Are you liable for your tweets?

18 Nov

WOW! Watch what you say on Twitter!

From: CNN

(CNN) — In a case that would have been impossible even five years ago, bad-girl rocker Courtney Love is being sued for libel by a fashion designer for allegedly slamming the woman on Twitter.

The suit claims that after a disagreement over what Love should pay Dawn Simorangkir for the clothes she designed, Love posted allegedly derogatory and false comments about the designer — among them that she had a “history of dealing cocaine” — on her now-discontinued Twitter feed.

But as technology evolves faster than the laws that govern free speech online, it’s not just the famous who are finding trouble.

Consider the case of Amanda Bonnen and her former landlord. Bonnen, an Illinois resident, is accused of using Twitter to tell another user: “Who said sleeping in a moldy apartment was bad for you? Horizon Realty thinks it’s okay.”

Horizon Group Management LLC, the company that owned the apartment in question, sued Bonnen for libel over the alleged tweet. Horizon is seeking $50,000 in damages.

Legal experts say such Internet-related cases are being watched closely because they confront new and unaddressed areas of American law.

For example, how should a libel case be handled when it comes to social media? How can society balance accountability with free speech? And if information — from private thoughts to public data — is so readily available, how do we define what constitutes privacy?

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One Response to “Are you liable for your tweets?”

  1. Nevaunulliepe December 10, 2009 at 8:22 pm #

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