Missing an apostrophe in Facebook post lands real estate agent in legal trouble

The court in New South Wales took note of then error and said it suggests "a systematic pattern of conduct". The man in question, Anthony Zadravic, had criticised his former employer over non-payment of retirement funds.
Anthony Zadravic urged the Australian court to dismiss his plea saying the error was trivial, but the judge called it serious.(Representative Photo/Pixabay)
Anthony Zadravic urged the Australian court to dismiss his plea saying the error was trivial, but the judge called it serious.(Representative Photo/Pixabay)
Published on Oct 18, 2021 12:39 PM IST
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Byhindustantimes.com | Written by Amit Chaturvedi, Hindustan Times, New Delhi

An Australian real estate agent's failure to include an apostrope in his Facebook post has landed him in legal trouble. The post was meant to criticise his former employer over non-payment of retirement funds.

But the missing punctuation mark caused a defamation case to be filed against him, reported The Guardian.

The incident happened in October last year, reported The Guardian, when New South Wales (NSW) Central Coast realtor Anthony Zadravic posted on Facebook, "Oh Stuart Gan!! Selling multi-million $ homes in Pearl Beach but can’t pay his employees superannuation. Shame on you Stuart!!! 2 yrs and still waiting!!!"

Since the word ‘employees’ didn't have an apostrophe, it indicated that he was referring to several employees of Gan rather than himself. The post was meant to highlight non-payment of his dues.

Though Zadravic deleted the post within 12 hours, Gan was made aware of it and he filed a defamation case against his former employee, the report further said.

Zadravic pleaded the court to dismiss the petition, saying the failure to punctuate social media post was trivial. But the court last week allowed the case to proceed pointing to the seriousness of the claim in it, said The Guardian report.

Judge Judith Gibson said the missing apostrophe suggests "a systematic pattern of conduct", saying that the failure to pay looks deliberate.

The judge also noted to such instances where Facebook posts cost their authors dearly, the report added.

Zadravic is now facing the prospect of paying more than $1,80,000 in damages.

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