TMZ reports that New Edition member Johnny Gill is facing a lawsuit (presumably for libel) based on what he said in a tweet. Being sued for what you say on Twitter is nothing new. As we've covered at TortsProfs, Twitter libel suits are fairly common these days. Kim Kardashian, for example, was sued based on a tweet. But Johnny Gill appears to think that 140 characters or less provides a license to say anything. He reportedly told TMZ that people shouldn't be allowed to sue based on a tweet because "the courtrooms would be filled with a bunch of Twitter people complaining about things people say every day."
His remark caused me to think about electronic communication generally. What is it about electronic communciation (tweets, emails, texts) that causes us to say things we otherwise would not say orally or in a non-electronic writing? It could be the mere speed of the communication. Maybe we just speak too soon without any reflection time. But is it something more than just speed?