Haters Don't Hate: Trashing actors via social media could cost you

Posted Thursday, July 30, 2015 11:12:19 AM
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Ready to let those negative opinions about your favorite daytime shows and actors rip? You may want to think again.

As any daytime actor would say, soap opera fans are some of the most passionate and loyal fans out there. Millions of General Hospital, Days of our Lives, The Bold and the Beautiful, and The Young and the Restless fans engage in message board and social media activity every day. Sometimes they write in support of their favorite shows and stars, but sometimes the sentiments are quite harsh. Incivility has become a common occurrence -- but negative comments could start costing you.

In a landmark lawsuit regarding social media comments, Ray Donovan star James Woods is suing an anonymous Twitter user for ten million dollars following a tweet that called the actor a "cocaine addict."

Celebrities suing over sensational and scandalous headlines is nothing new -- and it's not just tabloids that have been on the receiving end of lawsuits. However, few actors have taken on comments made on Twitter, where users can hid behind anonymity.

Woods filed the suit on Wednesday, and it states the Twitter user's "reckless and malicious behavior, through the worldwide reach of the internet, has now jeopardized Woods' good name and reputation on an international scale... [the user] and anyone else using social media to propagate lies and do harm, should take note. They are not impervious to the law."

Examples similar to Woods's situation run rampant in the daytime world. As GH fans know, the show's former head writer, Ron Carlivati, was constantly admonishing fans on Twitter for tweeting nasty and inconsiderate comments. And earlier this month, a mean-spirited viewer tweet aimed toward GH star Emme Rylan (Lulu Spencer) prompted the actress to halt her Twitter activity. "Taking a break from Twitter," she wrote on July 16. "It's funny to make fun of someone? Hope that bring happiness to u -- but I'll be keeping my joy thank u very much."

As Woods's lawsuit is in its very early stages, there's no telling how the lawsuit will eventually play out. Could it establish new social media laws or succeed in sending a very serious warning message to social media users who disseminate vicious comments? At the very least, it may be enough to give haters pause -- at least for the time being. Something to consider before you go posting nasty posts about the stars you see on GH, DAYS, B&B, and Y&R: "Would I mind paying $10 million for what I'm about to tweet?"

What do you think about Woods's lawsuit? Have you ever trashed a show or an actor on social media? We want to hear from you -- and there are many ways you can share your thoughts.

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