Legal Question in Criminal Law in Massachusetts

Hi, i posted a picture on a private account online saying something mean about another person. The other person didn't see my post, but someone else took my picture and many other people's and made a whole instagram account talkin about this person and saying mean things. I did not know about the account until the girl who it was made about was hysterically crying. I did not make the account but I am scared that I am going to get into big trouble for this if it gets traced back to me for posting one picture. I deleted the picture from everywhere and I live in MA. Someone please let me know what the laws are on this topic.

Asked on 1/10/17, 5:31 pm

1 Answer from Attorneys

Alan Pransky Law Office of Alan J. Pransky

The answer changes depending on what you said in the post. I don't see criminal penalties for a posting unless you were aware that as a result of the posting another person would commit a criminal act or suicide. Civil liability is different. The first amendment to the constitution creates freedom of speech. This means that you can post things on line as long as they are true. If you post something that is not true you may be sued for slander or libel if the false filing injures a person. You would be responsible for your publication and a republication by another person. Damages would vary depending on the harm suffered by the person or the harm to their reputation.

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Answered on 1/11/17, 7:05 am

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