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Twitter can get you sued or in prison as well February 8, 2010

Posted by jeroenhoekman in Twitter.

Yesterday I wrote about the dangers of social media and focussed on Facebook. It showed how dangerous a Facebook account can be. Below you will find that Twitter is not as safe as it seems either.

Have you ever been sued?
A famous example is of course the one of Coutney Love being sued for trashing a fashion company (Read article) , but there are much more scary examples out there.

  • Do not Tweet your complaints in public
    Tweeting about the state of the apartments got this tennant sued: Read article
  • Avoid Tweeting while angry
    CEO of Pizza kitchen gets sued after trashing marketing company: Read article
  • Be very carefull when Tweeting about a brand
    Kim Kardashian was sued when she tweeted that she did not endorse the diet coockie (as the company claimed on their website): Read article

Online comments can get you arrested
Most people who have been arrested because of online actions did already have a shady relation with the law, but look at the second and third examples below, which might happen to you as well if you do not rethink every publication twice before sending them out.

  • Poking is not as innocent as it looks
    A woman in Tennessee got arrested for poking someone in Facebook: Read article
  • Do not joke while traveling, not even on Twitter
    Annoyed passenger gets arrested over joke “bomb threat” on Twitter: Read article
  • Be aware of financial consequences of your online comments
    This happened in a revolution type situation, but be aware that any remark that could implicit financial loss is dangerous: Read article
  • Burglar gets arrested because he checked his Facebook account
    This is one of the unbelievable actions that you and me will never do, but do think about using your account at work or elsewhere and what the consequences might be! Read article
  • Not using Twitter might be dangerous as well!
    When police asked an executive for not using Twitter (on their request) to disperse a crowd, they arrested him for not doing so: Read article

Of course most of these examples are either not very intelligent actions or far from our bed, but they make you think what else might go wrong when you comment online, or post some of your holiday or office photos. As I keep reminding my readers: do not send anything from your computer onto the Internet, unless you would be ok if it appeared on the front page of your national newspapers.

See you on Twitter, if you still dare.

See the article about: Getting fired or divorced because of Facebook (January 30th, 2010)



1. lazerzap - February 8, 2010

So we should all preceed our comments with… I think?.. Or I believe? or In my opinion?…

I would have thought that a case can be made to ASSUME that all comments via twitter are opinions.

Perhaps a point can be made of the limitation of 140 characters.

Adding. “I think” wastes 8 characters..

Maybe twitter should make it a condition in their TOS that all postings are OPINIONS of individuals not facts?


I think that unless you have stated that a tweet is a fact it can be safely assumed to be an opinion.

I’m safe from being sued..anyway.. Cos you cant get blood from a stone.

jeroenhoekman - February 8, 2010

I totally agree Lazerzap, the 140 character limit of Twitter actually worsens these cases, because you are not able to elaborate on what you are saying.

2. Just Some Guy - February 8, 2010

This isn’t really entirely accurate. IIRC, the tenant complaint case was thrown out, and I’m not sure what the disposition is of that “CEO Forced to Use Twitter” case is, but I would be very surprised if it wasn’t thrown out and possibly the basis of a counter-suit.

But it is amusing stuff. I never get tired of hearing about that dumba** checking his Facebook during a crime.

jeroenhoekman - February 8, 2010

Thanks for the information Just some Guy. This is what makes social media so great, the change of getting your statements corrected and to learn from that is so much bigger. Anyway, no matter what the outcome of a case is, you are bound to make costs when you are sued and you do not want that to happen over a loose statement in Twitter. People do not understand that this great new tool with which we communicate nowadays brings new rules and behavior changes with it. Everybody uses it as if they are sitting in their living room talking to a friend and then send those comments out to the whole world.

3. SPARTICUSIAN - February 9, 2010


4. jt - February 9, 2010

My friends and I have cleaned up our language for twitter and don’t pick fights like the good old days ..but not out of lawsuit fears..we’re not 14 anymore like we were when we came on the net. Most of this doesn’t apply to regular users.

5. Trinity Deserio - February 17, 2010

Im going to coat-tail on what Very Evolved said The way you connect to your audience is Know who you are writing to. You need to pick a Target Audience and stick to them. You wouldnt write to an audience of 14yr olds the same way you would write to an audience of 60yr olds.

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