“Sue First, and Ask Questions Later” – Should We Watch What We Tweet?

Social Media

I’ve been following the story out of Chicago about the Bonnen v. Horizon Realty Group (latest post on Mashable is that Horizon is backpedaling) with some keen interest.  Here’s a tenant who says something bad about her (former?) landlord, to 20 people (the number of followers she has) and it ends up leading to a huge social-network-fronted outcry from the company.  It’s the first time that a company has sued someone over a tweet (to my knowledge).

The question is, does this really have any ground?  I can only hope not.  If Horizon wins this one it’ll mean that any company can sue you for anything they deem wrong that you say on Twitter.  It’ll mean that the free speech atmosphere of Twitter will be jeopardized and that we’ll have to constantly be looking over our shoulders to see if what we say will get us in legal trouble.

It’s a bad precedent.  Horizon Realty, I hope you really know what you are doing.  You’re on the verge of opening a very bad can of worms.

Anyone else care to weigh in?