10 things you should be sued for doing online

Typing on keyboard
What would you like to sue net users for?

In New Mexico, Arthur Firstenberg is suing his next door neighbour because the electromagnetic fields from her iPhone are cooking his brain, or something.

It's a baseless lawsuit, of course - it's not the iPhone that's melting his head, but the CIA space lasers - but it got us thinking about the things people do online that, in a fair and just world, would see them sued until they squeaked.

We came up with ten. Are there any we've missed?

1. Sending us really old stuff

Virus hoaxes, viral marketing from the 1990s, hilarious blog posts whose authors died a decade ago… we've seen them all. Sending stuff that's way past its sell-by date should land you in court, and the penalties should be doubled if the email contains the addresses of seven hundred other people it's also been sent to.

2. Being in any way involved with the redesign of Sky+HD's Electronic Programme Guide, which is possibly the worst software update in the history of creation

That one's pretty self explanatory.

3. Signing up for Spymaster, Mafia Wars or any other social networking game

It's not the game we object to, it's the constant notifications - and worse, the constant invites. Rejecting 200 consecutive invitations to join you in some pointless waste of time is a pretty big hint.

4. Being a Slacktivist

If Slacktivism were in the dictionary the definition would say "Sitting on your backside tweeting about things and pretending you're making a difference." If you're upset about foreign elections, go over there and do something about it. News just in: dictators don't panic if you slag them off on Twitter.

5. Running Twitter bots

"I didn't expect the Spanish Inquisition," you type. Ping! The Spanish Inquisition is now following you on Twitter!

6. Posting messages to your partner when they're in the next room

This is only ever done for two reasons: either you're having a row ("Jane is getting a little bit fed up with somebody leaving their socks on the floor" / "Dave is wondering whether you can kill somebody by SHOVING SOCKS DOWN THEIR THROAT") or you're in the first stages of romance and calling one another "snookums" without irony. We're not sure which is most annoying.

7. Propagating rumours that you know can't possibly be true

"The Apple Tablet will be made of MDF, powered by the ripening of bananas and able to read minds!" Oh, it will, will it?

8. Uploading unflattering photos of us

You were at the party. You took fifteen photos of us, maybe twenty. And the one you choose to upload is the one where we appear to have a face so fat it looks like we've escaped from Jodrell Bank. Why can't we sue people for this?

9. Posting things nobody in their right mind is interested in

The number of calories you've consumed today, the distance you've run, the weight you've lifted, the level you're on in a videogame, the number of poos your baby has pooed… all of these things are very interesting to you, we're sure - but they're of absolutely no interest to anybody else. You are wasting the internet!

10. Capitalising Every Word In Blog Comments, Tweets And Status Updates

It Gets On Our Bloody Nerves, It Really Does.

Carrie Marshall

Writer, broadcaster, musician and kitchen gadget obsessive Carrie Marshall (Twitter) has been writing about tech since 1998, contributing sage advice and odd opinions to all kinds of magazines and websites as well as writing more than a dozen books. Her memoir, Carrie Kills A Man, is on sale now. She is the singer in Glaswegian rock band HAVR.