No Love Lost: Twitter Tweets Lead To Libel Litigation

Facebook posts have led to libel accusations -- as have posts made to Craigslist. So it shouldn't be surprising that Twitter tweets have now resulted in a defamation lawsuit.

Fashion designer Dawn Simorangkir, also known as "Boudoir Queen," filed a lawsuit against celebrity Courtney Love, alleging that she libeled her through a series of Twitter posts made earlier this month.

"Whether caused by a drug induced psychosis, a warped understanding of reality, or the belief that her money and fame allowed her to disregard the law, Love has embarked in what is nothing short of an obsessive and delusional crusade to terrorize and destroy Simorangkir," the complaint alleges. The case was filed in Los Angeles Superior Court.

While the case might mark the first Twitter lawsuit, it likely won't be the last. Clearly, it's possible to defame someone in very few words. And Twitter users can broadcast what's on their minds without even taking the time to turn on a computer -- leading the Independent to say Twitter can pose "a serious disadvantage for those of a belligerent disposition" in an article about the lawsuit.

In this case, the comments were posted over several days, so it's not clear that Twitter's speediness made any difference. Among other statements, Love allegedly tweeted on March 17 that Austin police "are more than ecstatic" to pick up Simorangkir because she "has a history of dealing cocaine, lost all custody of her child, assault and burglary."

Later that day, Love allegedly wrote that Simorangkir "owes me over 40k and a million in damages."

The problems between the two appear to stem from a dispute about money. Love allegedly commissioned more than $4,000 in custom-made clothing from Simorangki, then refused to pay for the pieces. In addition to the defamation claims, Simorangki is seeking damages for breach of contract.

Tags: social media
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2 comments about "No Love Lost: Twitter Tweets Lead To Libel Litigation".
  1. Paula Lynn from Who Else Unlimited , March 30, 2009 at 5:14 p.m.

    In this case for damages, consider the source.

  2. Bob Rose from Seiter & Miller , March 31, 2009 at 10:11 a.m.

    The age of empowering the masses to publish their views and news is fraught with credibilty problems...anyone can spread anything and pass it off as fact...should we believe Cortney or Dawn? should we believe facts published in the billions of blogs? In Wikipedia? our advanced stage of media proliferation is messy and getting messier.