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Woman Ordered to Pay $500,000 For False Facebook Post

Photograph by Twenty20

How much will it cost you to lie about someone on Facebook?

Apparently half a million dollars.

While social media is awesome for keeping in touch with far away friends and family, it's also become a breeding ground for online bullying with very little to no consequences for the posters.

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Now, at long last, there has been an actual hefty consequence for one woman posting fake news about someone else to the popular social media site.

Jacquelyn Hammond of Ashville, North Carolina was ordered to pay $500,000 in damages for posting a false story about another woman, Davyne Dial, that implied Dial was somehow responsible for the death of her child who was actually killed years earlier due to a gun accident involving another child.

On November 15, 2015, Hammond had posted in relation to Dial, “I didn’t get drunk and kill my kid.”

And grieving mom Dial wasn't taking this spreading of lies. So she sued for libel in Superior Court—and won. According to court documents, Hammond had to pay damages of $250,000 and punitive damages of $250,000.

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Charlotte attorney Missy Owen tells WKYC, “I think people today don’t recognize the importance of their words. Just because it is very easy to get your words out there does not mean you should."

“Anybody who learns about this case should think twice before angrily posting on their Facebook page about somebody else if what they have to say is not true.”

The lesson of the day: Words matter, so be careful how you use them. Especially if they'll live on the internet for all eternity.

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