You shall tweet 100 times…

A court in Malaysia has taken an unusual approach to Twitter and defamation – by requiring someone to tweet an apology 100 times over three days.

Fahmi Fadzil had claimed in a tweet a pregnant friend of his had been badly treated by managers at work. The company involved responded by taking out legal action.

Using Twitter in this way is a neat way of taking the apology to the audience who would have originally seen the false claim – an important issue that often comes up in Britain, especially on the occasions when newspapers are criticised for giving corrections or apologies less prominence than their original mistakes.

Indeed, the imbalance between report and correction is one motivation people have for attempting to block publication of allegations in the first place and a contribution therefore to the injunction system that is now under such scrutiny in the UK.

Twitter is often painted as part of the problem with the current injunctions system in the UK, but as the Malaysian case has shown it can also be part of the solution – when a little legal imagination is applied.

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