Academic awarded £70,000 in damages over blog

Mr Justice Saini awarded substantial libel and harassment damages following the judgment handed down this morning in Blackledge v Person(s) Unknown.

The claimant, a senior academic, was the victim of a campaign of online abuse in the form of blog posts published anonymously on a website. The posts made false and seriously defamatory allegations of sexual misconduct. The blogger used the #MeToo debate as part of their strategy.

Following a remedies hearing, Saini J awarded £70,000 in damages and granted injunctions in libel and harassment. An order for the blog in question to be removed from the internet was also made.

Saini J noted in the judgment that “the facts of this case are a striking example of how the internet and social media can be used to abuse and damage innocent individuals with apparent impunity.”

A 5RB case report can be found here.

Ben Hamer of 5RB acted for the successful claimant, instructed by Brett Wilson LLP.