Daddy O wrote: ↑
Sat Dec 10, 2016 2:54 pm
In most countries throughout the world (well, maybe not Russia or China), writing something that’s untrue and harms the reputation of another person is a civil offense. While this has been the case for centuries, most people were essentially immune from prosecution — unless you had a public platform reaching a wide audience that meets the level of defamation of character this was next to impossible.
Fortunately, or unfortunately, social media changed all of this. Today, anyone with a Facebook, Twitter, Blog or Message Board account can theoretically reach the entire Internet. If the message that is shared is positive, the Internet can be a great place to be, however, if the message being shared is libelous or defamatory, there could be a very expensive lawsuit. The Internet can be a mean place, full of trolls and scamsters. But just like real life, for all the bad, there's a lot of good out there.
There was an incident in Melbourne, Australia in which a woman posted a photo of a man she’d seen taking a picture near some children. On Facebook she labeled him a “creep” and erroneously claimed police were investigating the incident. Apparently, she never called the police. The post was shared nearly 20,000 times. On the following day the post came to the attention of the man who was taking the photos. He immediately turned himself in to the police. The only problem was he had been taking a selfie of himself with a Star Wars poster – to send to his own children.
The man was interviewed by the Daily Mail saying that he and his family were extremely hurt by the incident. As was their right, they investigated their legal options.
A decade ago, the woman would have gone home and told her friends and family about the “creep” she’d seen in the shopping center. While those statements could well be considered slanderous, only a few people would have heard them – it would never have amounted to much. Unfortunately for her, by posting them on social media she had exposed herself to a libel suit. What she posted was untrue, publicly published, reached a significant audience and certainly had the potential to harm the man’s reputation.
In another incident from Australia, a Mr. Andrew Farley was ordered to pay $105,000 (in Australian currency) to a music teacher that he defamed on Twitter. Farley “bore a grudge” against Christine Mickle after she replaced his father, who stepped down for health reasons. Farley’s tweets implied Mickle was responsible for the situation.
For those unfamiliar with law, attorneys believe you should always sue the person with the most money. Remember, what is very clear, is that you can be held accountable for anything you post on a social network. The old expression, “It’s just Twitter
”, no longer works as a legal defense.
I'm not really trying to pick on Australia, it's just that most of the board members that like to slander other board members are either from Australia, or have expatriate roots there.
My advice to Big Ry and even to Moderator Sir Andrew is................you really need to start moderating this board. Failure to do so and knowingly allowing others to defame and libel other board members can most certainly leave both of you, as well as the one who commits the libel and/or slander, in a legal position that no man wants to find himself. And if I were Curly, I would do everything I could to have my name/nic removed as moderator of this board.
The Internet is a powerful place………..we all should treat it with a little respect