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Courtney Love's Tweet May Set Legal Precedent

Courtney Love, Nov. 1, 2010, in New York City.
Stephen Lovekin
Getty Images
Courtney Love, Nov. 1, 2010, in New York City.

It shouldn't be a surprise that Courtney Love, one of rock 'n' roll's more unpredictable and profane personalities, said something nasty about someone else.

But the tweet she wrote on March 17, 2009, calling designer Dawn Simorangkir some rather unpleasant names, stands out because it could have some long-lasting legal effects.

According to The Hollywood Reporter, Love's missive is now at the center of "the first high-profile defamation trial over a celebrity’s comments on Twitter." The Los Angeles trial gets started Jan. 18.

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Mark Memmott is NPR's supervising senior editor for Standards & Practices. In that role, he's a resource for NPR's journalists – helping them raise the right questions as they do their work and uphold the organization's standards.