If a defamatory statement is made on Twitter, and no is able to understand it, does the plaintiff have a cause of action?
Courtney Love is being sued for libel by a fashion designer over messages the rock singer posted on the internet.
Dawn Simorangkir says Love, the widow of Nirvana frontman Kurt Cobain, made several "menacing and disturbing" statements towards her.
Ms Simorangkir, who filed the legal action in Los Angeles Superior Court on Thursday, says the messages were left on Love's Twitter and MySpace pages.
Specifically, Ms. Love-Cobain is accused of calling Ms. Simorangkir a
"nasty, lying, hosebag thief"; having "a history of dealing cocaine"; having "lost all custody of her child"; and, being guilty of "assault and burglary". The singer adds that the designer would be "hunted til your [sic] dead".
But the statements are interspersed, assuming one follows Ms. Love's Twitter acount, with page upon page of nauseating headache:
the case itself the authority thugsm the same type of humans who loathe freaks geeks fags misfits the whole lot of us so they go into pro
im THOUROUGHLY OBSESSED. i cannot WAIT. Quentin would it even BE funny if i sent you little Golden Lotus Slippers? n Eli Roth is a GOD!
wikipedia is generally sort of something people do look at in my entire circle only my lawyer who is not a scumbag does wiki, and stu'saunt
but what if i dont know you or of you? what if your an ass?
uh guardian! ASTRADA! INCENDIA! hell me and Kanye West were discussing LATIN at a FASHION SHOW ok? and were just audodidacts. Latin is
Whitesboro NY or Tutti a Frutti the regiusterd agent with Patrick J Cobain in Pensacola FL for the Escape! company's Estrada ;atenite infom
And so on and so forth. Page after page after page. Does anyone, including Ms. Love's followers, actually understand this stuff? Or does it just tweet by on the phone, deleted and ignored? "Hey Courtney babe, of course I read your tweets. Now let's talk about that authorized Lifetime: Television for Women biopic."
From a legal perspective, if the statements Love is accused of making, that her designer is (translated to English) a thief and a drug dealer and a neglectful mother, are false then this a slam dunk case. But from a legal-linguistic perspective, it's fascinating.
If I defame you in Klingon, and no one but Klingons can read it, can you collect damages on Earth?