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Cardiff High Court awards damages in first UK Twitter libel actionThe High Court in Cardiff has awarded damages to a town councillor in what is reported to be the first libel action in the UK resulting from comments posted on Twitter. The action involved two rival politicians who were both standing for election to Caerphilly county council in a by-election in 2009. During the by-election, Colin Elsbury, the Plaid Cymru candidate, claimed on his Twitter page that Eddie Talbot, standing as an independent, had been removed from a polling station by the police. Mr Talbot argued that the statement was untrue and defamatory. At the hearing, Mr Elsbury reportedly agreed to pay Mr Talbot £3,000 in compensation, to publish an apology on his Twitter site, and to pay Mr Talbot’s legal costs. This case demonstrates the need to be very careful when writing about other people on Twitter and other social networking online forums.

Practical Law Update 18.3.11