Tony Robbins Crosses The Atlantic For Some Libel Tourism In Ireland; Files SLAPP Suit Against Buzzfeed

from the slappity-slapp-slapp dept

Tony Robbins is American. Buzzfeed is an American news organization. Last week, Buzzfeed published its sixth story in an investigative series about Robbins, that included a story of Robbins allegedly sexually assaulting a high schooler at a summer camp in California. Which, last I checked [looks around quickly], is also in America. So, you might wonder why it is that Robbins has sued Buzzfeed in Ireland. Robbin’s lawyer, Paul Tweed has tried to defend the decision to sue in Ireland, but I’m having trouble seeing how any of this is convincing:

“My client is entitled to have his name cleared. In my opinion the Irish courts are just as capable of making that determination as the English courts or the American courts,” said Mr Tweed.

He said Ireland would be the appropriate forum for both sets of proceedings as Twitter?s European headquarters is in Dublin.

“It is totally appropriate that we try to keep everything under one roof,” he said.

Wait, what? He’s suing Buzzfeed, not Twitter, though apparently he’s threatening to sue Twitter too. For what?

Mr Robbins is not only aggrieved with Buzzfeed?s coverage, but the manner in which it has spread on social media platforms.

Mr Tweed said his firm had put Twitter “on notice” of a potential lawsuit.

That’s not how any of this works.

Of course, the real reason to sue in Ireland is because either lawsuit would be laughed out of court in the US. The bar to prove defamation against a public figure like Robbins would make it nearly impossible for Robbins to win a defamation lawsuit here, unless he could somehow prove that Buzzfeed made up the reporting, which seems highly unlikely. And, of course, Section 230 of the CDA would protect Twitter. Even in Europe, it seems unlikely that Twitter could be held liable for how other people tweeted, just because Mr. Robbins is “aggrieved” about how this story spread.

Robbins himself put up a laughably bad defense of this legal strategy in a Medium post that actually starts with exactly why his lawsuit should be thrown out with Robbins being told to pay the defendants’ legal fees:

U.S. Supreme Court Justice Felix Frankfurter said, ?Without a free press, there can be no free society.?

Freedom of the press is central to the democratic experiment and our last, best line of defense against those in power who threaten the rule of law.

Yeah, that’s why we don’t let rich assholes sue the media every time they publish an unflattering story. But, I guess, with Ireland not having a 1st Amendment and all, you figure why not jump on a bit of libel tourism to show them who’s boss?

Robbins’ Medium post does highlight some of those quoted in earlier stories who later repudiated their quotes or said they felt pressured by Buzzfeed’s reporters. But that, alone, does not make the original reporting defamatory. And, the fact that Robbins is suing in Ireland, rather than the US certainly suggests that his lawyers here know that he’d lose big time if he tried it here (which also means that any attempt to try to collect money in the US should he somehow win these lawsuits under Irish law, would be easily blocked by the SPEECH Act, which bars attempts by libel tourists to go oversees to get a judgment and then enforce it against US parties).

Buzzfeed, for its part, stands by its reporting.

We learned today that Tony Robbins has started legal proceedings against BuzzFeed in Ireland following a series of reports on allegations of inappropriate sexual advances, verbal abuse and, most recently, an alleged sexual assault of a teen. This reporting is based on hundreds of interviews, audio recordings, and documentary evidence, and we stand by it unequivocally.

Mr Robbin has chosen to sue us abroad rather than address the detailed account of the woman who said he attacked her; the two women who say they saw it happen; and the accounts of dozens of others. The fact that he doesn’t even seek to address these claims, choosing instead to abuse the Irish court system and attack BuzzFeed, speaks for itself.

To be fair, Robbins does pretend to try to address the latest claims of assault in his Medium post… but his “response” is basically “that was a long time ago” and nothing else:

Today, BuzzFeed published another article riddled with falsehoods, concerning an alleged incident from 1985, 34 years ago when I was 25 years old. (I turn 60 in just a few months).

He does not note a single “falsehood” in the story. Instead, the rest of his post is basically a smear campaign against Buzzfeed, filled with out of context statements and innuendo (exactly the kind of thing he claims Buzzfeed is doing to him). He complains about their journalistic technique of asking a source to confirm a story, saying that the source called Robbins instead because he “felt [the reporter] had an agenda.” That may be interesting, but is not defamatory. It also goes on a weird tangent about “current research on the topic of memories” to suggest that “memories can be influenced and distorted.” Look: when you don’t actually respond to accusations of sexually assaulting a teen, other than to say it was a long time ago, and then start babbling on about how memories can be distorted, that doesn’t make it sound like you’re denying anything. It makes it sound like you’re scrambling for excuses.

