Facebook, Twitter and the law

Not only do I encourage small businesses to engage in social media to promote themselves, I’ve explicitly suggested to some that they should say something titillating. If you want to benefit from the Internet’s ability to get lots of attention for your business, you’d best start by having something to say.

But I suppose a word of caution is in order. Before we start acting like 15-year-olds (”OMG, can you believe what a skank [your competition] is!?”), we all might benefit from a tutorial on how you can get yourself into hot water.

Tony Wong explains defamation 101

Tony Wong explains defamation 101

When Courtney Love used Twitter to call a designer an “asswipe, nasty lying hosebag thief,” we shouldn’t be surprised that she got served with a lawsuit for libel. But there are a lot of other, more subtle statements that could land you in hot water, or not, depending on the situation. In today’s Toronto Star, there’s a very useful primer from Tony S.K. Wong, a lawyer with Blake, Cassels and Graydon LLP., that explains some of the details you should keep in mind. Such as:

  • If it’s true, you can say it, but the onus is on you to prove that it’s truth.
  • If it’s opinion, you can say it, but just saying “In my opinion” before a statement isn’t enough to cover your backside.

Get the whole article at http://bit.ly/legal1

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