oooops.... The $50,000 Tweet...

29 replies
Check this...

According to a post over at Mashable......A Lady here is being sued for $50,000 over a defamatory tweet she posted on Twitter.. one single tweet has resulted in a court case against her...

Check out the Mashable post here: Woman Sued for $50,000 Over a Tweet

Makes you think about all the times you see things posted as fact, when really.. they are just opinions...

And remember.... if you state things as facts when they aren't... you could get your ass kicked.

This is of course, just my opinion.

Peace

Jay
#$50 #ops #turkeys #tweet #vodka
  • Profile picture of the author Jamie Orman
    Ha, I guess that just goes to show you never know who is watching your updates. Seems kind of a stupid case, but I suppose the Reality company is in the right. The might get some money. I don't know if they deserve that much though.
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  • Profile picture of the author Paul Hancox
    Yeah, I wondered when something like that would happen. It just goes to show you have to watch what you say. You guys in the U.S of A may have your first amendment rights, but you also have the right to sue the pants of someone else to shut them up.
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    • Profile picture of the author adamv
      Originally Posted by Paul Hancox View Post

      Yeah, I wondered when something like that would happen. It just goes to show you have to watch what you say. You guys in the U.S of A may have your first amendment rights, but you also have the right to sue the pants of someone else to shut them up.
      You're absolutely right. I love my country but the endless stories of frivolous law suits are not only extremely irritating but downright frightening as well.

      Edit: I just wanted to add that it's usually the individual going after the large company with a frivolous law suit but in this case the rolls are somewhat reversed.

      I heard this story briefly on the news yesterday and it sounds like this lady tweeted that there was mold in her apartment and then the landlord files a law suit. I don't know the whole story on it but it seems like a bogus law suit and an attempt to shut someone up.

      The funny thing is, this lady had like 12 followers on twitter so almost no body would have even heard about this if they had not filed a law suit and brought all of the media attention.
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      • Profile picture of the author JonTuckerUSA
        I agree with the many others on this post.

        Having 20 people see a tweet would probably result in no one even remembering Horizon Realty's name...or the mold issue.

        Seeing the PR in the papers/media about Horizon suing someone for $50K over a tweet is going to make them always remember the name...

        The average citizen (i.e. non web marketer) is probably going to think it's ridiculous to get sued over "that twitter website" or "those tweets or whatever they're called". This puts the supposed mold issue (that may or may not be true) in front of the entire city where Horizon does business...not a good PR move.
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  • Profile picture of the author LilBlackDress
    My thought is the reality company is just bringing attention to this tweet and their possibly "moldy" apartment. But that is just my opinion
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  • Profile picture of the author PrettyJenny
    This case will get them much more notorious than her little tweet. By sueing her now they get her tweet to be seen by thousands of people.
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  • Profile picture of the author ny_mariposa
    I read this the other day. I think the Realty Company is making a horrible PR mistake. They're drawing far more attention to the mold problem that it would have been if left well enough alone. They are also drawing attention to their "Sue first, ask questions later" policy that can't possibly be good for business.

    What they probably should have done ... if they were responsible for the mold problem... was fix it in the first place! And if they weren't.... I suppose I understand their anger and right to sue, but a handful of tweets versus national exposure? I'll take the tweets.
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    • Profile picture of the author sbucciarel
      Banned
      Originally Posted by ny_mariposa View Post

      I read this the other day. I think the Realty Company is making a horrible PR mistake. They're drawing far more attention to the mold problem that it would have been if left well enough alone. They are also drawing attention to their "Sue first, ask questions later" policy that can't possibly be good for business.

      What they probably should have done ... if they were responsible for the mold problem... was fix it in the first place! And if they weren't.... I suppose I understand their anger and right to sue, but a handful of tweets versus national exposure? I'll take the tweets.
      They haven't won the case yet and bringing a possible moldy building to the attention of the whole world doesn't seem like a very good idea to me. I wouldn't rent there because mold is now associated in my mind with that company. Kind of ridiculous to bring all this attention when the woman had just a small handful of followers.
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      • Profile picture of the author Corwinnx
        I agree, the realty company needs a better PR campaign. With the state our nation is in right now, no one wants to hear about a company policy that fosters the wasting of tax dollars on frivolous lawsuits.

        Lawsuits can get pretty expensive, I hope that woman knows how to use a law library. Even if you can afford an attorney, it's best to be armed with knowledge of statutes and case law.


        Marcus
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      • Profile picture of the author Kay King
        The term "free speech" doesn't necessarily mean "I can say anything anywhere about any person or company". There are also laws about defamation and libel and slander that may/may not apply here.

        Did the woman complain to the realty about a mold problem? We don't know. Did she pay her rent there or was she disgruntled about not getting a deposit back? We don't know. If there was a documented mold problem (by documented I mean proof of complaints, photos, etc), did the company make any effort to correct the problem? We don't know.

        Why are people so quick to take a side when no facts have been proven and the person they are "siding with" is totally unknown to them? It's an interesting story - nothing more.

        "sue now/ask later" is not unusual in a business such as property management. It's a highly competitive business and some firms are quite aggressive when it comes to protecting their image. The end goal probably isn't money or court - but to have the statement totally removed from the web or have the statement declared false legally and publicly.

        kay
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  • Profile picture of the author Dana_W
    I agree that the realty company is making an awful mistake - and saying that their policy is to sue first and ask questions later is about as idiotic as it gets. That makes it looks like they rush in and file lawsuits without merit - and NOBODY likes a company that does that.

    However, that said - it is important to remember that anything that you say on social media sites can be held against you, and lives forever. There are probably countless people on Facebook, Twitter, etc. risking libel suits every day with things that they say - so think hard before saying something negative. At the very least make sure that it's accurate.
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  • Profile picture of the author Richard Tunnah
    Surely this is free speech? Otherwise everyone that posts a view about any company or product online could be open to a law suit!

    Rich
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    • Profile picture of the author Dana_W
      Originally Posted by Richard Tunnah View Post

      Surely this is free speech? Otherwise everyone that posts a view about any company or product online could be open to a law suit!

      Rich
      As a former reporter I am an absolute fanatic about the right to express your opinion and the right to free speech. And I think Horizon Realty is one thousand percent wrong in this case.

      HOWEVER - it is important to remember that free speech does not include the right to libel or defame or slander, and therefore, you have to choose your words carefully when expressing your opinion. Also remember - if someone sues you, you have to hire a lawyer to defend yourself, and odds are you will never get that money back even if you win your case. As soon as someone files a lawsuit against you, you've lost.
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      • Profile picture of the author mayapearl
        Originally Posted by Dana_W View Post

        As a former reporter I am an absolute fanatic about the right to express your opinion and the right to free speech. And I think Horizon Realty is one thousand percent wrong in this case.

        HOWEVER - it is important to remember that free speech does not include the right to libel or defame or slander, and therefore, you have to choose your words carefully when expressing your opinion. Also remember - if someone sues you, you have to hire a lawyer to defend yourself, and odds are you will never get that money back even if you win your case. As soon as someone files a lawsuit against you, you've lost.
        I agree, we are all treading a fine line, on one hand there is the freedom to express an opinion, on the other our opinion may be wrong or damaging to a business or individual.
        It all makes me wonder how we can have freedom of expression when this freedom is constantly being eroded.
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    • Profile picture of the author Grandspecial
      I agree, Everyone seems to want to sue everybody over anything. Internet is the very cornerstone of free speech.
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  • Profile picture of the author Kevin AKA Hubcap
    That realty company might want to tread lightly. There might be other tenants with other problems that haven't come to light. If an attorney thinks they can make a case a class action won't be too far behind.
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  • Profile picture of the author ecoverartist
    Here's a good thread on Copyblogger about the whole Horizon Realty thing. A lot of sites are putting stuff like "horizon realty sucks" in their posts and tweets just to give them more bad press over the whole issue:

    What the Horizon Realty Fail Can Teach You About Social Media | Copyblogger
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  • Profile picture of the author Shana_Adam
    Ambiguity is always great! Categorically being ambiguous is key.

