Wednesday, January 5, 2011

You Can Be Sued For Your Tweets

Tweeting is great for a lot of things, but you still have to be conscious of what you're writing. Tweet the wrong thing that someone feels damaging to them, and you can now expect to be sued. According to the Hollywood Reporter, in what looks to be a precedent setting case, Courtney Love is being sued for libel for some of her tweets. It took a while to catch up to her (the case starts on January 18th), but here's what happened.

On March 17, 2009, Ms. Love reportedly unleashed a stream of libelous insults via Twitter at fashion designer Dawn Simorangkir, who was demanding that Courtney pay her for some cloths she designed for her. Over a 4 day period, Love tweeted that Ms. Simorangkir was, among other things, a drug-pushing prostitute, and accused her of stealing. Here's an example:

"She has received a VAST amount of money from me over 40,000 dollars and I do not make people famous and get raped TOO!"

To make matters worse, the Hole frontwomen took the fight to other social media platforms as well, continuing the tirade on MySpace and As a result, Simorangkir eventually sued for defamation.

There's never been a case like this before, but we all knew it was only a matter of time. No matter what kind of media, as soon as someone feels that you've unleashed an untrue statement about them, the attorney's fee meter starts to ring.

This may have been the first time court action has been taken because of a tweet, but you can be sure that it won't be the last. Be careful what you tweet out there. It can come back to haunt you.

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Check out my Big Picture blog for discussion on common music, engineering and production tips and tricks.

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