Defamation Through Tweets?

Morning yall! Back on the work grind, but surprisingly, I have more time to blog lol. Hope everything is good with you guys.

Interesting story I read this morning on OMG! Yahoo. Musician Courtney Love has been in a fight with designer Dawn Simorangkir who has been demanding repayment from Love on a couple of thousand dollars' worth of clothes. In March of last year, Courtney took to Twitter and hurled out insults at Dawn to her followers. Courtney said that Dawn was a drug-pushing prostitute with a history of assault and battery, had lost custody of her own child, and had used Courtney for her fame. "She has received a VAST amount of money from me over 40,000 dollars and I do not make people famous and get raped TOO!" Courtney had tweeted.

Courtney's tweets led Dawn to file suit against her last year. The trial will take place January 18, and is the first high-profile case of defamation for a celebrity's tweets. "There has never been anything like this case before," said Dawn's attorney Bryan Freedman. Apparently, Courtney's tweets have had a negative impact on Dawn's fashion career, and Dawn is suing for millions of dollars in damages. Read more after the jump!

Now this case is making people consider if celebrities with all of this impact should be held accountable for deliberately publishing untrue comments about others.

"We don't believe there's any defamation, and even if there were defamatory statements, there was no damage," says James Janowitz, one of Courtney's attorneys.

Hate to get all legal on you all first thing in the morning lol, but I found this case interesting because I've always wondered if courts would start taking Twitter and Facebook into account as far as libelous statements are concerned. People talk soooooo much mess on these social media sites, or even blogs like Spotlight [YES, it's possible to be sued for defamation on a blog. I'm a nice blogger though :)]and quite frankly, it's possible for statements like Courtney's to have a negative impact on someone else's career. Talked about this plenty of times in my communication classes. A defamation case is a hard one to win, however. It can be dismissed if the statements that were made were OPINIONS rather than fact; were true, or are considered "fair comment and criticism." Also, the statements have to be believable, and the plaintiff has to prove that the statements were deliberately made, as well as prove that they were in fact damaging.

I'm interested to see how all of this goes down. I mean, to win a case of defamation because of somebody's tweets? That's got to be one for the history books. Be careful what yall Tweet.


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