• Watch what you say! Local city wants to sue people who criticize them online

    By: Berndt Petersen

    Updated:

    FAYETTE COUNTY, Ga. - UPDATE: The controversial proposal to allow city leaders to use tax dollars to sue over social media attacks will not move forward. After a hearing from the crows on Thursday, the council denied the resolution.

    Original story as follows:

    People in Peachtree City may need to watch what they say on social media. The City Council is fighting back against angry comments. 

    "Someone can blast it on Facebook, and it's blasted. It's everywhere. I don't think that's fair," Fenette Beresford told Channel 2's Berndt Petersen.

    Some say social media in the town has gotten too nasty and the City Council aims to defend itself.

    "I think people need to think before the post," said Mayor Vanessa Fleisch.

    Fleisch said the council will consider a resolution that allows members to sue citizens who defame them on social media.


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    "It's not about the First Amendment. It's about defamation," she said.

    The city would cover the legal fees. Some residents we talked to didn't think taxpayers should be on the hook for that and they also don't think they should be silenced.

    "It's our First Amendment right to voice our opinions, regardless of whether people agree with it," said resident Melanie Mattingly.

    Others told us those elected officials need a thick skin -- though they admit, some on Facebook and Twitter have crossed the line.

    "Yes, you did sign up for it. But I don't think you signed up for the whole world to know about your little situation in Peachtree City," Beresford said.

    This resolution might be a first if it passes.

    The vote will take place Thursday night.

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