$430k Love settlement shows tweets can be costly (via Yahoo News)
From Yahoo News -
Courtney Love’s settlement of a case sparked by online attacks on a fashion designer show that while Twitter posts may be short, they can also be costly.
Many users assume that because the comments or brief or similar to casual conversation, that a lawsuit for libel is unlikely. No, it’s just as likely as for any other media. It’s hard to think of defamation in terms of a newspaper with a 20,000 circulation being similar to a twitter post, but that twitter post could go viral and be seen by 20,000,000 people.
Here’s more from the article.
“People are getting in trouble for Twitter postings on an almost daily basis,” said First Amendment Attorney Doug Mirell, a partner at Loeb and Loeb who did not handle the case.
“The laws controlling what is and isn’t libelous are the same regardless of the medium in which the statements appear,” he said.
From further down in the article -
“The fact is that this case shows that the forum upon which you communicate makes no difference in terms of potential legal exposure,” Freedman said. “Disparaging someone on Twitter does not excuse one from liability.”
When you communicate with Twitter or Facebook, pretend you are editorializing in a newspaper because legally, it’s very similar.