So many people warn about the dangers associated with the use of social media (including me!) and rightly so. One wrong move (or Tweet) and you could find yourself only one click away from disaster. The recent example of Emma Way's tweet which led to her being labelled a "twit and run driver" was like watching a car crash unfolding in slow motion.
Recently, a sensationalistic news story about a Saudi Prince threatening to sue Forbes for an allegedly defamatory article within its annual Billionaires' List got tongues wagging. It's just the sort of international tale of caricature-esque hubris that newspapers and magazines swoon over. And, from a legal standpoint, the monarch's decision to sue in the UK -- monolithically referred to as 'the libel capital of the world' -- was contentious as well, especially in light of the new Defamation Act.
Social media users beware: you cannot tweet with impunity. Social media has made publishing vastly easier, but it has not made publishing responsibility free. And while the law was caught sleeping, it is now clear: the criminal and civil can come after you and hold you to account. Ignorance is no defense. So take note.
In November 2012, BBC's "Newsnight" broadcast a report making serious allegations against 'a leading Conservative politician from the Thatcher years'. A frenzy of speculation followed on social media sites, with Mrs Bercow tweeting to her 56,400 followers: Why is Lord McAlpine trending? *Innocent face*. Lord McAlpine commenced libel action claiming damages over the Tweet.