Few weeks ago, I published an article titled ‘What You Say On Twitter Can Constitute Defamation’ which looked at various individuals who have had to pay huge compensations through their noses for certain short tweets.
In that article, I mentioned that apart from being slammed with civil suits, it is increasing becoming popular for certain twitter users who ‘tweet before thinking’ to be cuffed with criminal liabilities.
At the time of my article, a British student- Liam Stacey, 21, had been arrested after allegedly tweeting a racist comment about Fabrice Muamba, the footballer who suffered a cardiac arrest and collapsed during a live match. After a court battle, Liam Stacy was jailed in March, 2012 for 56 days for posting offensive comments.
Even though case laws from jurisdictions such as England & Wales, New Zealand, Australia and U.S.A have been developing to burden twitter users with both civil and criminal liabilities, it seems the social media platform users are not fully aware of the level of seriousness courts are attaching to their tweets.
If you have read my former piece, you would surely have come across the two teenagers who were looking to have a wonderful holiday in United States recently but were shocked to have been refused entry because of a tweet they sent saying “we are going to destroy America”.
In an English High Court yesterday, an appeal by Paul Chambers, 27, who was convicted in May 2011 for sending out a tweet, threatening to blow up a Yorkshire airport was reserved. The court that convicted him held that his tweet constituted a “menacing electronic communication”.
Though Mr Chambers claims he did not think anyone would take his “silly joke” seriously, his conviction last year shows how tough the courts are getting on ordinary social media users. Read more
The most annoying and depressing practice in the online world is to have spent hours upon hours producing quality content for your blog or website, and someone else without your permission coming along to easily copy and paste them on his platform. If you are lucky, you will get a lousy credit.
As much as many people do not value people’s content/articles or images online, the original writers or photographers forever remain the true copy right owners.
Unless someone has been given permission to use these materials by the copyright owners, or it is being used under the principle of fair use, it is against copyright law for someone to lift the content and use them any how they wish-including publishing them somewhere else (either online or offline).
Online content thievery is getting out of hands with several blogs and websites being launched each day mainly to run on people’s content.
With the help of RSS Feed, your content can be posted automatically on someone’s websites/blogs just minutes after you have published them. Read more
For many years now, it has been uncertain whether a tweet could constitute libel. The short nature of tweets and the level of non-seriousness attached to tweets, which are classified as everyday rants and ramblings of ordinary people suggest that tweets should not be held as facts, hence, cannot be defamatory.
The uncertainty in this sphere of social media and then law has been settled, so better watch what you say on twitter because a tweet can be defamatory.
Case laws from jurisdictions such as England & Wales, New Zealand and U.S.A seem to have settled the question whether a tweet can constitute libel in the affirmative.
A recent libel case brought by Chris Cairns who played cricket for England and New Zealand has won him £90,000 in libel damages over a tweet of 24 words sent by Lalit Modi. Read more