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Defamation lawsuit against MSNCB anchor shows dangers of careless retweeting

MSNBC’s Joy Reid found herself in trouble for retweeting to 1.2 million followers a photo of a woman supposedly calling a high school student “a dirty Mexican” at a Simi Valley city council meeting last June during the height of the uproar over the Trump administration’s family separation foray. It turns out the woman did not say that to the student and although Reid apologized, the woman sued for punitive damages. The case may hinge on whether the woman is considered a private or public figure. If a  public figure, actual malice would have to be proved to make it defamation. (The Hollywood Reporter, November 6, 2018, by Ashley Cullins)

Wearing a Make American Great Again Hat, Roslyn La Liberte was actually engaging in polite conversation with the student and even gave him a huge during the meeting. La Liberte said the retweet resulted in hundreds of hate messages and threats to her life. (The Wrap, September 26, 20189, by Jon Levine)

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