Malaysian Man Tweets 100 Apologies to Avoid Lawsuit

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I guess you could call this the 2011 equivalent of writing standards.

Back in January, Fahmi Fadzil – a social activist and “performer & writer,” according to his Twitter account – tweeted that his pregnant friend was treated unkindly by her then-employer, Female Magazine. Mr. Fadzil realized his error, and issued an apology a mere few hours later.

Still, Female Magazine and its parent company Blu Inc. Media were not amused, and took legal action against Mr. Fadzil in the form of a defamation lawsuit.

But in an odd – if fitting – twist, the settlement reached this week in Malaysian courts ordered Mr. Fadzi take on an unorthodox punishment: Rather than paying an undetermined fine, the defendant agreed that he would tweet the apology (posted above) 100 times over the course of three days.

His latest tweet reads: “22/100 I’ve DEFAMED Blu Inc Media & Female Magazine. My tweets on their HR Policies are untrue. I retract those words & hereby apologize.”

Currently, he has 4,505 followers, and has completed 22 out of 100 apologies.

The tweets appear to be coming through HootSuite, a service that allows you to plan and schedule tweets in advance. Mr. Fadzil seems to be taking the whole thing in stride, interspersing his apologies with more normal tweets, like what he’s eating for dinner.

However, the settlement raises some interesting questions about user accountability on Twitter, especially considering the ongoing censorship battle in the U.K.

As for Mr. Fadzil, support across the Twitter-sphere seems positive – albeit more amused, than anything. And you know what they say: As a “performer” in any capacity, any publicity is good publicity.

(via The Next Web)

More on TIME.com:

Today, We Know More About Who is Using Twitter

It’s Science: You Can Really Only Follow 150 People on Twitter

Twitter Unmasks Anonymous User in U.K. Libel Case

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