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twitterfail 2 - this time it's Labour

12 April 2010

Two weeks ago, we reported on the uncensored reposting of live tweets on the Conservative’s “Cash Gordon” website. Now it seems that Twitter posts have put a Labour candidate into hot water

Amongst other controversial posts, Stuart MacLennan reportedly described the elderly as “coffin dodgers”. He has now been dropped as the Labour nomination for the seat in Moray.

One interesting point is that the Labour Party have said that Mr MacLennan’s tweets were in fact posted a year ago, when Mr MacLennan was still a student. Nevertheless they are still available to be found and reported, and can still be used against him. As a side note, from a legal perspective, material posted online is “published” each time it is downloaded to view – not just when it is first posted. This means that potentially defamatory material (including material which has been “cached”) can be unearthed years after it is posted, and the maker of the statement can be sued. This rule is however currently under review, and may change soon. 

Do you think this incident will make students more careful about what they post online, in case it is used against them in the future?

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