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Expert Alert

Tort trouble with Twitter

September 23, 2009

While “Tweeting” may seem as harmless as a funny remark at a party, a few users of the popular micro-blogging site are finding themselves in legal trouble over posts they made on issues from reviewing chiropractors to complaining about a landlord. A University of Minnesota electronic law expert to help decipher the legal side of new media communications is:

William McGeveran, associate professor at the University of Minnesota Law School
“People assume their Tweets, blog comments and Facebook status updates are like casual conversation and don't create legal risk -- they are wrong,” says McGeveran. In this new legal territory, it is becoming clear that users are fully responsible for anything they post. Especially when items live in virtual perpetuity online, comments can be easily found and used as legal fodder, he says. McGeveran specializes in information law, including intellectual property, data privacy, communications and technology and free speech. His current research focuses on digital identity and data privacy.

To interview one of the experts, contact the University News Service, (612) 624-5551.

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