DialAFlight began legal proceedings last week against four review sites who published a “malicious and libellous” article, submitted by a competitor
Online PR News – 26-June-2009 – – June 2009 - DialAFlight began legal proceedings last week against four review sites who published a “malicious and libellous” article, submitted by a competitor.
The travel company had contacted these sites when the articles first appeared and asked for them to be removed, and say they have only begun High Court action as a last resort. The nature of the article, and the fact that it was distributed identically across a range of sites, led DialAFlight to believe that it was not a genuine user comment, but rather a strategic act of defamation by a competitor attempting to discredit the company.
One site, grumbletext.co.uk, has already removed the offending post, offering an “unreserved apology” to the firm for what they describe as “serious, unfounded allegations”. As a result, DialAFlight have settled out of court for a fraction of the sum they might reasonably have expected in (what would almost certainly have been) a legal victory. The user-generated forum for consumer gripes describes DialAFlight’s withdrawal of action as “magnanimous”.
“We think blogs and review sites serve a useful function so we did not want to take this route,” says a DialAFlight spokesperson, “but there’s no way we are going to allow a competitor to go around the internet posting lies about us.
“Review sites need to act in a responsible way and make sure they properly police the material which is appearing on their site. They would do well to remember that a large number of libel claims against newspapers actually emanate from their letters pages.”
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