Last updated 10 June 2022
Publishing a matter can include a gesture, tweet, retweet or even an emoji.
The communication that causes the defamation can come in many forms. It does not need to be published in a newspaper or be in writing, it can be a verbal communication, a cartoon or photograph. It can be published on the internet, on social media or it can be contained in text messages, a letter or emails.
In the case of Dow Jones & Company Inc v Gutnick  HCA 56, the High Court considered that the same laws that apply to defamation in other types of publications apply to publications on the internet.
A ‘matter’, as defined in sch 5 of the Defamation Act 2005 (Qld), includes:
- an article, report, advertisement or other thing communicated by means of a newspaper, magazine or other periodical
- a program, report, advertisement or other thing communicated by means of television, radio, the internet or any other form of electronic communication
- a letter, note or other writing
- a picture, gesture or oral utterance
- any other material thing by means of which something may be communicated to a person.