Stopping Lies On The 'Net On The 'Net

from the who-do-you-trust? dept

An Associated Press opinion piece is claiming that we need an explicit Right To Privacy Amendment to the Constitution to stop crazy people from revealing all sorts of false info about you online. While I’m a big supporter of privacy rights, I think much of the article is confusing the argument. They use the example of stock message boards where people reveal all sorts of defaming and libelous content to try to move a stock. The writers suggest that, without an explicit privacy amendment, we can expect the same thing about ourselves. The argument is that to protect people from being libeled we need this amendment. I’m not sure the two are connected. Posting false information about someone anonymously has nothing to do with privacy. It’s libel, and there are already laws to deal with that. Even more to the point, most people know that most anonymous postings on stock message boards are untrustworthy. We’ve built up a natural trust mechanism – if the source is anonymous on something like an open message board, it’s naturally untrustworthy. Revealing true, but private, information is a different story altogether, and is not what the article was discussing.

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