Can a Tweet Be Defamatory?


Julie Hilden has written a very thoughtful piece (Should the Law Treat Defamatory Tweets the Same Way It Treats Printed Defamation?) (hat tip: Media Law Prof Blog) which explores whether a tweet (i.e., a post on the micro-blogging service Twitter, which limits individuals posts (or "tweets") to 140 characters) can ever be considered "defamatory".

There is at least some indication that US courts are prepared to conclude that tweets can be defamatory: in the Simorangkir v. Love case (which was settled for a reported $430,000) a Los Angeles Superior Court judge refused a motion to strike the claim based on a series of defamatory tweet. Canadian courts to date do not appear to have considered a defamation case based on Twitter postings (but see our recent discussion about defamation in the context of blogging: Baglow v Smith - The Increasing Importance of Context in Defamation Claims).

Please see full article below for more information.

LOADING PDF: If there are any problems, click here to download the file.