Understand, tweople – libel is never a good idea. But it seems some Twitterers with less than 500 followers have less to worry about, in this case at least.
Lord McAlpine, the UK politician who planned to sue 10,000 Twitter users for tweeting and retweeting libelous claims about him, has decided not to pursue charges against those with less significant followings on Twitter. But he does still want something from them – and his request seems pretty reasonable, considering.
According to ABC News, “McAlpine is asking those tweeters with fewer than 500 followers who falsely labeled him a pedophile to donate 25 pounds ($38) to a children’s charity.”
McAlpine has already received damages from the BBC, which ran a report last year linking him to decades-old child sex abuse.
The BBC report did not name McAlpine, a member of the House of Lords, but it led to widespread Internet chatter about him.
But he’s not letting Sally Bercow off as easily. He plans to push forward with his lawsuit against her.
Bercow is the wife of the British Parliament speaker and has 57,000 followers when she tweeted: “Why is Lord McAlpine trending? *innocent face*.”
The Telegraph reports that Bercow “later apologised but maintained that her tweet was foolish rather than libellous. She accused Lord McAlpine’s lawyers of being ‘ambulance chasers’ and ‘big bullies’, and claimed that the legal action against her was ‘totally politically motivated’.”
Bercow no longer tweets (probably a good thing).
We’ll keep you posted as we learn details about others possibly facing penalties.
(Whew image from Shutterstock)