I know, doesn't stop a lot of people from saying all kinds of things about anyone, but if someone decides to make an example of you, something like this could happen:
In Chicago, a person who hangs out on Twitter is being hit with a defamation lawsuit. The plaintiff is asking for $50,000 in damages for the following post: "You should just come anyway. Who said sleeping in a moldy apartment was bad for you? [The plaintiff] thinks it's okay."
So, just to make sure everyone is aware, keep in mind, courtesty of the Young Lawyers Blog:
- A Tweet is a publication
- In everything you do on Web 2.0, check your privacy settings. Twitter allows you to "lock" your Tweets. Though any Tweet would likely still be characterized as a publication for the purposes of libel, it is still a good idea to control who views your content. If you still insist on keeping your Tweets open, be very careful about what you decide to publish.
- Do not use Twitter to defame others. If you decide to publish a Tweet, you had better make sure it's true.
- Advise your clients and friends to be careful with their "Trash-Talking Tweets."
- While this suit involves Twitter, there are many other ways to "publish" defamatory statements in Web 2.0. Be careful on MySpace, Facebook, LinkedIn, and anywhere else on the internet where you are publishing.
- A video or audio clip recorded and then published on the web can arguably get you in just as much legal trouble as a written statement. (Cough...Cough...YouTube posts....Cough...Cough...CNN iReport posts.) Be careful with any recording of statements, especially if they're untrue.