and Elena Da Silva represented Charles.