Sid Mallaya, Watch what you tweet!

                     

The Royal Challengers owner Sidhartha Mallya was the newest celeb to get into trouble for his tweets. While defending Luke who is a part of the Royal Challengers team, Sid Mallya in turn went on to accuse the girl who charged Luke of molestation and expressed it pretty openly through social media.

His tweet read, “The girl who is accusing Luke is saying he hit her ‘fiance’…what a load of f*****g shit. She was all over me last night and asked for me (sic) bbm pin, so if he was her fiance she wasn’t exactly behaving like a future wife” The Twitter rage did not last too long after Sid Mallya received a legal notice for his tweets and now has been advised to keep a low profile by his media managers.

So, was it the heat of the moment or have a lot of us taken these mediums for granted as a mass medium to put our point across?

The difference between freedom of speech and defamation:

While some of us think it is alright to say just about anything about a person or a situation in a democratic country, this might not be the most lawful situation. Therefore it is important to understand where we need to draw the line.

There’s a thin line between ‘freedom of speech’ and ‘defamation’. The right to freedom of expression is recognized as a human right under Article 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights according to the Indian constitution. Freedom of speech is defined as political right to communicate one’s opinions and ideas via speech (written or verbal). However, the right is commonly subject to limitations, as with libel, slander, obscenity and incitement to commit a crime. Slander and Libel both are types of defamation which means communication of a statement that makes a claim, expressly stated or implied to be factual, that may give an individual, business, product, group, government, or nation a negative image. This can be also any disparaging statement made by one person about another, which is communicated or published, whether true or false, depending on legal state. In India, Defamation takes place “by words either spoken or intended to be read, or by signs or by visible representations”.

So the next time you are about to type a tweet or update your status message which could offend someone, beware! Your words might land you in a legal soup.

By: Suruchi & Naimeesha

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