Careful What You Say On Facebook — You Could Wind Up Paying $500K

If you're not putting too much thought into what you share on Facebook and your other social media accounts, this might be a good time to remember you must think before you post.

Take this as a cautionary tale: A North Carolina woman is being forced to pay $500,000 to settle a defamation lawsuit over a post she wrote on Facebook, local TV station WCNC reports.

A couple of years ago, Jacquelyn Hammond allegedly posted just one sentence about a former co-worker, without actually mentioning the woman by name. That in itself shouldn't be a problem. Right?

Well, not exactly. The post said, "I didn’t get drunk and kill my kid." According to the complaint, Hammond was referring to the son of a colleague, who died in a gun accident with another boy back in 1976. That colleague, who is the plaintiff in the current case, Davyne Dial, was not drunk when she lost her son, and she wasn't responsible for his death, either.

She therefore had grounds to say that Hammond's post actually constituted a libelous statement, and sued her in 2015. (These type of defamation lawsuits can be made on grounds of libel, which means a written statement is defamatory, or slander, which is a spoken defamatory claim.)

Last month, the women finally settled the lawsuit. Now, Hammond will have to pay Dial $250,000 in actual damages for the defamation and emotional distress, and she will also have to shell out an extra $250,000 in punitive damages. Her single sentence post came at a cost of a whooping $500,000.

Was it worth it? We're going to take a stab and say that no, it wasn't. It might seem that because something you share lives online, it's not "real" and doesn't have real consequences. But that's just plain false.

So do yourself a favor and abide by the golden rule: Think twice before you post. And just like my mother would say, "If you don't have anything nice to say, don't say anything at all."

Like what you see? How about some more R29 goodness, right here?

Snapchat Has Finally Released The Feature We've Been Wanting For Years

Today's Google Doodle, Created By A 15-Year-Old Girl, Sends A Very Important Message

People Leave Some WEIRD Stuff In Their Ubers

More From

  • Found: The Most Comfortable (& Stylish) Sandals To Hoof Around In

    Despite the fact that we’re traveling much less this summer, it's still managed to feel like we’re walking more than ever. And, all of this bipedalism means that we are in dire need of some serious workhorse sandals to follow suit. No more strapping on those questionably supportive gladiators or flimsy flip-flops and Ubering our ways around town. Now that we're using our own two feet to hoof it to a host of local destinations, our footwear will need to support us (literally) every step of the way. We learned long ago that just because a shoe falls under the umbrella of “comfort” doesn’t mean it can’t be fashionable, too. With utility and style overlapping now more than ever, there are a plethora of choices this season that will enhance your walkabout without subtracting a single style point. Whether it's an unexpectedly cool cork slide, a recycled-rubber sandal adorned with dancing bears, or a leopard-print clog cousin, we’ve got you covered with summer-ready sandals that are both chic and sublimely comfy ahead. At Refinery29, we’re here to help you navigate this overwhelming world of stuff. All of our market picks are independently selected and curated by the editorial team. All product details reflect the price and availability at the time of publication. If you buy something we link to on our site, Refinery29 may earn commission.Like what you see? How about some more R29 goodness, right here?Comfort Footwear Shoes That Are Actually CuteAll The Sales On Summer Sandals Happening NowBye Birkenstocks: Meet The New "Ugly" Sandal

  • Demi Lovato Just Revealed The Name Of Her New Song — With A Manicure

    Just a few short weeks after Demi Lovato announced her engagement to Max Ehrich, the star has more big news: She’s about to drop new music. According to Lovato’s most recent Instagram Story, the “Anyone” singer is working on a brand-new song — the title of which she announced via manicure, showing off a squared deep French shape studded with multi-colored butterfly nail art.“Guys, I’m writing a new song called butterfly rn,” Lovato captioned a closeup shot of her butterfly nail art shared to her Instagram Story. Following the low-key announcement, fans were quick to track down more details, only to discover that this isn’t the first time Lovato has used the winged insects to inspire song lyrics.“The first song @ddlovato wrote as a child was about butterflies,” one fan account posted. Lovato herself cosigned the report, reposting the fan account and adding, “And today I’m writing a new one about just one.” If you can’t recall a past Demi Lovato single about butterflies, that’s because it was written when the singer was just seven years old, and was never actually produced. In a 2013 TV interview on Katie Couric, Lovato revealed that the first song she ever wrote as a child was about a crush and that quintessential butterflies-in-your-stomach feeling — she even sang a few cords for the audience.As of now, all we know about the new track is that its subject is a single butterfly — and that Lovato is wearing symbolic nail art to match. We’re keeping a lookout for more breadcrumb clues ahead of the release. Like what you see? How about some more R29 goodness, right here?The Mismatched Manicure Trend Just Got An UpgradeMeghan Markle's Bridal Mani-Pedi Broke TraditionCharli & Dixie D'Amelio Launch Nail Polish Collab

