When it comes to using Twitter, there’s not much you can say that’s out-of-bounds. (In the UK, as we’ve discussed before, things are a little different). But here in the States, as long as you’re not in a courtroom, you can get away with a lot. One court won’t even consider your tweet to be a statement of facts. So, imagine our surprise last week upon reading the headline: “Judge orders rapper to get Twitter etiquette lessons“. Even more surprisingly, this wasn’t just some random, obscure rapper. We’re talking about Meek Mill, who, as every IT-Lex reader doubtless knows, is a member of the Maybach Music Group, and whose last album made it to number two on the Billboard 200. What could he have possibly said, in 140 characters or less, to get him into such hot water?
It turns out that the rapper, whose real name is Robert Williams, had previously been convicted, and served some jail time, for drugs and gun offenses, and was still on probation. From the Philadelphia Inquirer:
Assistant District Attorney Noel Ann DeSantis told the judge Williams was prolific on Twitter and other social media. As a result of some of Williams’ pronouncements, she said, his probation officer had received threats from the rapper’s followers via social media…
The judge said Williams needed etiquette classes to refine his use of social media and to help him explain the nature of his business to the court.
The judge said the etiquette classes were “more important than any concerts he might have.”
XXL Magazine has compiled some of Williams’ “most ignorant” tweets. Considering the renown of the person involved and the novelty of the punishment, this is a fascinating case.