Twitter and journalist may run into legal trouble in France

by: Bradley Wint on March 20th, 2010 at 9:26 am

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It seems that Twitter may land itself into a bit of legal trouble after rumors of French president Nicolas Sarkozy and wife Carla Bruni’s respective affairs started to pop on tweets worldwide. The first tweet popped up on French Journalist Aude Baron’s account and was then re-posted by others. However in a haste to post gossip, not of them checked the validity of the story. The situation had grown so severe that Nicolas Sarkozy had to actually issue a statement denying the allegations.

In an interview with Times, she admitted that she did not verify the story and saying “it was a kind of joke.” The French government is definitely not happy about the situation and are looking into their legal options. According to London’s leading libel lawyer, Mark Stephens, he says that “Libel, privacy, obscenity, harassment and other laws apply with equal force to all forms of media.”

This is actually not the first time Twitter landed people into trouble. If you do a simple Google search, you will see the countless cases of people being sued for making “false” statements via their Twitter accounts. Since most Twitter accounts are set for public viewership, it can be treated like any other form of media. Twitter has also grown to be an alright source of information around the world, so tweets like these are not taken for joke, especially when they come from people who are connected to the media industry.

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