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Posts Tagged ‘Defamation’

Courtney Love’s Twitter Rants Cost her $430,000

Notorious rocker Courtney Love has settled a dispute over a few poorly thought-out 140-character rants for a whopping $430,000. This is the first Twitter defamation case of its kind, and it sets quite a hefty precedent against using Twitter to mouth off against someone on the very public forum that is Twitter.
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Your Reputation On Twitter Matters – Why Is There No @Abuse Team For Defamation?

About six weeks ago I wrote an article on Twittercism entitled, “Why Replies On Twitter Are Far More Damaging Than Direct Messages“. The general point was that while various protective measures are applied to the direct message system to prevent abuse, anybody can send a reply to anybody else on Twitter, whether you’re following each other, or not.

Moreover, those replies, even if one or both of the parties has blocked the other, go into the Twitter stream, and are viewable by anybody else on the platform, through search, and so on. So, you can essentially say whatever you like, and it remains ‘out there’.

This is a big problem for Twitter, and nobody seems to be doing anything about it.

Check out Twitter’s terms of service (a one-page summary is viewable here). Twitter provides legislation about the use of the platform in various ways, including (direct quotes):

  • Impersonation: You may not impersonate others through the Twitter service in a manner that does or is intended to mislead, confuse, or deceive others
  • Privacy: You may not publish or post other people’s private and confidential information, such as credit card numbers, street address or Social Security/National Identity numbers, without their express authorization and permission.
  • Violence and Threats: You may not publish or post direct, specific threats of violence against others.

This is all fine, and there are various other service limitations that I encourage you to read. The problem is that none of them in any way concern the problem of defamation; that is, one user saying something libellous about another.

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