How has Twitter gotten celebrities in trouble? Let us count the ways...
Over the years, Twitter has become the unofficial medium for celebrities to air their (bad) news -- and for all of us non-celebrities to gawk, point, and shake our collective heads at the stars' all-too-human predicaments.
So in honor of Twitter's eighth birthday, here are eight memorable ways celebrities have landed in hot water over what they shared on Twitter:
- Roseanne Barr. The comedienne is being sued by George Zimmerman's parents for tweeting out their home address after their son shot and killed Trayvon Martin. Among the alleged problems with Barr's tweet: George Zimmerman hadn't lived at that address for years, his parents say.
- Alec Baldwin. An actor known for ranting took to Twitter after a photographer claimed that Baldwin assaulted him. After the incident, Baldwin tweeted his side of the story using the hashtag #allpaparazzishouldbewaterboarded. Making angry, public statements after a criminal complaint has been filed against you probably isn't the best idea.
- "Teen Mom" stars. Surprisingly, this celebrity Twitter faux-pas doesn't involve fighting between "Teen Mom" stars Amber Portwood and Gary Shirley. Shirley created a Twitter account for their daughter, who was then only 3 years old. Although Twitter doesn't have an age requirement, Shirley should be cautious of what his daughter's Twitter account says to avoid more family court issues.
- Kelly Hyland from "Dance Moms." This incident didn't involve a tweet, but rather a court order to not tweet. Hyland was ordered not to contact her daughters' former dance instructor Abby Lee Miller -- not even via Twitter -- after the "Dance Mom" was arrested for allegedly assaulting and harassing Miller.
- Courtney Love. The rock singer won a lawsuit brought against her by her former attorney who claims that Love libeled her on Twitter. Love suggested on Twitter that her ex-attorney was "bought off" by her late husband Kurt Cobain's estate when she dropped Love as a client.
- Nancy Grace. When a
crazedJodi Arias admirer was deeply displeased with Nancy Grace's cable TV coverage of the convicted murder's trial, the Arias fan took to Twitter and threatened to "slit Nancy Grace's throat." While Grace likely receives her fair share of hate mail, this guy took it to another level when he quit his job and traveled to Arizona, where the trial was being held. Police found a plethora of weapons in his car and arrested him for stalking and computer tampering.
- Celebrity impersonators. Fake celebrity Twitter accounts can be funny, but California lawmakers aren't laughing. The state legislature passed a law in 2011 that prohibits impersonating another individual online with the intent to harm, intimidate, threaten, or defraud. Even if you aren't being malicious with your fake celebrity Twitter account, you may be violating other laws, like trademark infringement or misappropriation of another person's identity.
- Freddie Gibbs. The young rapper claimed a TSA agent found marijuana in his checked luggage -- but instead of confiscating it, the agent left him a friendly note. Gibbs found it so funny, he tweeted a photo of his pot stash and the note. The tweet didn't land him in any legal trouble, but can still serve as a reminder that pot, even if it's medicinal, doesn't fly with the TSA.
Happy eighth birthday, Twitter! Here's to many more years of you providing us with entertaining, but sometimes troublesome, celebrity tweets.
- Twitter's eight most amazing moments (USA Today)
- FindLaw's #FirstTweet: Social Media Then and Now (FindLaw Insider)
- Yes, Bad Twitter Jokes Can Get You Fired (FindLaw's Law and Daily Life)
- Twitter Threats Against N.Y. Mets Lead to Man's Arrest (FindLaw's Tarnished Twenty)