Joshua Meggit to take on Twitter in case against Marieke Hardy
In what may prove to be a landmark case social network Twitter is being sued for defamation by a Melbourne man.
Joshua Meggit, who was wrongly identified as a stalker and author of a hate blog about writer Marieke Hardy, is launching the action in order to clear his name.
On November 9 2011, Ms Hardy took to Twitter to voice her concern over comments made on a blog she believed to be written by Mr Meggit.
Ms Hardy wrote: "I name and shame my 'anonymous' internet bully. Liberating business! Join me," while also attaching a link to her own blog where she later identified Mr Meggit as the person responsible for actions directed against the TV personality.
Fairfax media reports that the original matter was settled outside of court for about $15,000 and Hardy later published an apology on her blog, writing: "For over five years I have been the victim of a hate blog against me. On 9 November 2011 I incorrectly identified Joshua Meggit on this site as the man responsible for writing that blog. I accept that Joshua is not the writer and I sincerely apologise to him and his family for any upset caused."
But in a move that has taken some commentators by surprise Meggit is taking the action further and looking for a greater settlement with Twitter on the grounds that the site is liable for content published on its site.
Stuart Gibson, a solicitor acting on behalf of Mr Meggit, explained: "Twitter are a publisher, and at law anyone involved in the publication can be sued.
"We're suing for the retweets and the original tweet – and many of the retweets and comments are far worse."
Gibson is confident that the matter will be taken seriously citing a landmark 2002 High Court case whereby mining magnate Joseph won the right to sue US-based news publisher Dow Jones under Australian law.
Posted by Aimee McBride