So people are now being sued for libel based on the content of their tweets. And while the courts are struggling to keep up with technology — and how free speech plays out in evolving social networking mediums — there is a lesson for all to be learned, I believe, in the idea that “slander is slander”.
This article raises some interesting ideas. Worth a read.
A quality line I like in the article comes from Jeffrey Toobin, the CNN Legal analyst:
“You have a robust debate on a million different subjects every day on the Internet,” he said. “But on the other hand, is that a license to damage people’s reputation with knowing falsehood?”
Worth a lesson to teach to our students, no? I mean we have so many kids that flame one another on MySpace and FB that might not see the repercussions of just sliding over to falsely torching professional businesses, business people and so forth… that’s gonna bring out the sharks, er, lawyers.
All of us need to be aware. Seems to me the safest rule in the 21rst century belongs to what mamma used to say back in the 1100’s…
“If you don’t have anything nice to tweet about someone, don’t tweet anything at all.”
Even if they are an no brain, cankerous, lying, slutty, sum bee-yatch!
BTW, you can follow me on twitter @alansitomer… to keep track of how many times I don’t take my own advice, of course.