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British court hands down first fine for tweet ‘Twibels’

Discussion in 'Chill Out Forum:' started by berry, Mar 23, 2011.

  1. berry

    berry Active Member

    Here is an interesting piece on social media and the law, that i thought may be of interest to anyone who tweets!

    A former Welsh mayor became the first Briton to be ordered to pay libel damages over a Twitter entry after a political rival sued him in the high court. Colin Elsbury, a former mayor in the south Wales town of Caerphilly had tweeted ahead of a council election that his independent challenger Eddie Talbot had been “forcibly removed” from a polling station by police before realising that it was a case of mistaken identity, The Times newspaper said.

    Although Elsbury later tried to correct the tweet, Talbot took him to court in the Welsh capital Cardiff where a judge on Friday handed down a fine of £3,000 and ordered him to pay costs of around £50,000 as well as apologise publicly to Talbot on his Twitter feed.

    “This was a genuine case of mistaken identity which I have acknowledged,” Elsbury, a member of the Welsh nationalist Plaid Cymru party, said after the verdict.”This case will no doubt act as a warning to people, including politicians, to be extremely careful when using Twitter and other social media such as blogs.”Talbot’s lawyer also warned that the ruling could open the floodgates to similar libel claims, in line with the United States where they have become known as “Twibels”. ”It is the first case that I have heard of in Britain but no doubt that there will be more when people realise they can sue for Twitter libel.”
  2. wac

    wac Senior Member

    This is interesting, do you have a source?
  3. berry

    berry Active Member

  4. Tom Sound

    Tom Sound Active Member

    He'll be tweeting more Caerphilly in the future :D

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