Warning: The wrong tweet can get you sued

A Chicago-area woman is being sued for $US50,000 by her landlord over a critical Tweet, the Chicago Sun-Times reported today.

A Chicago-area woman is being sued for $US50,000 by her landlord over a critical Tweet, the Chicago Sun-Times reported today. The landlord is quoted as describing itself as a "sue first and ask questions later kind of an organization." The tweet in question appeared to go to fewer than 20 friends of the sender.

Listen people, you can get sued for Tweets the same as you can get sued over something you post to a Web site or blog. You may think you are only tweeting to friends, but unless you select "Protect My Tweets" on your Twitter "account" page your tweets are both public and searchable. Facebook isn't safe, either.

Companies are already using bots to mind their Twitter reputations, alerting them when their companies are mentioned in Twitter conversation. Thus, it was only a matter of time before the lawyers showed up.

The May 12 Tweet, sent by a user named "abonnen" reads in part: "Who said sleeping in a moldy apartment was bad for you? Horizon realty thinks it's okay."

Well, Horizon Group Management, says it was "maliciously and wrongfully" defamed by the tweet and decided to sue the sender, identified as Amanda Bonnen. If you want to read more about this train wreck, read the original story.

My point is that when you speak online you never really know who is listening. And you may not know about the speaker, either. Maybe a criticism is valid, maybe not. Maybe you'll get sued, maybe not.

A well-heeled business clearly has the power to use its lawyers to intimidate valid criticism from individuals. At the same time, businesses and individuals deserve recourse against malicious lies, often spread anonymously online.

The moral? Be careful what you say, don't believe everything you read, and if you're a business, realize that filing suit may get you more publicity than the Tweet you are suing over.

David Coursey tweets as @techinciter, but never about his landlord.

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags twittersocial networkinglawsuits

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

David Coursey

PC World (US online)
Show Comments

Father’s Day Gift Guide

Brand Post

PC World Evaluation Team Review - MSI GT75 TITAN

"I need power and lots of it. As a Front End Web developer anything less just won’t cut it which is why the MSI GT75 is an outstanding laptop for me. It’s a sleek and futuristic looking, high quality, beast that has a touch of sci-fi flare about it."

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Luke Hill

MSI GT75 TITAN

I need power and lots of it. As a Front End Web developer anything less just won’t cut it which is why the MSI GT75 is an outstanding laptop for me. It’s a sleek and futuristic looking, high quality, beast that has a touch of sci-fi flare about it.

Emily Tyson

MSI GE63 Raider

If you’re looking to invest in your next work horse laptop for work or home use, you can’t go wrong with the MSI GE63.

Laura Johnston

MSI GS65 Stealth Thin

If you can afford the price tag, it is well worth the money. It out performs any other laptop I have tried for gaming, and the transportable design and incredible display also make it ideal for work.

Andrew Teoh

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

Touch screen visibility and operation was great and easy to navigate. Each menu and sub-menu was in an understandable order and category

Louise Coady

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

The printer was convenient, produced clear and vibrant images and was very easy to use

Edwina Hargreaves

WD My Cloud Home

I would recommend this device for families and small businesses who want one safe place to store all their important digital content and a way to easily share it with friends, family, business partners, or customers.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?