    Its true though that you don't have the right to slander or defame some ones character.
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  • Profile picture of the author Sham Salih
    I feel sorry for the woman who has to pay lawyer fees just to defend her "tweet"
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  • Profile picture of the author rlpruitt
    "We're a sue first, ask questions later kind of an organization," he said, noting that the company manages 1,500 apartments in Chicago and has a good reputation it wants to preserve.
    Interesting marketing strategy. They'd rather be known nationwide as a "sue first and ask questions later" company than to have their reputation questioned to a Twitter audience of (maybe) 20 people.

    I bet that'll have potential tenants lining up for apartments!

    Ralph
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  • Profile picture of the author kettlewell
    this gal had only 20 people following her, and now the Realty Company is getting major exposure (mostly bad PR from what I can see).

    The truth is that the Realty company may have had the right to sue, but to what end? Are they really going to get $50,000 from a renter? not likely. And the "True" damage to the realty company? minimal.

    Sometimes a company has to just bite it's tongue, and let certain things slide.

    They may have had the right to sue, but is it the right thing to do?
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  • Profile picture of the author AdvancedSamurai
    This is pretty stupid. Isn't this freedom of speech? 50 k$? WTF??
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    • Profile picture of the author Barbara Eyre
      Let's play devil's advocate for a few seconds and assume that this lady is a complete nutcase and the Realty company is 100% in the right concerning how they handled this lady in real life (letters, phone calls, etc) concerning any mold complaints.

      Now, as most have stated here, the Realty company is getting more negative press over suing her instead of just letting the 20 or less folks in her Twitter list know about it, half of which probably dismissed her statement as soon as they read it.

      So, instead of suing over a tweet ... why didn't this Realty company just put out a press release (or similar public statement) stating that the company and the tenant have been in on-going communication over certain complaints the tenant has made concerning her apartment. Despite this and that being done, no resolution has been reached in this matter and we are dismayed that Ms. Tenant has aired her frustrations in her Twitter account. etc etc.

      Another words, state their side of the case. IF they have to resort to suing in the end, then at least they would have a leg to stand on. But "sue first, ask questions later" ???? That's no different than: You're assumed guilty before proving your innocence.

      The whole case is silly. What a waste of money all around.
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  • Profile picture of the author Fernando Veloso
    Got two words for Horizon's:

    Tweet This.

    And now you can sue my Portuguese axx too.

    Ontopic: Shameful society with companies ready to suck cash from all of us. Hope judges can sue Horizon's for being dumb and anti-democratic.
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  • You should always be careful about what you write on the internet, especially if it's not true and unfounded. The nature of the internet and ease of posting something online, makes it much easier to "slip up". In the past year, people have tweeted themselves out of jobs, released proprietary information out through twitter,ect.

    However in this case, the management company completely over reacted. Instead of acting responsible and contacting their tennant to address the problem, they choose to sue them. There is no law about writing factual posts against a company, as long as they are true. I wouldn't be surprised if this lawsuit is thrown out, and the Management company has to pay for her legal fee's. Not to mention the NATIONAL publicity this company is getting for this, I am sure that they didn't intend to have the post all over the newsmedia.
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  • Profile picture of the author ken_p
    i feel bad for bonnen.. if she was having problems with her apartment at that time, then she could have went directly to her tenant and complained.
    this makes me think twice, about tweeting your feelings...
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  • Profile picture of the author empress9
    Hmmm......it'll definitely be interesting to see how this develops. Based on the comments from Mashable, Horizon doesn't seem to be helping their PR any.
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