Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Your Tweets can get you sued!

TG Daily carried an article this morning that referenced a lawsuit filed by Horizon Realty Group against a tenant after she complained about mold in her apartment via Twitter.

The real estate firm says it stumbled across the tweet while defending a class action lawsuit Amanda Bonnen filed against it last month. It is now filing a libel lawsuit against Bonnen.

The tweet read: "Who said sleeping in a moldy apartment was bad for you? Horizon Realty thinks it’s okay."

Apparently water leaked into several apartments when a contractor made mistakes with roof repairs and, in a statement, Horizon says the apartment wasn't moldy - just damp. I am pretty sure a damp apartment is a moldy apartment. Lord, do you think they will sue me?

Horizon Realty's manager, Jeff Michael, had this to say about the lawsuit:
"We’re a sue first, ask questions later kind of an organization".
Just fills you with warm fuzzies doesn't it.

From Fast Company:
It may all sound trivial, but the reality is that your tweets are under scrutiny. In December, the National Law Journal reported that Twitter conversations don't really differ from letters, emails or text messages, calling them "damaging and discoverable."

This isn't the first time something like this has happened. In 2008, a Yelp user faced a defamation lawsuit for posting a poor review of a chiropractor. And just earlier this year, a New York teen who said she was harassed by classmates on Facebook (she said they created a Facebook group that made false claims about her) sued not only her classmates and their parents, but Facebook itself.

The Electronic Frontier Foundation, which works to defend digital rights, states on its Web site that bloggers (and technically, Twitter is a blog) are entitled to free speech, and "internet bullies shouldn't use copyright, libel or other claims to chill your legitimate speech."

We'll see how this pans out, but in the meantime, be careful what you tweet.

No comments: