Trolling Twitter: Defamation in an Online World

Journal of Critical Incidents, VOL 10

Pace University Legal Studies Research Paper No. 2018/04

18 Pages Posted: 18 Oct 2018

See all articles by Jessica Magaldi

Jessica Magaldi

Pace University

Wade Davis

Minnesota State University Mankato

Date Written: September 5, 2018

Abstract

The Critical Incident stems from an extended exchange of comments over Twitter between film actor James Woods and an anonymous Twitter user under the pseudonym “Abe List.” Both users seemed to revel in the messy, rambunctious and often impolite milieu of Twitter. In the course of their Twitter war, Abe List tweeted, “cocaine addict James Woods still sniffing and spouting.” The comment made use of the popular internet meme of asking whether someone is “high” or “smoking crack” to challenge that person’s position as crazy or outrageous. Woods sued Abe List, characterizing his tweet as defamation alleging that Abe List jeopardized Woods’ good name and reputation. Had the 140-character free-for-all that the two engaged in left Abe List vulnerable to a claim of defamation? Could Abe List be liable for tweets that were very much like Woods’ own tweets?

Keywords: constitutional law, internet law, First Amendment, free speech, social media, defamation, libel, slander, public figure, torts, Twitter

Suggested Citation

Magaldi, Jessica and Davis, Wade, Trolling Twitter: Defamation in an Online World (September 5, 2018). Journal of Critical Incidents, VOL 10; Pace University Legal Studies Research Paper No. 2018/04. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3244611

Jessica Magaldi (Contact Author)

Pace University ( email )

One Pace Plaza
New York, NY New York 10038
United States

Wade Davis

Minnesota State University Mankato ( email )

253 Morris Hall
Minnesota State University Mankato
Mankato, MN 56001
United States

HOME PAGE: http://https://cob.mnsu.edu/about/faculty-and-staff/accounting-staff/wade-davis/

Register to save articles to
your library

Register

Paper statistics

Downloads
75
Abstract Views
367
rank
317,093
PlumX Metrics