We’re familiar with people being punished for what they’ve said (or done) on Twitter — in fact, one of those very stories may be unfolding before our eyes — but there’s very little in the realm of Twitter punishments, yet. Until now. A Malaysian social activist, Fahmi Fadzil, has been ordered to tweet an apology 100 times after he claimed via tweet in January that one of his friends had been treated badly by her employer, a magazine run by BluInc Media.
Turns out that was considered defamation, and instead of a fine (and even though he has already apologized), Fadzil has to apologize 100 times over three days to his 4,500 (and growing) followers. It’s the modern-day equivalent of writing “I will not _____” 100 times on the chalkboard.
The apology tweet leaves 8 characters to spare: “I’ve DEFAMED Blu Inc Media & Female Magazine. My tweets on their HR Policies are untrue. I retract those words & hereby apologize.” He’s numbering as he goes — as of this post he was at #22 — and interspersing the apologies with regular tweets, like what he had for dinner and conversations with friends.
This particular punishment doesn’t seem so bad (as The Next Web points out, he’ll probably be copy/pasting, and might even use a third-party client to schedule posts — indeed, for post 22 he used HootSuite), but the bigger question is, should we all be watching our tweets a little more carefully? Can we not bitch and moan about whatever we want with immunity? Probably. Dang.