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.

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Companies: horizon group management, twitter

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Comments on “Twitter Defamation Lawsuit Dismissed, As Tweets Were Considered Too Vague”

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Alan Gerow (profile) says:

“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.

lee swales (user link) says:

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:

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