Man ordered to make Twitter apology

 

A Malaysian man has settled a defamation case with an unusual punishment - he must apologise for his remarks 100 times on Twitter.

Activist Fahmi Fadzil of Kuala Lumpur landed in hot water in January, when he claimed on Twitter that a pregnant friend had been treated unfairly by her employer, a magazine.

Mr Fadzil, who works as an aide for an opposition politician, withdrew the statement, but later received letters from Blu Inc Media threatening legal action.

The 100 apologies must take place over the next three days, which works out at about one message every 40 minutes.

Each of Mr Fadzil’s 4,400 followers on the social network receive the numbered messages reading “I've DEFAMED Blu Inc Media & Female Magazine. My tweets on their HR Policies are untrue. I retract those words & hereby apologize.”

Mr Fadzil’s Twitter account has gained many new followers since the punishment began, with many followers offering messages of support with the hashtag “#defahmi”.

The unusual punishment arose out of a settlement with Blu Inc Media. Lawyers for the media company originally demanded a public apology in newspapers, according to reports, but Mr Fadzil could not afford to pay for print advertisements. The company publishes several health and lifestyle magazines in Asia.

The settlement is the first of its kind in Malaysia, and has sparked some debate online amongst users concerned about defamation on social media.

Earlier this week in Dublin, Facebook removed several profiles purporting to be from businessman JP McManus, after he brought legal proceedings against the social networking giant.

Additional reporting: AP