It seems that Tony Robbins is the latest in a long line of very wealthy men who get so upset about journalists reporting stories they’d prefer not to see who tries to SLAPP them in response. Robbins is adding the overseas element here, perhaps recognizing how badly such a lawsuit would fare in the US. But, as Buzzfeed itself notes, this kind of cowardly attack speaks for itself.

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Stephen T. Stone (profile) says:

Re:

Fuck Breitbart, it’s one of the worst of the new media that started the clickbait trend. Let them burn side by side with the steaming pile of crap leftover from Gawker.

Fuck the Washington Post, it’s one of the worst of the old media. Let them burn with the rest of their kind.

Fuck CNN. Let them burn.

Start down the road of wanting to destroy news outlets you don’t like and you’ll always find more outlets to destroy. Walk the road long enough and you’ll stop coming up with reasons to destroy them.

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Stephen T. Stone (profile) says:

Tony Robbins is a greedy, power-hungry asshole who refuses to address credible accusations of sexual misconduct against him but has all the time in the world to travel abroad and sue a news outlet for reporting those accusations.

Tony, if you’re reading this and you’re pissed off about it: Sue me in Ireland, you free speech-hating shitbag.

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Stephen T. Stone (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:2

I take it you’ve never heard of marital rape or coercion. A woman can be abused by “consenting” to sex even though that consent comes at metaphorical (or possibly literal) gunpoint. “Sleep with me or lose your job” is coerced non-consensual sex — i.e., rape — and you might want to reëxamine your relationship with anyone who tells you otherwise.

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Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:3 Re:

I take it you’ve never heard of marital rape or coercion. A woman can be abused by “consenting” to sex even though that consent comes at metaphorical (or possibly literal) gunpoint. “Sleep with me or lose your job” is coerced non-consensual sex — i.e., rape — and you might want to reëxamine your relationship with anyone who tells you otherwise.

Funny how it’s never prosecuted as rape even when alleged. I suppose women who sleep with the boss to get a job can be tried for prostitution too. By your definition, women can (and do) rape men. Still, most men aren’t bosses and most men aren’t even abusers, but most women seem to be drawn to them (or there wouldn’t be so many abused women).

Women who have looks tend to know they weren’t really the best qualified in the first place (law offices are the worst and are often loaded with current/former sex workers or just golddiggers trying to marry a lawyer). Just ask the unattractive women who aren’t hired what was going on.

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Stephen T. Stone (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:4

I suppose women who sleep with the boss to get a job can be tried for prostitution too.

No, not really. I’m not sure what the charge for that would be, but I don’t think it wouldn’t be prostitution.

By your definition, women can (and do) rape men.

Yes. Women can, and have, raped men by coercing them into what would clearly be considered non-consensual sex if the genders were reversed. That men don’t report it as often as women due to societal stigmas (e.g., the difficulty in proving to a jury that an erection is not consent) says nothing about whether it happens.

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Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:4 Re:

"most women seem to be drawn to them (or there wouldn’t be so many abused women)."
"Women who have looks tend to know they weren’t really the best qualified in the first place"

It takes a special kind of asshole to hold these thoughts.
I suggest you seek professional help.

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Rocky says:

Re: Re: Re:2 Re:

If you abuse your spouse as a coercive tactic to get her/him to have sex with you, I classify that as rape. Any sex that’s not consensual on equal footing IS rape in one form or another, even though some rapist hide behind the excuse "that is not what the law says".

And if anyone feel the need to post the excuse "but why don’t the abused spouse leave the relationship" they’re an idiot for resorting to victim blaming.

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Rocky says:

Re: Re: Re:4 Re:

So you are one of those that don’t think coerced sex is rape then…

Hello Anonymous Rapist! Or perhaps you are just another internet slug of a coward that support rapists, which seems to be the truth if I look at what you posted earlier. I have no doubt that someday someone will give you a quick kick in the groin if it hasn’t already happened which seems likely.

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Anonymous Coward says:

He should not be able to sue buzzfeed ,he does not live in ireland,
buzzfeed is not located in ireland,
its not like facebook which has a large office in ireland.
why should buzzfeed be subject to irish law.
he using ireland as a venue because theres no section 320 law there .
or very few laws re free speech .
Theres irish laws against harassment on the web or copyright infringement .

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re:

I was in Dublin in July and stayed in the hotel next to Twitter’s Dublin office. It’s not a very large building, and Twitter don’t even occupy the entire building. I don’t know how many people are employed there but it won’t be a very large number.

Hopefully the court sees this for what it is, venue shopping, and tells Robbins to sue in the US where it makes jurisdictional sense.

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Stephen T. Stone (profile) says:

Re:

Good thing that 60 Minutes isn’t the Supreme Court or Congress and that public opinion would shift after virtually every social interaction network lays out how the elimination of 47 U.S.C. § 230 would also eliminate virtually every social interaction network. Otherwise we’d be in a pretty shitty country.

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Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:

I’m sure 60 Minutes (who brought down Nixon btw) might note that countries that don’t have Section 230, like England, Australia, or India, somehow manage to still have social media networks. Isn’t that amazing?

Besides, most outlets that write stories about how 230 would kill comment sections already abolished theirs.

BTW the difference between a platform and a publisher is that the platform is what is called "dumb pipes."

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Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

I thought that CNN was the devil and full of fake news, what has changed and why did I not get the memo?
Certainly the Conservative News Network would be highly biased, so why reference a hated source just because you like the news they are presently reporting?

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Stephen T. Stone (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:3

And every interactive web service reliant on 230 to even exist could influence more people than 60 Minutes simply by putting a “we can’t exist without Section 230” message on its site where everyone can see it. DeviantArt, Twitter, YouTube, Facebook, 4chan, Mastodon instances, Wikipedia, Reddit, and virtually every other site like those could put a “we need 230 to exist” message as an overlay on the site upon its next load to a specific user, and I guarantee that would catch more attention than a 60 Minutes segment.

Or did you forget all about how well that worked for the SOPA/PIPA protests?

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Stephen T. Stone (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:5

If you think the passage of a bill that destroys or severely weakens 230 would happen when virtually every platform for third party speech would both come out against it and ask their users to do the same…well, in the words of Wade Barrett, I’m afraid I’ve got some bad news!

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Scary Devil Monastery (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:5 Re:

"Article 13/17 did pretty well."

Until it actually starts getting implemented and the EU member states discover just WHY it’s such a shit idea. Can’t. Frankly. Wait.
It’ll be the data retention directive all over again.

And FOSTA was indeed passed and is currently in the process of demonstrating just why passing it was such a very bad idea. Everyone who voted or spoke in favor of it now has egg on their face while trafficking victims line up describing how FOSTA makes situations like they experienced WORSE.

Truly, Baghdad Bob, your act hasn’t gone uphill since the old days at torrentfreak. A little random trolling, spouting some abuse, and denying reality really DOES make your day when everything else fails, doesn’t it?

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

I’m sure 60 Minutes (who brought down Nixon btw) might note that countries that don’t have Section 230, like England, Australia, or India, somehow manage to still have social media networks.

It may have something to do with their being very few court cases trying to hold them responsible for user posts.

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Rocky says:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

I’m sure 60 Minutes (who brought down Nixon btw) might note that countries that don’t have Section 230, like England, Australia, or India, somehow manage to still have social media networks. Isn’t that amazing?

Perhaps you aren’t aware how much content is disappeared outside the US-jurisdiction. That is mostly due to the fact companies outside the USA seldom have ANY other choice than to take down content because they don’t have the protection of 1A and 230 so there are no real discussion taking place around it outside the USA.

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Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:2 Re:

Perhaps you aren’t aware how much content is disappeared outside the US-jurisdiction. That is mostly due to the fact companies outside the USA seldom have ANY other choice than to take down content because they don’t have the protection of 1A and 230 so there are no real discussion taking place around it outside the USA.

Content in the US disappears because whistleblowers get retaliated against online and defamed (like Rose McGowan).

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Rocky says:

Re: Re: Re:5 Re:

So your citation that a lot of content is removed in the USA without anyone noticing it, is Harvey Weinsteins efforts trying to publicly discredit Rose McGowan.

Perhaps you missed the point that nothing of what Rose McGowan said has somehow vanished into thin air. For some reason the actions against her actually made her statements more visible instead.

Try again?

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Stephen T. Stone (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:

countries that don’t have Section 230, like England, Australia, or India, somehow manage to still have social media networks. Isn’t that amazing?

