Defamation can be defined as the act of making a false statement designed to damage the reputation of a person or organisation. In contrast, truth cannot be defamatory no matter how damaging it is.
In this post I will outline the evidence that supports my argument that the City of Moreland has falsely accusing me of defamation. The screenshots published in this story are unedited apart from blanking out references to other people to protect their privacy.
On Friday 15 February 2013 at 8.51am the City of Moreland sent me the following message in Facebook accusing me of making a defamatory post on their Facebook page:
In the past week I had made 1 post on their Facebook page and had later made 1 comment on a post by another user. It is not clear which of these they refer to. Both contributions were removed. While I expected these contributions to be deleted, the accusation of defamation is false and the City of Moreland has no evidence to support it.
On Wednesday 13 February 2013 at 12:01am I published a post criticising the City of Moreland for mismanaging the recruitment process for a contract role I applied for. The post is factual and the City of Moreland has produced no evidence to refute the circumstances I describe. It therefore cannot be considered defamatory.
I posted a link to the article on their Facebook page at 12.45am the same day thinking it would be a fun game to see how long they took to notice and remove it. The post survived the entire business day of the 13th as the following screenshot, taken at 5.41pm that day, demonstrates:
My post also survived the entire next business day, the 14th, as the screenshot made at 6.58pm that day demonstrates:
By that time, someone else had posted on their Facebook page and I commented on that post at 6.59pm:
By ‘managing’ the page I mean monitoring it and responding to posts in a timely and appropriate manner, in other words by providing customer service. The City of Moreland replies to questions posted on its page in an inconsistent manner, sometimes only after an unreasonable delay. In some instances it does not reply at all:
These examples provide evidence to support my assertion that City of Moreland is not ‘managing’ its Facebook page. My comment on this post cannot therefore be considered defamatory.
I have demonstrated in this post that the evidence suggests that my two contributions to the City of Moreland Facebook page cannot reasonably or accurately be described as defamatory.
In response to this false accusation I accuse the City of Moreland of itself making a false and defamatory statement about me: namely that I made a defamatory post about them. This accusation cannot be sustained by the available evidence.
I have emailed every member of council, including the mayor and deputy mayor, to inform them of the behaviour of their staff and to request an explanation and apology. I have invited the councillors to acknowledge council’s wrongdoing and to apologise for the unprofessional and unethical behaviour of its staff.
It’s also a curious coincidence that within the last couple of days someone from E-Secure, a company that claims to be ‘a specialist provider of the full range of Information Security and Risk Management services’ has looked at my Linkedin profile. Has the the Moreland City Council hired some corporate goons to check up on me?
Governments don’t like receiving critical feedback from citizens. Speaking truth to power is often interpreted as an attack that must be neutralised regardless of its veracity. They need to learn that they don’t control us and, if they treat citizens with disdain and contempt, we will respond.