Twitter Sued in Australia for Defamation

25 05 2012
In a case of mistaken identity, a Melbourne man is suing Twitter for publishing tweets about him that were untrue. According to The Age,

Joshua Meggitt, the Melbourne man wrongly named by writer and TV identity Marieke Hardy as the author of a hate blog dedicated to her, is now suing Twitter Inc itself.

Mr Meggitt’s lawyer, Stuart Gibson, served a legal notice yesterday on the San Francisco-based social media giant, a company valued last year at $US7 billion ($A6.5 billion), as the publisher of a tweet by Hardy last November.

Her tweet read: ”I name and shame my ‘anonymous’ internet bully. Liberating business! Join me,” with a link to her blog, where she incorrectly named Mr. Meggitt as the author of ”ranting, hateful” articles about her.

This wasn’t a fleeting celebrity tweet. It appeared on Twitter’s homepage and was copied by some of Hardy’s 60,897 followers and other Twitter users taking part at the time in a worldwide online anti-abuse campaign. (Meggit reached a confidential settlement with Hardy after the incident — reportedly for $15,000.)

Now he wants damages from Twitter. ”Twitter are a publisher, and at law anyone involved in the publication can be sued,” Meggit’s lawyer Gibson said. ”We’re suing for the retweets and the original tweet — and many of the retweets and comments are far worse.”


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