Marketing & Advertising Magazine

Online Defamation Explained: How It Can Impact Your Salon Services

Posted on the 31 January 2017 by Jennquinn

Guest Article by Michelle Bolger, Employment Law Consultant at ESA Consultants

By its 2009 definition, a defamatory statement is “one which tends to injure a person’s reputation in the eyes of reasonable members of society.” There are 3 ingredients that have to be present for someone to sue for defamation: (1) It must be published; (2) It must refer to the complainant; (3) It must be false. But what does that all mean in an everyday context? How can online defamation impact your salon services?

Online Slander or Negative Review?

When we feel attacked by social media keyboard warriors, the heat can rise very quickly. As a result, the common reflex is to type back something hot-headed. Incidentally, chances are you’ve done just as much damage to your online reputation as the initial comment.

So first things first: how well can you differentiate online defamation and a negative or passive-aggressive comment? Let’s look at some examples of everyday situations that can arise and see whether they could ground a case for defamation.

Situation 1 – Sara, The Senior Stylist

salon services

Sara, a senior stylist, takes a very unflattering pic of Jane. Then, she sends it around to all the staff with the caption “2017 Diet Fail”.

Is this defamation? No.

Is it mean and a red flag for an employer that should be followed up on? Yes.

Situation 2 – Staff & Gossip

salon services

Some of the staff have been chatting gossip about Mark on a shared WhatsApp about his partner cheating on him. They’ve also been talking about how his cuts have been very poor.

Is this defamation? No.

Is it appropriate and professional? No.

Situation 3 – Naomi, The Frustrated Client

salon services

Naomi puts a picture on Facebook of a bad haircut and tells everyone not to take upon your salon services. She also says to specifically avoid Maria, who cut her hair.

Is this defamation? Possibly – remember our three ingredients? It has been published on Facebook. It refers to the salon and Maria specifically.

Is it false? Not in Naomi’s opinion – though this may be arguable.

Situation 4 – Claire, The Mean Girl

salon services

Claire tells Dave in a text that she is glad that she fired Susan as she was crap and had no personality. Then, Dave shows Mary, another stylist, who is friends with Susan.

Is this defamation? Possibly. It definitely meets our first two ingredients.

Related | The Guide To Dealing With Difficult Salon Staff

Minimize The Impact On Your Salon Services

In conclusion, my father always said: “only ever write down what you would be prepared to have published in tomorrow’s newspaper.” That is true now more than ever. In fact, with social media platforms such as Whatsapp, Facebook, Snapchat, the lines are thinner than ever.

First, social media platforms are not the places to discuss your business or for staff to discuss business matters. Second, if clients take it to social media to air grievances, remember the 3 ingredients – the third arguably being the most important – is it false?

In any case, however, you have an unhappy client. Suing them for defamation, while possible, isn’t always the best business solution. Instead, it’s often more efficient and reputation worthy to handle your online reputation by getting to the bottom of your customer’s complaint and making up for it.

Related | How To Find And Handle Your Bad Salon Ratings

If you are a victim of defamation (remember the 3 ingredients) and looking for more help and guidance about the particular situation you’re in, you can always email Michelle Bolger at <[email protected]>.

Editor’s note: Did you enjoy this? Wish to learn more about online reputation management? Sign up to the Phorest Academy Online Reputation Webinar and learn exactly how to take control of how clients treat, react and rate your business online.

Learn more about this webinar in this episode of Phorest FM, the Salon Owner’s Podcast!

Thanks for reading,


You Might Also Like :

Back to Featured Articles on Logo Paperblog

These articles might interest you :

  • What I Wore: Chico’s So Slimming Juliet Pants

    What Wore: Chico’s Slimming Juliet Pants

    I told you that you'd see these pants again very soon! These are the So Slimming Juliet Ankle Pants from Chico's. Chico's reached out a bit ago and asked me to... Read more

    10 hours, 26 minutes ago by   Wardrobeoxygen
  • A Little Time with Apple Watch Series 4

    Little Time with Apple Watch Series

    Over the past 3 years, I’ve authored some of my most in-depth blog posts about each successive version of the iconic Apple Watch since it revolutionised the... Read more

    10 hours, 44 minutes ago by   Fitnessontoast
  • Writers on Location – Amanda Huggins on Japan

    Writers Location Amanda Huggins Japan

    Welcome to the first guest post of the new season, a special one in several ways. It’s the first time Japan has featured in my Writers on Location series, and... Read more

    11 hours, 11 minutes ago by   Isabel Costello
  • Celebrating Gorillas at “the Best Kwita Izina Ever!”

    Celebrating Gorillas “the Best Kwita Izina Ever!”

    Rwanda’s gorilla naming ceremonyGorilla tracking is said to be a “once in a lifetime” experience yet I love this primate encounter more and more each time... Read more

    11 hours, 12 minutes ago by   Diaryofamuzungu
  • Rock’n’Roll Philadelphia 5K Race Recap

    Rock’n’Roll Philadelphia Race Recap

    Kickstart your fall racing season by running a music-filled race in a rockin’ city. Learn all about it in this Rock’n’Roll Philadelphia 5K Race Recap. Read more

    12 hours, 26 minutes ago by   Fitfulfocus
  • I Wanna Try Everything - Ariel is 4!

    Wanna Everything Ariel

    I know I am very slow in keeping up with all these precious growing up videos of the kids, like how this one took me over a year and a half just to complete, bu... Read more

    13 hours, 25 minutes ago by   A Happy Mum
  • Bhutan Tourist Attraction for Family Tour

    Bhutan Tourist Attraction Family Tour

    Bhutan is one of the most amazing places in the world that one can visit for a family vacation. This place is also known by the name of the land of smiles... Read more

    14 hours, 22 minutes ago by   Sharp Holidays