Is Twitter a Newspaper, Or Is It the Phone Company?

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By: Mathew Ingram | GigaOM.com

Is Twitter a publisher and distributor of information like a newspaper, or is it just a dumb pipe like a telephone network? Lawyers in Australia seem to believe that a case could be made that Twitter is a publisher, like a newspaper, and therefore it can be sued for defamation as a result of a single tweet. That may be a stretch — especially in the United States, which has legislation that protects online commentary from such lawsuits — but it highlights the difficulties that Twitter could have as it tries to expand around the globe and into different legal environments.

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