Twitter and Media Law

Posted by Samantha Baker

Since Twitter’s creation in March 2006, it has been the catalyst of multiple lawsuits, proving to be more controversial than other social networking sites. Despite Twitter’s controversial 140-character format, it leads the pack in regards to defending free speech in comparison to more established companies. Countless people consume and send-off tweets on a daily basis, making it impossible for Twitter to not have an impact on media law, whether that impact is positive or negative is subjective.

A recent Mashable article details five major ways Twitter is changing media law. Prior to Twitter, or really the internet in general, media law was pretty black and white, but now it deals in a whole lot of grey.

One of the major ways Twitter is shaping modern media law relates to the first amendment, which is single-handedly the most important amendment when it comes to journalism. While Twitter allows people to have an instant platform to say what is on their minds, the majority of the time they do not think before they tweet. Due to this lack of common sense, the question becomes how far can people go in their tweets before a court decides enough is enough.

How do you see Twitter shaping modern media law? Does it have as much of an impact on media law as Mashable’s article claims? If not, why?


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