You Are What You Tweet

In an unprecedented action, Twitter has handed over the confidential details of British users in a landmark legal case.

Attorneys for three South Tyneside (near Newcastle, England) councilors went to court in San Francisco, Twitter’s headquarters, in an attempt to reveal the identity of an anonymous whistle blower with the twitter handle tied to the Mr. Monkey blog. (This blog has since been taken down.) These three councilors complained they were libeled in the blog, which was subsequently tweeted to encourage readership.

The General Manager of TwitterUK, Tony Wang said people who do “bad things” needed to defend themselves. He also warned that Twitter would provide user information to official authorities when they are “legally required”.

Charles Glasser, global media legal counsel for Bloomberg News in the U.S., said South Tyneside’s victory “puts Twitter and social media users on notice that they may be held accountable for what they publish”.

For marketers, this could be a major concern regarding of freedom of speech. In the U.S. the right to freedom of speech is often debated and Twitter revealing the identity of a user could cause other users to stop airing questions, problems and concerns for fear of losing anonymity.

Tell us if you think that people being held legally accountable for what they publish will result in people using Twitter less than before. Share your thoughts with us on Facebook at Weise Communications and follow us for free on Twitter at @Weise_Ideas.

1 Response to “You Are What You Tweet”

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