With Twitter reaching the height of its popularity in 2009, it was only a matter of time before the first wave of litigation related to the popular social media platform hit the dockets. Call it twitigation.
The most recent in this crop of defamation suits involves Kim Kardashian of reality TV fame. The suit was filed late last month in Miami-Dade Circuit Court by the founder of a Hollywood fad diet (cookies, anyone?), and seeks to hold Kardashian accountable for a couple of allegedly libelous tweets directed towards the weight loss program.
Earlier in 2009, rock singer Courtney Love (for those of you who fondly remember the ’90s) found herself in legal trouble over an “obsessive and delusional crusade” she launched on Twitter against her former clothing designer.
Several months later, St. Louis Cardinals’ manager Tony La Russa filed, and subsequently dropped, a suit against Twitter, claiming that the site permitted a user to create a fake account and post defamatory statements under his name and image.
Twitter lawsuits even have begun to expand beyond the celebrity world. In July, a Chicago woman was hit with a $50,000 defamation claim by her rental property’s management firm. This came after an offhanded tweet about sleeping in a moldy apartment went out her 20-some followers.
It’s fair to say you certainly haven’t heard the last of this twitigation trend. In the mean time, watch what you tweet.
By Sarah Rodriguez