“Amuck” means to become “mad with murderous frenzy.” It’s a good word to describe what happens to some people when they think that they are immune from consequences when they post on social media.
However, as a Dallas couple recently found out, taking to social media to get revenge over a perceived slight or affront can be costly. Andrew Moldovan and his bride-to-be Neely hired a local photographer to memorialize their special day. They subsequently got into a bit of a dispute over a $125 fee the photographer, Andrea Polito, asked for (in accordance with her contract, by the way). Mrs. Moldovan, a self-described “beauty blogger,” channeled her knowledge of social media to literally ruin Polito’s business. At one point Neely wrote to someone that “we hope our story makes the news and completely ruins her business.” The Moldovans succeeded. After a decade in business, Andrea Polito had to close her studio because of the onslaught from the Moldovans.
But the story doesn’t end there. Last Friday, after two and one-half years of litigation, a jury awarded Andrea Polito $1 million in damages against the Modovans. The Moldovans can and almost certainly will appeal the judgment, but now three lives have been ruined by Andrew and Neely’s reckless use of social media to resolve a minor dispute. Andrea Polito is out of business and the Moldovans are facing more legal expenses and the possibility of losing everything.