See what happens when a tweet goes viral?

All the gossipy, vicious Nazi fun goes out of the world when someone sues for defamation.

This, from John Ross’s Volokh Report’s summaries of federal cases:

Twitter flips out after woman at rally for then-candidate Donald Trump sieg heils in photo. The actor James Woods tweets the woman’s identity and suggests she is a Bernie Sanders supporter planted to make Trump look bad. But wait! He identifies the wrong woman. Before @RealJamesWoods deletes the tweet and exonerates the misidentified woman 11 days later, she gets hundreds of threatening messages. Defamation? Sixth Circuit: Not under Ohio law. “So-called #Trump ‘Nazi’ is a #BernieSanders agitator/operative?” is more question than defamatory assertion.

Now, the Sixth Circuit is fairly conservative, if I remember correctly. So I guess if you’re going to call someone a “Bernie Sanders agitator/operative,” and she isn’t, you’ll be cool if you put a question mark at the end of it. Especially if the misidentified person you cited sues in Ohio.

But still, this is a lesson in why you don’t think you’re getting the facts of life from Twitter.

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