Tag Archives: Twitter

UK Politicians Looking To Stomp Out Twitter Defamation

Twitter and the Law
Yet another European media scandal is making defamation headlines. This time, the scandal involves television program Newsnight, Tory politician Lord McAlpine and accusations of pedophilia. The story “broke” on Twitter – and now parliamentarians are calling for stronger online libel laws. Specifically, authorities want to make clear that Twitter defamation is the same as libel in a newspaper. The Scandal: Politicians, Pedophilia and Resignations In one of the biggest media blunders of the decade, A recent Newsnight piece mistakenly implicated Lord McAlpine of molesting a teenage orphan, Steven Messham, nearly 20 years ago. When the story broke, McAlpine’s reputation immediately plummeted. People were shocked! Outraged! After a little investigating, the truth was revealed: Messham was mistaken. It wasn’t McAlpine who’d ...

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Clarkson Says It’s A Libel Free World On The Internet. He’s Wrong.

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Is there a difference between online defamation and offline defamation? Jeremy Clarkson, host of the popular television show Top Gear, seems to think so. A good-driving fanatic, Clarkson has taken to outing motorists on his Twitter account. If he catches someone doing something dangerous, he tweets their license plate number, usually with an acerbic quip. In response to questions about his Twitter activity, Clarkson said, “It [Twitter] has no actual use, but it’s a libel free world out there in the electronoshphere.” While some may secretly appreciate the public shaming of bad drivers (hey, they can be unsafe), Clarkson could run into online defamation trouble if he continues. Why? Because libel laws do apply to online activity. Yes, in certain ...

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Do Social Media Networks Own Your Account Records Like A Bank?

Twitter and the Law
Twitter attorneys are warmed up and ready to spar over a New York judge’s decision on whether or not prosecutors have the right to subpoena the social media company for Malcolm Harris’ user account information. An Occupy Wall Street protester, Malcolm Harris was accused of disturbing the peace on October 1, 2011. Judge Matthew A Sciarrino, Jr. – a self-styled “social media expert” (who was disciplined in 2009 for trying to “friend” lawyers on Facebook) – ruled that neither the Twitter account holder nor the social media service could quash a subpoena issued by the DA’s office. Those in support of Harris argue that Sciarrino’s decision flies in the face of established United States’ legal traditions regarding anonymous free speech. ...

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Courtney Love’s Twitter Defamation Lawsuit Blows Up; Frances Bean Subpoenaed

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Courtney Love can’t quit Twitter — and as a result, the chaos creator has once again found herself at the center of a Twitter defamation lawsuit. This time around, Love is being sued by her former lawyer, Rhonda Holmes – and Holmes is trying to drag Frances Bean Cobain, 19, into the fracas. A Brief History Of Courtney Love’s Twitter Defamation Woes You’d think Love would’ve learned her lesson by now, especially since last year Courtney was forced to pay nearly half a million dollars to designer Dawn Simorangkir for tweeting that the up-and-coming stylist was a “drug-dealing madame who lost her kids over an assault and battery incident.” The suit filed by Simorangkir was expected to be the first ...

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Twitter Threats and The Law

Twitter and the Law
These days, Twitter threats are as commonplace as the Internet itself! And it’s an odd phenomenon too, since, unlike in most blog comment sections, many people use their real identities on the 140-character social networking platform. Perhaps Twitter’s frantic pace is to blame. After all, people do tend to tweet first and think later.  And that’s all fine and well, but as an Internet lawyer, let me remind you that threatening people on Twitter can land you in some legal trouble with the FBI – and who needs them banging down their door? Twitter Threats: Legal or Illegal? Here’s the deal: any credible threat made by one person to another is illegal. And all it takes to trigger an FBI ...

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