This is significant to your Internet attorney and your business too. Twitter has just revealed the identity of a Twitter user, including his personal contact information.
Here’s what happened…
A local British government sued in California. Twitter caved and gave out the Tweeter’s name and contact information. Twitter “passed the name, email address and telephone number of a south Tyneside councillor accused of libelling the local authority via a series of anonymous Twitter accounts.” – Twitter unmasks anonymous British user in landmark legal battle, UK Guardian (May 29, 2011)
Now the government is going after him for libel because of the content of his tweets.
If the Tweeter had wanted to protect his identity, he would have had to fly from the U.K. to California, hire a U.S. Internet attorney, and try to convince the court his information should not be released.
If you’ve been defamed in Tweets, this precedent is something to consider. It’s a lot of leverage because Twitter will apparently fold like a cheap suit instead of protecting user identities.
If you are posting content on Twitter under the impression your identity and contact info will be protected, don’t count on it. When in doubt, talk with your Internet attorney before posting something that could land you in legal hot water.
-Mike the Internet attorney