So…apparently, it’s become a crime to have an opinion – at least in the USA.
Amanda Bonnen (late of the now defunct Twitter account @abonnen) has found herself staring down the barrel of a $50 000 lawsuit.
Her crime? This tweet: “Who said sleeping in a moldy apartment was bad for you? Horizon realty thinks it’s okay.” At the time of the tweet (May 12), Bonnen was staying an apartment owned by the company.
Now until this week, you had probably never heard of Bonnen or Horizon Realty or this tweet. But the company has seen fit to take Bonnen to court because she dared to voice her opinion publicly – so now it’s in the news and a matter of public record – so everyone has an opinion on the matter now.
And while Bonnen had moved out recently, the company never had a conversation about the post and never asked her to take it down.
So how did this lawsuit come about? Here’s Horizon’s Jeffrey Michael: “We’re a sue first, ask questions later kind of an organization.” Well done Jeffy ol’ boy. That’s just the kind of company image you want to portray: a mindless, arrogant, litigation-addicted machine.
In my opinion, Horizon Realty is out of their depth. How can they prove that this single tweet (which went out to the 20 people in Bonnen’s follower list) amounts to $50 000 worth of damage? Did they experience a $50 000 downturn in business after this tweet that can be linked explicitly to this tweet alone? Moreover, can they prove it?
I doubt it. And any damage their company’s image will suffer will be through their own cack-handed handling of this situation.
If I was a tenant in any of Horizon’s buildings, I’d be afraid. You’re all probably next on the Jeffy’s hitlist.
PS: I’ll let you know if Jeffy-boy tries to sue me as well for daring to have an opinion about this.