Woman sued for thousands of dollars after a Twitter bitchfest

kempIf you’re someone who likes to vent about work on social media, here’s a cautionary tale that might change your mind about the wisdom of that behavior. A woman in the United Kingdom is facing a lawsuit worth more than three quarters of a hundred grand after she complained about late payment from a client for her business on Twitter.

Lesley Kemp, a 55-year old typist who lives in Milton Keynes, took to the 140-character network to complain that one of her clients, Kirby Kearns, was late with payment for her services. She told the Daily Mail that the amount owed “was only a small amount of money that we argued over, but because I was broke and stressed I took to Twitter and went on a bit of a rant.”

That rant, as it turns out, could make Kemp significantly more broke; Kearns, a businessman based in Qatar, is now suing Kemp for her public comments and seeking £50,000 ($76,255 USD) in damages as a result. Worse yet, he’s looking to do so through the British High Court, which will make legal costs skyrocket. Kemp’s attorney, Robert Dougans – who is representing her on a no win, no fee basis – told the Guardian that the lawsuit has turned out to be “rather tortuous,” adding that “the claim against [Kemp] is for up to £50,000 damages and a high court trial is likely to cost £100,000 plus.”

Kearns isn’t stopping there, however; Dougans said that the litigation-happy businessman now wants to add Twitter as a defendant. “She’s not denying she made the comments,” he said. “Her defense is justification and fair comment.” It’s unclear why Twitter would be added to the case; presumably, it would be as some form of distribution of the libelous material, but that seems a tenuous argument to make at best. Adding Twitter to the case seems to muddy the issue at best, if not outright seem to undercut Kearns’ chances of winning altogether.

For her part, Kemp regrets the entire situation. “There were a lot of emails between us before I took to Twitter. He said that I was damaging his reputation and it was all done maliciously,” she said. “I am not used to freelance work and didn’t understand there is a culture of late payments and it’s not uncommon to have to wait months to receive your fee.” That said, she’s not backing down easily.

“I’m a bit feisty and very determined, and if I’m going down then I’m going to come up with a bang,” she said, somewhat confusingly. “I can’t even begin to describe the stress that it has put me under.” And, of course, the only thing that makes stress better is… a legal battle?

Emerging Tech

Russia’s robot news anchor gives human TV presenters hope

Human news anchors anxious about robots taking their jobs will be feeling reassured this week after the appearance on Russian TV of a news-reading android that clearly needs a bit of work.
Home Theater

Set your ears free with the best completely wireless earbuds

If you can't stand the tangle of cords, or you're just excited about completely wireless earbuds, you're going to need some help separating the wheat from the chaff. Our list serves up the best true wireless earbuds around.
Movies & TV

First reactions say that Avengers: Endgame will make you laugh and cry

The events of Avengers: Infinity War changed the Marvel Cinematic Universe in some big ways and left fans wondering how its heroes can possibly recover. Here's everything we know about Avengers: Endgame, the sequel to Infinity War.
Movies & TV

Clip from John Wick: Chapter 3 confirms the dog is totally fine

John Wick: Chapter 3 — Parabellum, the third installment of the wildly successful action series that stars Keanu Reeves as a deadly assassin forced out of retirement, hits theaters in May 2019. Here's everything we know about it so far.
Social Media

How to download Instagram Stories on iOS, Android, and desktop

Curious about how to save someone's Instagram Story to your phone? Lucky for you, it can be done -- but it does take a few extra steps. Here's what you need to know to save Instagram Stories on both iOS and Android.
Social Media

Facebook, Instagram, and WhatsApp went down worldwide for 2 hours this morning

Chaos erupted on the internet this morning, as Facebook, Instagram, and Whatsapp all went down from 6:30 a.m. to approximately 9 a.m. Thousands of users were unable to access the sites or send or receive Whatsapp messages.
Mobile

Skype screen sharing for mobile will let you share your swipes on dating apps

Skype is prepping the launch of screen sharing for mobile so you can share your swipes on dating apps, shop with buddies, or, perhaps, show a PowerPoint presentation to coworkers. It's in beta just now, but anyone can try it.
Social Media

Facebook toys with mixing Stories and News Feed into one swipeable carousel

Facebook's News Feed could look a lot like Stories if a prototype the social media giant is working on rolls out to users. The design change mixes Stories and News Feed posts into a full-screen slideshow that users swipe left to navigate.
Social Media

No more moon showers as Facebook Messenger’s dark mode gets official rollout

Facebook Messenger launched a dark mode last month, but to activate it you had to message the crescent moon to someone. Now it's been rolled out officially, and it can be accessed in a far more sensible way — via settings.
News

Twitter has revealed a launch date for its handy hide replies features

Twitter has revealed a launch date for a feature that lets users hide replies to their tweets. The hope is that it will help the original poster filter out offensive or irrelevant content from conversation threads.
Smart Home

Oh, Zuck, no! Facebook rumored to be creating a voice assistant to rival Alexa

Facebook hasn't been a big player in the smart speaker market, but that may be changing: The social media giant is reportedly working on a digital assistant to compete against Alexa and others.
Social Media

Facebook says it unintentionally uploaded email contacts of 1.5 million users

Facebook says that over the last two years it unintentionally uploaded the email contacts of 1.5 million users as they signed up to the social networking service. The process has ended and the email addresses are being deleted.
Digital Trends Live

Digital Trends Live: Facebook data security, Ubisoft helps Notre Dame, and more

Join DT Live as we discuss Facebook security issues, Ubisoft's plan to help rebuild Notre Dame, and more. We are also joined by Emily Teteut of Snap the Gap, Jennifer Sendrow of New York Public Radio, and DJ and producer Zeke Thomas.
Photography

After controversial video, China bans ‘Leica’ on social media

A video that referenced Tiananmen Square got the name of the camera company Leica banned from the social media platform Weibo. Leica says the video wasn't an officially sanctioned promotion.