Introduction to this document

Letter requiring removal of social media postings

Use our letter to deal with individuals posting unacceptable comments about the business or its employees, clients, etc. on social media websites. It requires them to immediately remove the comments and threatens them with civil legal action, as well as disciplinary action in the case of employees.

A social media headache

Whilst social media has many positive uses, it’s also an easy means for individuals to vent their personal opinions in a public forum without giving any thought to the possible repercussions. The posting could have been made by a current or former employee, a disgruntled client or supplier or a member of the public. As well as being unacceptable, offensive and derogatory, the comments made might also be discriminatory and/or defamatory. Either way, you need to take steps to quickly nip them in the bud and get them removed. This is where our Letter Requiring Removal of Social Media Postings comes in.

Removal required

Our letter refers to the comments and the social media forum where they were made. It’s always better if you can attach a copy of the postings so you can highlight exactly what it is you’re objecting to. It then states that the comments are both untrue and made without any factual basis, as well as being offensive, derogatory, defamatory, etc. and goes on to require that the individual both remove them immediately and provide a written undertaking not to make further similar unacceptable comments, whether on social media or otherwise.

Routes of redress

What action you take if the postings aren’t removed will depend on the particular circumstances of the case and what exactly was posted, but our letter highlights the following potential routes of redress:

  • you’ll report them to the website owners - they have power to close down user accounts
  • you’ll report them to the police
  • you’ll issue civil proceedings against them both to force the removal of the postings and for damages.  The main cause of action you’re looking at will be defamation. 

Finally, if the postings have been made by a current employee, you’ll need to consider instituting disciplinary action anyway, regardless of whether the postings are deleted. In this case, our letter provides that you’ll contact the employee separately about this as you’ll need to take this aspect forward under the terms of your disciplinary procedure.