Twitter Defamation Lawsuit Dismissed, As Tweets Were Considered Too Vague

from the keeping-it-vague dept

Last year, we wrote about how a property management firm in Illinois, Horizon Group Management, had sued a tenant for defamation over a short Twitter message she sent, claiming:
"Who said sleeping in a moldy apartment was bad for you? Horizon realty thinks it's okay."
The woman had a grand total of 20 followers at the time, so it wasn't like this was likely to have a huge negative impact on the company. Still, what was impressive was how Horizon defended its decision to sue, saying:
"We're a sue first, ask questions later kind of an organization."
That seemed rather obvious, given that by filing the lawsuit, the company brought a lot more attention to the fact that some of its tenants were unhappy. And, even worse, the lawsuit has gone nowhere. Dark Helmet alerts us to the news that the lawsuit has been dismissed as the comments were considered "too vague" and didn't meet the qualifications to be considered libelous. This doesn't mean that there can't be defamation via Twitter, so if you're going to defame someone, at least be vague about it in your 140 characters.


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Mar 10th, 2010 @ 4:44am

    It's not defamation if it is true.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  2.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Mar 10th, 2010 @ 5:08am

    Good, I hate these douchebags that frivolously file dumb lawsuits...FU!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  3.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Mar 10th, 2010 @ 5:08am

    Good, I hate these douchebags that frivolously file dumb lawsuits...FU!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  4.  
    identicon
    anon, Mar 10th, 2010 @ 5:08am

    Good, I hate these douchebags that frivolously file dumb lawsuits...FU!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  5.  
    identicon
    Gary, Mar 10th, 2010 @ 5:17am

    Surely the "sue first" comment can be the basis of a countersuit for harassment.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  6.  
    identicon
    yozoo, Mar 10th, 2010 @ 5:41am

    Translation

    "We're a sue first, ask questions later kind of an organization."

    Translation:

    My son inlaws a lawyer

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  7.  
    identicon
    Bob W, Mar 10th, 2010 @ 6:22am

    Defamation

    TechDirt hates Kayne West.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  8.  
    icon
    Dark Helmet (profile), Mar 10th, 2010 @ 6:30am

    Re: Defamation

    "TechDirt hates Kayne West."

    Dark Helmet agrees with TechDirt....

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  9.  
    icon
    Alan Gerow (profile), Mar 10th, 2010 @ 11:48am

    "This doesn't mean that their can't be defamation via Twitter"

    Should probably be

    "This doesn't mean that there can't be defamation via Twitter"

    Glad the suit was dismissed. Though, since Twitter is only a communications platform, it's no different from any other platform. Libel comes from the communication, not the platform. You can be libelous in a newspaper, a leaflet, on television, or through a Twitter post. It's what you say, not where you say it.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  10.  
    icon
    Mike Masnick (profile), Mar 10th, 2010 @ 12:31pm

    Re:

    Oops. Typo fixed. Thanks.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  11.  
    identicon
    tommy, Apr 27th, 2010 @ 11:12pm

    Re: Translation

    I have long argued for freedom
    of information in the Internet...
    but the copyright thing is complicated.
    I wish that it were designed a clever
    system of interaction holders and torrents.
    BUY AMBIEN

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  12.  
    identicon
    zoloft 50mg, Aug 4th, 2011 @ 6:13am

    ".... totally agree with this statement "
    zoloft 50mg

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  13.  
    identicon
    lee swales, Nov 25th, 2012 @ 4:12pm

    More Twitter defamation

    No question about vague with the latest Twitter defamation. The UK is in the midst of a further Twitter legal action. A former British politician has already settled out of court with the BBC and ITV for 300 000 pounds, apparently, more to come over sexual abuse allegations. For a brief view on this, see here: http://regulatorylawsa.blogspot.com/2012/11/twitter-defamation-libel.html

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]


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