We’ve heard of defamation cases involving Twitter costing over $400,000 in a settlement, or tens of thousands in legal fees, but this is the first time that anyone has been ordered to tweet a public apology… 100 times.
A social activist in Malaysia has been ordered to tweet his apology for a defamatory tweet a grand total of 100 times over the course of three days.
The Guardian reports that Fahmi Fadzil tweeted in January that his pregnant friend was mistreated by her employers, a magazine run by BluInc Media.
Despite Fadzil’s retraction and apology a few hours after the rogue tweet, BluInc Media got its lawyers involved. They sent Fadzil a letter claiming that he had defamed them, and demanded unspecified financial damaged paid as well as a public apology in a newspaper.
Fadzil met with representatives of the media company this week, and both parties agreed on one of the strangest settlements I’ve heard of: a 100-tweet-long apology from Fadzil, spread over three days. As of this article’s publication, Fadzil is on tweet number 31:
It’s interesting to see that these apology tweets come from HootSuite, where you can schedule tweets into the future, while the majority of Fadzil’s other tweets come from Twitter for Mac. Not that I blame him – typing out that sentence 100 times and logging on 30+ times per day to send it would be a bit much.
Fadzil’s lawyer wouldn’t comment on who suggested the 100 tweet apology settlement, but I think it’s a pretty good deal for both parties. Anything harsher and BluInc would appear to be a tyrant, while Fadzil gets off with just a bit of public shaming, same as he gave to the company in the first place. It’s unorthodox, but it kind of make sense. I wonder if this will set a precedent…