So some blogger writes something. It offends some corporation, the corporation gets to sue them like they are newspaper? WTF? Makes no sense to me.
Last time I checked, bloggers are not official news sources. They aren’t guaranteed to get thousands or millions of views unlike a Newspaper writer… If a newspaper writer says something damning about a corporation that could get them to loose money, and is not true, sue them, I’m all for it. But What If a blogger does the same thing, and has 1 view per day. The 1 view comes from a corporation web-searching their name. They get offended that the blogger is saying “is harboring criminals”, and they can prove it in court that that is wrong… They then sue the guy, even though no one else saw it.
Ever since I called a right wing family group who attacked violent games “nutjobs” on an article linked in an article posted on one of those social bookmarking sites, I had to be careful not to fall in the trap of anything that could be libelous. What happened is that bookmarking site is filled with conservative trolls, who literally vote down any article with a liberal point of view, and vote up conservative point of view articles, and then spam nasty comments like “this article is badly written, DOWNVOTE!”. Like they did to me to a well researched article debunking violent game myths, including one that the right wing group in question (that I called “nutjobs” ), keeps spreading (games that allow players to sodomize virtual victims with broomsticks).
Pretty soon a had a link to this group get clicked on by the conservative trolls, thanks to wordpresses dashboard. Someone who hated my article and was biased against games immediately visited the family group’s site to possibly tell them about my ‘nasty’ comment. Well Since I now was possibly saying something libelous (who knows what someone would say in a court of law “We’re not nutjobs, LIBEL!”), I had to shut down the blog, move it to another site on wordpress, with a different name and new articles (mostly). It’s too bad my PC backup of the blog in question that they were spamming articles from doesn’t have this article. Some of it is interesting… I need to recreate it soon…. Anyway..
My personal opinion is that unless bloggers are part of a newspaper or online journal, they should not be held accountable for Libel! A lot of these libel cases are really frivolous too, I’m willing to bet that some company could ‘fake’ evidence that the bloggers claim is false, even though it is true, just to make money off the poor sap… Take these 2 examples…. First example:
A Guy from a big newspaper is tired of causing video-game, or music-related moral panics, and wants to start one against a big restaurant chain that is family friendly, like McDonald’s. But not them in this case. A restaurant like them. He decides to walk in with his kid and get his kid a happy meal equivalent. He photographs the happy meal and then uses a painting program to edit it to make it look ‘pornographic’, with a lusty sex scene on the side. He publishes this edited photo on an article claiming that the Restaurant is ‘harming kids’ with Pornographic material. Thousands of viewers read the article and launch a class action lawsuit. The company who runs the Restaurant almost goes under. In this case, It is obvious that the Restaurant has the right to hold the writer accountable for Libel, Slander, and many other crimes….
Take the above writer, and change his occupation to blogger. He Photoshops the same
‘Happy meal porno’ and uploads it to his blogger, which has a small following. He writes a similar article as the one in the first example. The restaurant in question notices. His blog is read by 30 people a day and has less than 1000 viewers… it’s not really popular at all. And it has been around for 2 or 3 years. Many people are not going to find this article on his site, due to that. Does the restaurant have the right to hold him accountable. I say NO…. It isn’t popular enough to get thousands of people to notice the article… He wasn’t putting it in a newspaper…. It had a small following…. Why does the restaurant get to sue him for Libel, saying they could lose business for this? Almost no one read that one article…. 15 views…. That’s a far cry from the first examples moral panic causing article… Which got MILLIONS of views.
- Cyber-libel: Defamation on a keyboard (thestar.com)
- Why blog comment moderation is a good thing (onecoolsitebloggingtips.com)
- #jpod: Lawyers and free expression campaigners debate libel law (blogs.journalism.co.uk)
- DSK accuser files libel lawsuit against the New York Post (shortformblog.tumblr.com)
- Willie O’Dea says he paid to much libel money to Quinlivan (politics.ie)
- Nafissatou Diallo: DSK accuser sues NY Post for “prostitute” report (lonerangersilver.wordpress.com)
- Legally speaking, think before you tweet (radar.oreilly.com)
- Libel law makes web hosts the Achilles heel of online journalism (guardian.co.uk)
- The Photographer, The Entrepreneur, The Stockbroker And Their Rent-A-Mob (jeremynicholl.com)
- Fort Bend newspaper loses $1 million libel lawsuit (chron.com)
- 5 False Legal Threats Bloggers Routinely Face (blogherald.com)
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- Defanging Fang (Again) (volokh.com)
- Libel training: When news breaks, it can be ugly (journalismnext.wordpress.com)
- No Liability for Your Co-Blogger’s Content: Another Successful CDA 230 Defense (seomoz.org)
- When they really knew how to suppress speech (hydeparkheckler.wordpress.com)
- Free Speech Up For Sale (tfa.net)
- Hi all, sorry to barge in on Glenn’s site but my blog on Blogger has been hijacked and is no longer … (pajamasmedia.com)
- Blogger and Picasa Web Could Be Rebranded (mt-soft.com.ar)
- How Much Do You Really Want To Piss Off Your Readers (wassupblog.com)
- Bloggers showing ‘plenty of interest’ in writing for HuffPo UK (blogs.journalism.co.uk)
- Top Places And Ways To Promote Your Blog (blazingminds.co.uk)
- Dangerous Right wing Family group trying to hijack the SCOTUS Decision… (erosionoffreedom.wordpress.com)