The warning comes as a Sydney couple were left to lick their wounds after copping a $15,000 legal bill following a social media defamation case.
The commotion began when Matt Palmer and his wife Annette noticed a series of posters strategically plastered in public areas of Scotland Island — an exclusive island located 30km north of Sydney in Pittwater.
The posters were aimed at a local resident, who allegedly failed to control his King Charles spaniels while in public spaces. It included a photo of resident Nader Mohareb and a description that claimed the Egyptian-born man was “a highly volatile individual, prone to manic outbursts … often abusive and threatening, particularly towards women and children”, Fairfax reported.
Mr Mohareb sued Mr Palmer after he shared a photograph of the poster on the Scotland Island Community Facebook page with a suggestion that Mr Mohareb “may or may not be related to Satan”.
In his statement of claim, Mr Mohareb asserted that the Facebook post falsely implied he was mentally unstable, contemptuous of accepted social conventions and decorum, has a history of violence and should be avoided by member of the community.
Despite the post being removed by Hubert Van Mierlo, the administrator of the page, the couple was sued for defamation by Mr Mohareb after he claimed the post made false accusations, which harmed his reputation within the community.