According to The Hollywood Reporter (THR), on March 17, 2009, Courtney Love used her Twitter account to hurl a stream of shocking insults at the designer known as the “Boudoir Queen.” Love’s tweets went to her 40,000 or so followers (and countless others via retweets). She announced that Simorangkir was a drug-pushing prostitute with a history of assault and battery who lost custody of her own child and capitalized on Love’s fame before stealing from her.
Defamation is basically the issuance of a false statement about another person, which causes that person to suffer harm. Slander involves an oral statement while libel involves a printed one.
THR reports that First Amendment lawyers believe the key to the case could be whether an average Twitter user would interpret Love’s vicious tweets as facts rather than merely her opinion. Love’s own attorneys suggest that Twitter was so appealing and addictive that she had no appreciation for how the comments she posted would be received by others.
As new media develop and expand, we are sure to receive new guidelines for social media behavior from courts and lawmakers. A wise individual will make sure they stay on the safe side of those guidelines.