Last year, media personality Marieke Hardy found herself in trouble after she tweeted a link to a self-authored blog post containing defamatory comments regarding one Joshua Meggitt of Melbourne. Hardy, it seems, wasn’t keen on a long legal stoush and settled out of court for a reported $15,000. The win obviously went straight to Meggitt’s head, as he’s now set his lawyer loose on Twitter itself.
The $US7 billion company was given its notice on Thursday by Stuart Gibson, Meggitt’s laywer, according to the Sydney Morning Herald. As the publisher of the offending tweet and facilitator of its subsequent retweetings, Gibson and Meggitt believe Twitter should be considered in some way responsible also.
According to Gibson, “anyone involved in the publication can be sued”, though the duo won’t be chasing followers of Hardy’s who saw fit to give the tweet additional airtime (and apparently said things “far worse” than the original tweet).
If the case goes ahead, it could very well be heard under Australian law and, if Meggitt succeeds, it will set an interesting precedent for non-traditional internet publishers going forward.
It’s not known how much Meggitt is seeking, but I imagine Twitter has a lot of money to throw at its legal team to make this go away, if it takes it seriously at all.
Image (modified): Triple J / Twitter.