A woman has been ordered to pay €1,000 in damages to her former pet groomer after she disclosed a private SMS exchange on a Facebook group for PN supporters.
The courts heard today how pet groomer Charmaine Martin had SMSed all her former clients to inform them she was reopening her business. However, Jasmine Urry told Martin that she was boycotting her business as retaliation for [Martin] having blocked her from Facebook over a political dispute. According to Urry, Martin had blocked her after she told the pet groomer to stop criticising Opposition leader Adrian Delia on Facebook.
However, Urry then took the feud a step further, publishing screenshots of the SMS exchange to ‘Grupp PN’, a closed Facebook group for PN supporters. Urry also pointed out that Martin was in a relationship with PN Gzira councillor Wayne Hewitt, who is a vocal critic of Delia.
Martin asked Urry to remove the screenshots on the basis that they were harming her business, but she didn’t do so and they had to be removed by a group administrator.
Magistrate Francesco Depasquale ruled in favour of Martin, arguing that Urry’s post was baseless and solely intended to harm Martin and her business. He ordered Urry to pay Martin €1,000 in damages and sounded concern about how social media is being used to smear reputations.