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Is It Fair To Sue For a Tweet?

Is It Fair to Sue Because of a Tweet?

One of the things that fascinates me about social networking sites and their increasing popularity is the legal uncertainty surrounding them. Since they're a relatively new phenomenon — not to mention they live on the Internet, land of no policing — there are few laws in place to protect users or potential targets of libelous activity. It's always interesting to read stories about law and technology, like this article summarizing a few attempted lawsuits because of tweets posted to Twitter.

Singer Courtney Love is one recent lawsuit target. After she posted an alleged "false and derogatory" comment about a fashion designer, the designer sued for libel. There's also the case of a Chicago woman who posted a tweet accusing a former landlord of thinking it was safe for her to sleep in a moldy apartment. The landlord sued for $50,000 in damages, and the case is still pending.

There is a gray line between defamation and free speech, but with the Internet and services like Twitter, opinions and free speech can be made public very quickly. I tend to lean toward the "free speech" side of the argument here, though I don't think it's OK for someone to post false or defamatory information, either. Most of you agreed it was fair to sue Wikipedia for removal of false information, so what do you think about this case?

Image Source: Getty
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