Courtney Love’s Tweets Lead to Unique Defamation Showdown

WHAT is the world coming to when one can’t even tweet freely without worrying about being sued? OK my fellow Tweeps, you might want to check yourselves the next time you go off on a tangent on Twitter. Dang, is nothing sacred anymore?

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GABRIEL BOUYS/AFP/Getty Images

The following article appears in the current issue of The Hollywood Reporter available on newsstands Wednesday.

Courtney Love was very upset.

The firebrand rocker had been locked in a dispute with Dawn Simorangkir, a fashion designer who was demanding payment for a few thousand dollars worth of clothes.

So on March 17, 2009, Love took to her Twitter account and began hurling a stream of shocking insults at the designer known as the “Boudoir Queen.” Love’s tweets, which instantly landed in the Twitter feeds of her 40,000 or so followers (and countless others via retweets), 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. “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!” Love wrote.

That tirade, along with others the Hole frontwoman unleashed on social media platforms including MySpace and Etsy.com during the next four days, form the basis of a unique lawsuit headed to court in January: the first high-profile defamation trial over a celebrity’s comments on Twitter.

“There has never been anything like this case before,” says Simorangkir attorney Bryan Freedman, who will attempt to convince a Los Angeles jury that Love’s false statements destroyed his client’s fashion career, thus entitling her to potentially millions of dollars in damages.

In an age when public figures from Kanye West to Ryan Seacrest communicate influential messages to thousands — sometimes millions — of followers on social platforms, the Love case raises the question of whether celebrities, like the news media, should be liable for what happens if they intentionally put untrue and damaging statements in front of their loyal readers.

“We don’t believe there’s any defamation, and even if there were defamatory statements, there was no damage,” says James Janowitz, an attorney for Love.
A key to the case, say First Amendment lawyers, could be whether an average Twitter user would interpret Love’s vicious tweets as facts rather than merely her opinion.

“I’ll be interested to see if the court gives people posting on Twitter more latitude than other media,” says Alonzo Wickers, a defamation expert who has handled matters for such media clients as Comedy Central and TMZ. “The way Twitter is evolving, it seems to be more of a means to express opinion. I would hope courts give tweets the same latitude as they do an op-ed piece or a letter to the editor.”

To aid her case, Simorangkir plans to call to the stand Jessie Stricchiola, a social media expert who was tasked with studying how many people saw the Love rants and what kind of credibility is given to statements made on a casual forum like Twitter. Stricchiola will report her findings at trial.

Read more at www.hollywoodreporter.com

 

Archive Your Tweets Forever!

Ever wonder, “where did that tweet go from so-in-so from three weeks ago”? Or, “where is that link I tweeted last month”? If you didn’t add them to your favorites then the tweet may have disappeared. Here are some tools to make sure that never happens again.

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Did you know that your tweets have an expiration date on them? While they never really disappear from your own Twitter stream, they become unsearchable in only a matter of days. At first, Twitter held onto your tweets for around a month, but as the service grew more popular, this “date limit” has dramatically shortened. According to Twitter’s search documentation, the current date limit on the search index is “around 1.5 weeks but is dynamic and subject to shrink as the number of tweets per day continues to grow.”

What that means is something tweeted prior to a week and a half ago can never be retrieved via search.twitter.com. That’s bad for users and it’s definitely bad for data-mining. Unless Twitter corrects this issue on its own, we have to find another solution for archiving tweets ourselves. Here are 10 ways to do so.

One of the unfortunate side effects of the FriendFeed acquisition is the very real possibility that the company will eventually shut down its servers. There are many reasons why this is upsetting – the site’s users now have to figure out how to extract everything from their natively posted content to their comment streams – or lose them forever. However, one of the most disappointing losses will be losing FriendFeed’s search feature. Since the service functioned as an aggregator of the social web, most users piped their tweets into FriendFeed, making the site a searchable archive of tweets which were still available no matter how old they were – quite unlike Twitter’s own search. But if FriendFeed is going to disappear, we need to consider some alternatives.

1. The Archivist: A Desktop Tool for Archiving Searches

The Archivist is a Windows desktop software application built by members of Microsoft’s Mix Online team. With this program, you can create Twitter searches which will then be archived to your PC so they can be data-mined by you at a later date. Recently, the program was updated so that it can be minimized to the system tray – especially helpful for when you want to track a Twitter search over a long period of time. They also added a data visualization feature which calculates who’s tweeting the most about your topic.

2. Twapper Keeper: Archive Tweets Based on Hashtags

Twapper Keeper is an online tool which archives tweets based on a given hashtag. Once you set up a query, Twapper Keeper will periodically scan Twitter for that tag and then archive the tweets it finds on its own servers. Tweets are scanned approximately every 5 minutes but that can vary based on the velocity of the incoming tweets. Once archived, you can then organize the tweets into categories of your choosing which show up on the right-hand side of the archived page.

3. Twitter Tools: Archive Tweets in WordPress

Twitter Tools is a WordPress blog plugin which integrates your blog and Twitter account. Once installed and configured, the plugin can be used to both Twitter links to your blog and to create posts which contain your recent tweets. While this is handy for the WordPress blog owner, keep in mind that post after post of “Today’s Tweets” isn’t all that appealing to blog readers. You may want to create a separate blog for this if you intend to use WordPress as your own personal Twitter archive.

Read more at www.readwriteweb.com

The disconnect between marketers and consumers on Twitter

Twitter and marketing: The real story (or so says a new study)

Amplify’d from holykaw.alltop.com

Marketers could use a little help when it comes to connecting with consumers on Twitter, so says a new study by digital-marketing agency 360i. The study examined 1,800 tweets over a period of six months and found that “marketers use Twitter to broadcast, while consumers use it to converse.”

A sampling of the findings:

  • 43% of consumer tweets are conversations with other users, while only 16% of marketer tweets engage in dialogue with consumers. Add to that, only 1% of consumer tweets are dialogues with brands.
  • Only 12% of consumer tweets mention brands by name with Twitter, Apple, and Google ranking at the top of most mentioned brands.

Full story at USA Today.

Read more at holykaw.alltop.com

 

Holy Kaw! All the topics that interest us The disconnect between marketers and consumers on Twitter

Twitter and marketing: The real story (or so says a new study)

Amplify’d from holykaw.alltop.com

Marketers could use a little help when it comes to connecting with consumers on Twitter, so says a new study by digital-marketing agency 360i. The study examined 1,800 tweets over a period of six months and found that “marketers use Twitter to broadcast, while consumers use it to converse.”

A sampling of the findings:

  • 43% of consumer tweets are conversations with other users, while only 16% of marketer tweets engage in dialogue with consumers. Add to that, only 1% of consumer tweets are dialogues with brands.
  • Only 12% of consumer tweets mention brands by name with Twitter, Apple, and Google ranking at the top of most mentioned brands.

Full story at USA Today.

Read more at holykaw.alltop.com