Social media’s false news: expensive!
I’ve just read that a judge has ordered a North Carolina woman to pay $500,000 in damages after she wrote a false post about an acquaintance and her deceased son.
On her Facebook post she wrote, "I didn't get drunk and kill my kid," referring to a woman who lost her son decades ago in a gun accident involving another boy. The target of the malicious Facebook post had nothing to do with her son's death, so she sued.
Her attorney told the press that it is too easy to get your words out and this results in fewer controls and poor judgement calls. Just because you can, doesn’t mean you should, the lawyer said.
The Facebook poster was found guilty and ordered to pay damages of $250,000 and another $250,000 in punitive damages (teach her a lesson).
False news? It looks like social media’s ease of creating false news is now creating real news, and it isn’t good for those who use social media uncritically. Every post requires a good second thought. It could be very expensive otherwise.