Friday, June 3, 2011

Magazine Nets a 'Tweet' Libel Settlement

MalaysiaImage via reports on an unusual out-of-court resolution of a defamation suit--the defendant agreed to Tweet his apology to the plaintiff 100 times.

Malaysian blogger Fahmi Fadzil sent an unflattering post about Blu Inc. Media, publisher of Female Magazine, on June 25 that criticized the company about what he believed was its mistreatment of his pregnant friend that he claimed caused her to quit her employment with Blu Inc. Although Fadzil retracted his negative comment, Blu, Inc.'s attorneys sent him a letter demanding an apology and seeking monetary damages.

Instead, the parties agreed that Fadzil would Tweet the following mea culpa: "I've defamed Blu Inc Media & Female Magazine. My tweets on their HR policies are untrue. I retract those words and hereby apologize."  Who says you can't convey any message in 140 characters? Fadzil began sending his apology in 30-minute intervals to his approximate 5,300 followers.

Perhaps it's a cultural difference:  Malaysia employs the microblogging social platform of Twitter to resolve a defamation lawsuit, whereas in the U.S., as reported by this blog, the number of defamation suits involving Tweets are on the rise ("Twibel" is a likely entry in the next edition of the Oxford Dictionary).

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