Being A Jackass On Twitter Shouldn't Be Illegal; Public Shame Should Be Enough
from the there's-no-fire-in-that-theater dept
While some big name news organizations initially retweeted some of his claims -- such as the false news that the NY Stock Exchange had flooded -- others quickly corrected the reports, and, as some have noted, Twitter seemed to do a pretty good job of self-correcting the bogus claims that popped up. Of course, those who wish to argue that legal action needs to be taken compare the bogus tweets to the classic "yelling fire in a crowded theater" argument, in which the speech can then put people in danger or incite violence. It seems unlikely that any charges would actually hold up in the long run, but that might not stop attempts to go after Tripathi under the law (this is the US, after all, where our second national pastime after shouting about politics is filing questionable lawsuits).
But it's unclear what good that would actually do, other than potentially leading to bad precedents for other forms of speech. It seems that existing social structures already take care of the bad speech here. Tripathi's identity was revealed by others, and his actions are now closely associated with his name. He now needs to live with the social consequences of his statements, and that seems like it should be more than enough. And, indeed, the response online has been to absolutely slam him for his actions.