Monday, January 10, 2011

Courtney Love and the Trials of Twitter

PostMedia culture writer Misty Harris explores the pending, California defamation trial of rocker Courtney Love over explosive allegations made on Twitter. See Technological freedom comes with a price: Just ask Courtney Love.

The article also includes my own comments.

Ultimately, social media has come of age, and with that age comes responsibility. Our courts are now defining where and when that responsibility arises.

Social media users should indeed be aware that our laws continue to apply in the virtual world.

With increasing regularity, courts are being asked to adjudicate lawsuits arising from questionable online behaviours. Time after time, we are seeing judges conclude that the same rules of law apply, whether we are online or in the realm of brick and mortar.

For example, see our posts highlighting recent Canadian rulings arising from defamatory comments on Facebook and on blogs:
Ultimately, it will likely matter little that a defamatory comment has been made on Twitter, as opposed to the public square.

Social media is the new public square, and regardless of the outcome, the Love case - and the media attention it is receiving - will remind us all that the internet is no longer a "responsibility-free zone."

Trial of the Love case has been adjourned to February 8, 2011.
- Garry J. Wise, Toronto
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