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Celebrity gossip channels

Thomas van Vugt
Thomas van Vugt
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Even celebrity gossip channels are subject to rules!

Online celebrity gossip channels are a well-known phenomenon and often very popular. The accusations they spread about famous people can sometimes go very far. But even these channels are subject to rules and therefore limits as to what is legally permissible.

At the request of NU.nl, our media lawyer Thomas van Vugt explains what a celebrity can do if a gossip channel spreads false stories.

Fact or rumour?

Case law has established that the fact that vloggers cannot be equated with investigative journalists does not mean they can just say anything they want – especially not if accusations are presented as facts rather than rumours.

Making serious accusations without a clear disclaimer (for example, that it is a rumour) is only legally permissible if there is sufficient evidence.

Gossip channels must substantiate allegations

A gossip channel is not expected to come to court with conclusive evidence before publishing something, but it must be able to make a plausible case that there are compelling indications for the serious allegations being made.

If the channel cannot substantiate the allegations, it is acting unlawfully. In such cases, a lawyer can demand, among other things, removal from the internet and a correction in summary proceedings.


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