Natasha Tynes, an award-winning Jordanian American author who lost a book deal following claims of online racism, is suing her publishing house for $13 million. The lawsuit, filed in California on Friday, alleges that Rare Bird Books breached its contract and defamed her, causing “extreme emotional distress” and destroying her reputation.

Everybody participating in the situation – especially the folks posting negative reviews of a book that doesn’t exist – is a total dick. And the book sounds supremely idiotic.

But I hope this Natasha woman wins.

14 thoughts on “Twitteroids”

  1. The author doesn’t get a lot of sympathy from me after she posted a photograph of the rule-breaking employee on Twitter. (Yes, it was legal for her to post it because people in a public setting have no “expectation of privacy” against being photographed or filmed, but still…)

    Now she’s suing for being “defamed,” after publicly defaming a low-level DC Metro employee for eating on the job? Priceless!


    1. ” publicly defaming a low-level DC Metro employee ”

      The back story is that DC metro is apparently very draconian about people eating on cars, a few years ago they supposedly called the police on a ten year old so an employee flouting the rule is going to rankle


      1. “The back story is that DC metro is apparently very draconian about people eating on cars…so an employee flouting the rule is going to rankle.”

        Yes, I read the full story (but not on the hidden-behind-a-paywall Washington Post link) — but if you’re mad about a policy set by company management, you don’t take out your anger by smacking a low-level employee over the head!


  2. On a writers’ group on Facebook people were asked to say what their “stand” on “the issue” was.

    Why does everyone rush to judgement on things they are not involved in, and ask others to do so too. The Facebook thing was linked to one newspaper report about something that happened 10000 miles from where I live. Assuming that “the issue” was whether a publishing firm was justified in reneging on its contract, one would need to see the actual written rules about eating on trains, hear sworn evidence from the employer who wrote the rules, and from the union of the employee who was accused of breaking them, and all sorts of other stuff. Otherwise we live in an Alice in Wonderland world, first the sentence, then the verdict, and the evidence last of all.



    The troubles for the author and World Bank communications officer, who is based in Washington, D.C., began one morning in May when she called out a black Metro subway worker for eating on a train, posting a photo of the employee on Twitter and lodging a complaint.

    “I thought we were not allowed to eat on the train,” she wrote, tagging the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority and scolding the behavior by the black woman as “unacceptable.”

    If she was really concerned, she could’ve gone up to the woman and pointed out how she was vulnerable to getting in trouble over this. Why was it her business anyway?


    1. I agree she’s a dick. And posting every minor annoyance on Twitter is a dickish move. And photographing people without consent is very dickish. But she’s been punished already and deleted the tweet. The publishing house needs to be punished, too.


      1. Punished? If they’re in breach of the book contract, then she should have her day in court. If they did go ahead and publish it, the resulting tour would be a shitshow. Every interviewer would bring it up, and there would be demonstrations at book signing events. You don’t want the stink, don’t stir up the shit.


        1. Anybody can post a dumb tweet, status, link or comment. It doesn’t mean they should be mobbed and ruined as a result. I notice that you always side with a mob and never with an individual. For me, it’s the opposite.


          1. “Stupidity cannot be cured with money, or through education, or by legislation. Stupidity is not a sin, the victim can’t help being stupid. But stupidity is the only universal capital crime: the sentence is death, there is no appeal, and execution is carried out automatically and without pity.”

            Robert Heinlein


            1. I don’t know, it’s only true in the sense that everybody dies eventually. But many stupid people succeed and prosper. Just look at Trump. The guy is dumb as a clam but doing great for himself.


              1. And I don’t hate the playa, I hate the game. See also: He who lives by the sword, shall die by the sword.

                Oh, yeah, and Trump started out with a lot of cash. I think that helped out, don’t you?


          2. I’m not siding with the mob, I’m being realistic. Has she tried to reach out to the woman she photographed and apologize for perhaps harming her work record? As for your last snide jape, I’ll overlook it this time around.


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