  • Vanessa Guillén Was One Of Many Soldiers To Be Brutalized & Killed At Fort Hood

    Vanessa Guillén, a Fort Hood soldier who originally went missing in April and whose body was finally found in July, still hasn’t gotten justice. Despite detailed reports, including a confession from her alleged killer, Spc. Aaron Robinson, Guillén’s family has lost faith in the system that was supposed to protest their daughter. “From the start, we lost trust with them (the Army) from the very beginning,” said Mayra Guillén, Vanessa’s mother. “The story they gave us is completely… I don’t even know what the right word for it is, but no one believes that story.” But as it turns out, Vanessa Guillén was only the latest fatality to come out of Fort Hood. Fort Hood has one of the highest rates of murder, sexual assault and harassment in the Army, according to Secretary Ryan McCarthy, who visited the base this week and said that the army base is known for having a violent past. United States Army post in Killeen, Texas has a troubling history of shooting rampages between 2009-2014. But as early as this past year, violence has continued across the base, with at least 7 soldiers who were stationed at Fort Hood having been found dead since March of 2020 alone. This includes Robinson, who took his own life after confessing to killing Guillén. Even in this past week, Francisco Gilberto Hernandezvargas, a 24-year-old soldier based at Fort Hood, was found after drowning near the Texas base. An investigation is still being conducted.In March, 20-year-old Shelby Tyler Jones’ died after suffering a gunshot wound in south Killeen near Fort Hood. Brandon Scott Rosecrans, a 27-year-old who joined the Army in 2018, was also found with a gunshot wound near Fort Hood in May, his car found burned nearby. Then, in June, another soldier, Gregory Scott Morales, was found dead in a field in Killeen, Texas, nearly 10 months after vanishing. Fort Hood released a statement that foul play is suspected. Morales was only 24 years old. Of the eight deaths this year, five so far have been publicly linked to foul play, according to the Army Times. When McCarthy visited this week, he said it’s clear that the Army should be taking better care of its soldiers. “We are getting an outside look to help us to get to those root causes and understand them so we can make those changes. We are going to put every resource and all of the energy we can in this entire institution behind fixing these problems,” McCarthy stated during a press conference. McCarthy also referenced Guillén’s death as a catalyst for the Army to focus on sexual harassment and assault in the military. Prior to her death, a survey given to 225 Fort Hood soldiers in June found that one-third of the women who responded had been sexually harassed. According to Guillén’s family, she had also shared allegations of sexual harassment with them prior to being murdered, but never reported out of fear. Fort Hood is now under a review, according to McCarthy, where officials will examine historical data of discrimination, harassment, and assault, and investigate the climate and culture that’s allowed for violence to take place. McCarthy himself has also already had conversations with soldiers based in Fort Hood to understand their experiences and the culture of the post, and conducted listening sessions to determine what the Army needs to change. With this kind of history, it’s unclear why this is just coming out now, and why serious action wasn’t taken as a preventable measure. Many cases of missing and killed soldiers had begun popping up long before Guillén, but they weren’t publicized or investigated in quite the same way. Still, McCarthy is determined to correct these injustices, despite a lack of faith in the current system — specifically the system governing Fort Hood.“Ultimately the results, findings, recommendations will fuel an implementation team chaired by the Undersecretary of the Army and the Vice Chief of Staff for the Army,” McCarthy said. Like what you see? How about some more R29 goodness, right here?150 FBI Agents To Investigate Crystal Rogers CasePolice Continue To Be Accused Of Sexual ViolenceAaron Glee Confesses To Killing Toyin Salau

  • 19 Matching Sweatsuits For Living Your Best Stay-At-Home Life

    While many of 2020’s most-popular fashion trends don't feel quite right for a life of time spent at home and social distancing (I definitely won't be wearing a tailored vest anytime soon...), there is one in particular that I'm currently very grateful for: the matching sweatsuit. As a freelance fashion writer, I’m already a big fan of sporting my pajamas while conducting phone interviews and writing stories from the comfort of my own abode. And, now that all my previously in-person meetings to events and coffee dates have been replaced by virtual Zoom calls, I’ve found myself reconsidering this sleepwear-only WFH wardrobe entirely. Luckily, the sweatsuit happens to be a comfy PJ-adjacent look that's appropriately conducive for wearing during a day full of important Zoom meetings — aka it's still just as comfy but more elevated than the aforementioned "I literally just rolled out of bed" attire. Ahead, find 19 stylish sweatsuit sets that are so comfy you won’t want to (or really need to) take them off. At Refinery29, we’re here to help you navigate this overwhelming world of stuff. All of our market picks are independently selected and curated by the editorial team, but if you buy something we link to on our site, Refinery29 may earn commission.Like what you see? How about some more R29 goodness, right here?There's No Such Thing As Work-From-Home StyleShop Every Piece From R29's New Loungewear LineAmp Up The Joy Of Loungewear With Tie Dye Print