His team of experts have already collated a ‘very long list’ of people who either tweeting or retweeted tweets linking the peer to child abuse allegations on Twitter.
Lord McAlphine, whose lawyers are taking action over users who posted malicious claims in the wake of the BBC Newsnight Investigation, is allegedly asking some people to apologise and donate to Children in Need.
However, his solicitor Andrew Reid has said that ‘high profile users’ could be asked to pay thousands.
So what constitutes a ‘high profile’ Twitter user? If a Twitter user is a celebrity with thousands of followers then of course they would be deemed a ‘high profile’ user.
But various reports suggest if an account has over 500 followers then they would be seen as ‘high profile’ too.
Certainly if you are a journalist, write for a living or have a well followed blog then you should be aware of the laws surrounding libel and defamation. Hence – any professional, particularly if you have a substantial Twitter following – could be deemed ‘high profile’ too.
According to this report in the industry mag, Press Gazette, when asked on ITV News if ‘big Twitter users’ will get away with an apology and charity donation, solicitor Mr Reid replied:”No. I don’t think they will be, no… I think most importantly we get an apology and an undertaking not to repeat and once we’ve examined the extent of the damage they’ve done, we’ll agree suitable damages.”
Lord McAlpine has already agreed settlements of £185,000 ad £125,000 respectively with the BBC and ITV.
The upshot of this case is that the more successful you become on Twitter and the higher your social profile, the more you are expected to take responsibility for what you say.
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