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TACKLING THE SPREAD OF FALSE AND INACCURATE INFORMATION

TASSA NEWSLETTER: November 2023


Hello!


Defamation or false statements will not be tolerated and will be tackled swiftly.


Read on to find out more about:

  • What defamation is and other key rules to be aware of.

  • What we are doing to tackle the spread of false information.

  • How we handle genuine complaints, accusations, or reports of breaches of our standards.

  • What you should do if you think someone is spreading unfair, untrue, and damaging statements about you, TASSA verified installers, companies, or products.



TACKLING FALSE AND INNACCURATE INFORMATION


What is 'defamation' and what are the other rules I should be aware of?


It is against the law in the UK (Defamation Act 2013) to publish information that is knowingly unfair, untrue, and likely to cause serious harm. As such, if it were identified that such statements had been made it is possible to make a civil claim for damages or seek an injunction, apology and / or retraction.


Defamation - the overarching term used to describe when a statement is made that is unfair, untrue, and likely to cause serious harm to the reputation of the individual, body, organisation, or company in question.


Libel - defamation which concerns the publication of an unfair, untrue, and harmful statement in permanent form. This includes writing, broadcast, and social media.


Slander - defamation which concerns the transient publication of an unfair, untrue, and harmful statement. This includes speech, gestures, and conduct.


Statements by companies, organisations or sole traders on their own websites, or in other non-paid-for space online under their control (e.g. Facebook, TikTok, and Instagram), can also face sanctions from the Advertising Standards Authority if those statements do not comply with the following:

  • Communications must not materially mislead or be likely to do so.

  • Subjective claims must not mislead the consumer; marketing communications must not imply that expressions of opinion are objective claims.

  • Marketing communications that include a comparison with an identifiable competitor must not mislead, or be likely to mislead, the consumer about either the advertised product or the competing product.

  • Marketing communications that include a comparison with an unidentifiable competitor must not mislead, or be likely to mislead, the consumer. The elements of the comparison must not be selected to give the marketer an unrepresentative advantage.

  • Marketing communications must not discredit or denigrate another product, marketer, trade mark, trade name or other distinguishing mark.

In short it is not ok to spread, share, or publish untrue, unfair, and damaging information. There are legal and regulatory instruments to protect consumers, individuals, businesses and organisations from harm as a result of this. It does not matter if such information is posted on Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, or through traditional marketing materials.

While TASSA fully supports the right to free speech and will always welcome, feedback, criticism, escalation of issues, and competition, we will not tolerate false, unfair, harmful information being shared about us or our members.

What are we doing to tackle the spread of false information?


We have been made aware of several recent incidences of untrue, unfair, and damaging information being shared on different social media platforms and to customers directly concerning TASSA verified products and members.


While we will not publicly share the details of such cases, we wanted to reassure you that such cases are taken seriously, rigorously investigated, and action taken swiftly.


Our commitment to our members and consumers:
  • We will challenge false information and seek for its removal, and public retraction

  • We will consider legal action against perpetrators if the damage causes significant harm

  • We will support you if false information is unfairly shared about you, your services, or products / services

  • We will delist and deregister any TASSA members who have been proven to knowingly share or publish untrue, unfair, and damaging information, whether it concerns another TASSA member or not, as it is a breach of our standards and ethics.

We welcome genuine complaints, accusations, or breaches of our standards. If you do not believe a verified TASSA member, product, service, or system is fit for purpose please let us know. We take such reports very seriously and will take action to rectify any issues.

We also want consumers to be empowered by choice and welcome the opportunity to verify more products, services and members. We encourage any of our members' competitors, who claim that their services or products offer better protection to consumers, to prove it and complete the TASSA verification process, rather than spread false information,

What can you do?


If you identify that someone is spreading unfair, untrue, and damaging statements about you, TASSA verified installers, products, or companies.

Do not share unfair, untrue or harmful information or use abusive language in response!!!

Instead:
  1. Report it to TASSA

  2. Report it to the platform where the statement was published

  3. Educate others, especially consumers, using truthful, proven, information

  4. If appropriate, seek a remedy using the legal and / or regulatory instruments available


Is your membership up to date?


Did you know you can now pay your annual membership fees online?


It's never been easier to keep up to date with your membership, pay online today.


A lot may have changed since your company first joined as a member, including the information about your company we publish online. To make sure we are representing you correctly we strongly encourage you to update your details today. You can update your company details, preferences, and permissions here.


TASSA Continue Improvement Programme


We continue to strive forward our all-encompassing improvement programme and are working hard to implement and embed new and enhanced processes, tools, and resources to improve our members’ experience. At the moment, most of these have been in the back-end, however some big changes are starting to be delivered on the website!


Nevertheless, it’s not too late to have your voice heard! If you would like to share any feedback or ideas, please feel free to reply to this email or complete this (very) short anonymous survey: https://forms.gle/stsLMkr3FaicW56J9


Thank you,
All of us at TASSA
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