Sunday, August 2, 2009

Company Advertising and Free Speech

Tweet Much?
Tweet about bad service?
Companies react to bad press via twitter with a lawsuit.

Chicago is looking a lot more like Tehran... than a city of citizens with the right to express what they see publicly.

Read on about how use of the law against people simply telling their friends about what they expirienced (and they may or may not have known that twitter tweets are public, meaning the entire world can see what you type) might have a chilling effect.

Horizon Realty is attempting to silence alleged complaints about it's real estate management department on twitter by scare-tactics lawsuits:

What ever happened to the right of free speech?

How Complaining Could Become Costly

Posted on: July 30th, 2009 | 16 Comments

Have you ever complained on Twitter? Most everyone has, but one lady is being sued for doing just that. Chicago resident, Amanda Bonnen, sent a tweet to a friend in May that said in part, “…Who said sleeping in a moldy apartment was bad for you? Horizon realty thinks it’s okay.”

Although her account has since been deleted, Bonnen only had 20 followers at the time of the tweet. Nevertheless, Horizon Realty Group filed a 50,000 lawsuit against the former tenant this week claiming she defamed the company.

Upon news of the lawsuit, Twitter users from all over have voiced their opinions on the incident.WebProNews caught up with a few to see their reaction and found that most everyone view the lawsuit as preposterous. Adam Martin of Martin Design Studio even suggested that the Horizon could have turned the tweet into an opportunity to improve their customer service.

What do you think about this incident? Do you believe other businesses will follow suit and try to cash in on complaints they see online? Will this affect your future tweeting?

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