Iona Institute member sues Twitter over alleged defamation

Dr Angelo Bottone suing over several tweets in October 2017 which he alleges are untrue

A screengrab of Dr Angelo Bottone’s Twitter page

A screengrab of Dr Angelo Bottone’s Twitter page

 

An academic and part-time researcher with the Catholic advocacy group the Iona Institute has brought defamation proceedings against Twitter over tweets which he claims defamed him.

Dr Angelo Bottone has sued in respect of several tweets in October 2017 which he alleges are untrue and defamatory of him. He says he asked Twitter to remove them but they were not taken down.

Twitter denies it is responsible for any tweets that are allegedly defamatory of Dr Bottone of Chanel Road, Dublin 5.

Rossa Fanning SC, for Twitter, said his client is surprised it is being sued over the tweets and it intends to rely on the defence of innocent publication.

Declan Doyle SC, for Dr Bottone, said Twitter cannot rely on that defence because of its refusal to remove the tweets following repeated complaints by his client.

The case was briefly mentioned before Ms Justice Leonie Reynolds at the High Court on Monday when Dr Bottone secured an order directing Twitter International Company to disclose to him details of the holder of the @ElodieBurke account, whom he alleges defamed him.

The orders compel Twitter to provide Dr Bottone information disclosing the identity of the account user’s name, address, telephone number, e mail address, IP addresses used to access that twitter account, and other information Twitter holds relating to the user of the account.

Dr Bottone says he does not know the identity of that account holder, whom he intends to take defamation proceedings against.

Twitter neither consented nor objected to the order being made, and Mr Fanning told the court the information will be provided by January 11th next.

Counsel said Twitter could not provide the information unless directed to do so by order of the court.

After making the order, the judge reserved the issue of costs to the hearing of the action.