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Twitter trouble: Mark Cuban fined, Courtney Love sued -- over tweets

March 30, 2009 |  5:43 pm
Mark Cuban
Mark Cuban at South by Southwest. Credit: gorriti via Flickr

Mark Cuban, the outspoken owner of the Dallas Mavericks, is apparently just as frank on Twitter as he is courtside at basketball games. The NBA fined Cuban $25,000 on Sunday for a complaint that he tweeted about the refereeing of his team's 103-101 loss to Denver.

Cuban complained that refs didn't call a technical foul on Nuggets guard J.R. Smith for taunting Antoine Wright after a missed shot. Cuban's 100-character protest, broadcast to his more than 13,000 followers on the short-blogging service, translated to $250 per character. That's one pricey tweet.

After telling the world about his slap on the wrist, Cuban quipped on his Twitter page, "can't say no one makes money from twitter now. the nba does."

He isn't the only celebrity getting in trouble for a loose tongue -- make that loose fingers. Rock musician and party girl Courtney Love is being sued for defamation because of messages on Twitter. She complained on her Twitter page (sorry, no link due to excessive swearing) about conflicts with clothing designer Dawn Simorangkir, which spurred the lawsuit that was filed in an L.A. court.

Defamation is a sensitive issue among journalists. We weigh the concerns of what may be defamatory in everything we publish. But it has rarely been cause for concern among celebrities — mainly because they used to have to go through the news media to get their statements out to the mainstream.

Now that everyone has a direct line to the public, the courts will either have to redefine the legal definition, or we're all just going to have to play nicer.

-- Mark Milian

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