Facebook Libel Case

This is some interesting news coming from BusinessWeek concerning a celebrity doctor in the Philippines suing a lawyer who used Facebook to call for patients to boycott her practice. The controversial suit was filed by Philippine celebrity doctor Vicky Belo, against Argee Guevarra, the legal counsel of one of Belo’s former patients who accused her of performing a botched butt augmentation procedure years ago. This case is one to take note of because it is the first ever case in the world where the complaint does not belong to the defendant’s Facebook friends list. There was actually a previous Facebook libel case that was said to have been filed in the UK where businessman Mathew Firsht sued a former classmate over a false allegations about his sexual orientation.

Recent reports show that ZDNet Asia spoke with a lawyer, specializing in intellectual property, who expressed doubt that the case would even advance past the preliminary stage conducted by the city prosecutor of Taytay in Rizal province. There is no law on Internet libel in the Philippines, where libel suits must involve defamatory statements that are made in print, said the lawyer, who declined to be named. “In a criminal case such as libel, the law is normally skewed toward the accused who, in this case, has the legal maxim of reasonable doubt on his side,” he explained.

This case just goes to show how far Facebook has evolved from a network exclusively for college to students to a site where one could easily get media attention for posting status updates. To read more about this Facebook Libel Case please refer to the article in BusinessWeek . Shout-out to Christian for the notification on this news.

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