For a series of defamatory posts he published on the social networking platform, Facebook, an Accra High Court has sentenced a social media influencer to pay GH100,000 in damages. The defendant, Francis Kennedy Ocloo, posted a series of defamatory comments on Facebook about the plaintiff, Efua A. Sintim.
The defendant did not specify the Plaintiff’s name in any of his posts from May 3 to 28, 2017, but after the Court’s procedures, it was ruled that the defendant had provided enough information in his posts to identify Efua Sintim as the target of his defamation.
The defendant has been ordered by the Accra High Court to delete all defamatory posts from his Facebook wall and to publish an unconditional and unqualified apology on his Facebook wall every day for the next 30 days. Following the ruling, the defendant announced his intention to appeal the case.
“Indeed statements I have put here, now and then people approach and ask me who it is about,” he wrote on his Facebook page on October 26. This means that a single post I publish can be claimed by multiple persons; it could be one of them. I’ve informed my lawyers about the next steps to take, and I’ll update you as soon as possible.”
Some social media users praised the decision, calling it a watershed moment for those who use their platforms to disparage others.