“Funa” against a school principal who is accused of being a sexual abuser violates the right to honor, the Court of Puerto Montt resolves.

The Puerto Montt Court accepted the protection appeal filed by the former principal of a school in the Hualaihué commune, Los Lagos region, against 8 former students for having posted on Facebook that he was a sexual abuser.

The actor states that, in March 2022, the mayoress gave him a tribute in his capacity as director, the news of which was published on the Municipality’s Facebook account, which received 11 comments from former students, who classified him as a sexual abuser and concealer, for which he was reviled as a person, since these comments were also published on another account on the social network, which also stated that he was not an example for children and that he should be dismissed, which is a lie , since there has been no criminal case against him and he has never received complaints at the establishment since he took office in 2019.

As a result, it considers that the right to the presumption of innocence, to dignity, to work and to free contracting, to life and physical and mental integrity, to privacy, honor and image has been violated, and requests that delete the posts and refrain from posting the same content on any social network in the future.

Disregarding the report of the appellants, the Court of Puerto Montt accepted the protection action. He reasons that, “(…) the tenor of the comments is an attack on the actor’s honor, since his participation in sexual harassment behaviors towards students of the “Mauricio Hitchocock” educational establishment in Contao and/or is imputed or suggested. or his performance as a cover-up for such conduct. Without prejudice to the effectiveness or not of the facts that would have motivated the comments in question, the truth is that the legal system provides for the appropriate procedural mechanisms to channel the requests that underlie them, guaranteeing the defendant’s right to defense, not being the social networks the place to carry out those since, precisely, those constitute an arbitrary and illegal action that infringes the right to honor protected by article 19 No. 4 of the Constitution. Likewise, publications or comments of this nature constitute illegitimate conduct of self-protection, contrary to the legal system, which violates the guarantee protected by subsection 5 of No. 3 of article 19 of the Fundamental Charter”.

The ruling continues, noting that, “(…) it is considered that the publications or comments made on social networks, by definition, are far from being private, allowing unrestricted access to any person, since they are formulated in a social media and massive, allowing its circulation, even against the will of the issuer itself. In this way, it can be affirmed that the information of the social network can be more or less open to the public, but it will always be public, it is enough to capture the screen of a computer or mobile device in which the content is found for it to continue disseminating. .”

Based on these considerations, the Court accepted the protection appeal and ordered that comments made on Facebook that cause a negative or insulting effect on the former director of the educational establishment be eliminated and that they refrain from posting or commenting on it in the future. tenor.

See resource Court of Puerto Montt Rol No. 1415–2022.

“Funa” against a school principal who is accused of being a sexual abuser violates the right to honor, the Court of Puerto Montt resolves. – Constitutional Journal