Activist Agrees to Apologize 100 Times on Twitter to Settle Defamation Lawsuit
It’s a narrative that has been repeated often in the news: Social media is the burgeoning forefront of civil disobedience, and possibly revolution. But a case out of Malaysia could open up social media outlets as a platform for compulsory commuinty service. It stems from the case of Fahmi Fadzil who is tweeting out 100 apologies over Twitter as part of the terms of a defamation case.
Fadzil has been an outspoken activist in Malaysia and active user of social media, having amassed some 4,200 followers on Twitter. He apparently went to far when he recently tweeted about how his pregnant friend was somehow mistreated by her employer, the magazine company BluInc Media. Within hours Fadzil had recanted, but BluInc was unsatisfied, suing for damages and public apologies. The terms of the eventual settlement are still unknown, but Fadzil has been tweeting the following message about every half hour:
I’ve DEFAMED Blu Inc Media and Female Magazine. My tweets on their (human resource) policies are untrue. I retract those words and hereby apologize
Malaysian authorities have taken a heavy hand with online defamation cases, but all parties agree that the repetitious apology via Twitter is entirely new. For Fadzil, it’s likely a huge blow to his career as an activist, and will certainly damage his reputation online. The effect on his Klout score has yet to calculated. With this case now settled and Fadzil working through his 100 apologies, it’s hard not to wonder what we’ll see next. Enemies forced to “friend” on Facebook? A Tumblr blog entitled “FYeah I Lost a Defamation Lawsuit” or some such thing? The mind boggles.
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