Those countries also lack laws that do what 230 does — i.e., laws thatprotect users from being sued for repeating someone else’s speech — and the UK has literally sent the police to the homes of people who sent “impolite” tweets. Not really the example you think it is, huh, champ?

most outlets that write stories about how 230 would kill comment sections already abolished theirs.

Irrelevant to the discussion.

the difference between a platform and a publisher is that the platform is what is called "dumb pipes."

Nah, fam, platforms aren’t meant to be “dumb pipes”. You’re thinking of Internet access providers (which most people would call ISPs). The IAP’s purpose is to provide a “dumb pipe” to the Internet — i.e., a connection that doesn’t (and shouldn’t) care whether the next site you visit is Google, Twitter, Techdirt, The Pirate Bay, Amazon, or Pornhub.

Platforms are not “dumb pipes”; while they may provide a place for people to speak their mind, they are under no legal, moral, or ethical obligation to host all speech. 230 makes clear that the moderation of a privately-owned platform, whether it’s private or open to the public, is protected by law. If 230 didn’t do that, no platform could moderate any legally protected speech, including spam and White supremacist propaganda. 230 was written specifically so platforms could moderate speech. One of the men who drafted it said so on the Congressional record, and he also cited the idea that a “family-friendly” platform needed the legal right to moderate speech so it could remain “family friendly”.

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Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:2 Re:

Nah, fam, platforms aren’t meant to be “dumb pipes”. You’re thinking of Internet access providers (which most people would call ISPs).

ISPs have TOS but can still be "dumb pipes" in that they are NEUTRAL. That’s what is meant by conservatives who link the two. The idea is that if you want immunity from distributor liability, you don’t take sides regarding content. Universally imposing restrictions on SPAM or certain speech in a consistent manner still makes the site a "dumb pipe" for other content.

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Stephen T. Stone (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:3

ISPs have TOS but can still be "dumb pipes" in that they are NEUTRAL.

They can claim to be so. But unless they literally allow all legally protected speech — spam, racist propaganda, what have you — they are not “neutral” towards all speech.

The idea is that if you want immunity from distributor liability, you don’t take sides regarding content.

No, the idea is that immunity from distributor liability requires not moderating content. That means every bit of speech that is legal must be allowed without moderation of any kind, because — as the Prodigy ruling made clear — without 230’s protections, moderation of some content would make a company legally liable for all the content it didn’t moderate.

Universally imposing restrictions on SPAM or certain speech in a consistent manner still makes the site a "dumb pipe" for other content.

No, it doesn’t. Under the Prodigy ruling, a service that moderates spam would be held legally liable for all the speech it doesn’t moderate. 230 exists to make sure platforms and services have the legal right of moderation. Services that call themselves “family friendly” actively require the right of moderation to remain “family friendly”. Losing that right means the “family friendly” service must either let through all content without moderation or shut down, and all to avoid a lawsuit over content it didn’t moderate.

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Scary Devil Monastery (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:3 Re:

"That Mike runs this site as a backchannel for a small group of lawyers who want to say things without attribution due to the professional consequences it might bring?"

Would that happen to be all those lawyers who say the exact same thing Mike does, in public?

I’m not sure what’s sadder. That every time you fail to magically paint Mike Masnick into a villain role with shit rhetoric and a conspiracy theory you have to double down on the insanity of the next conspiracy theory…

…or that as deep in la-la land as you appear to be the most interesting hypothesis you could think of posing is that MM somehow runs a subversive anonymity service for a bunch of lawyers desperately afraid for people to find out they’re not in favor of draconian copyright and fascist legislation.

It’s really remarkable, Bobmail. You got the moniker of Baghdad Bob because of the truly unbelievable yet slightly entertaining way you’d hold long twisted dark fairy-tale rants you couldn’t find in dystopian bad sci-fi.

And now this.

I want my money back.

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Scary Devil Monastery (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

"What type of expert are you and how does that "authorize" you to post your opinions here?"

In the past he’s claimed expertise in Law, IT, business, and engineering. He’s also a great entrepreneur, writer and producer.

So old bobmail/Blue knows everything.

Reality doesn’t agree with his self-assessment but that surely only proves you can’t please everybody.

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Rocky says:

Re: Re: Re:

Uhm, you don’t have to be a neurosurgeon to write about medical implications – you can for example be a scientist doing research in the medical field. There are actually a lot of people who can write about it because you only need to be a doctor to practice medicine, just as you need to be a lawyer to practice law.

If you can’t understand the difference, you are beyond saving.

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PaulT (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

"Numerous women have been proven to have lied.’

…and many more actual victims who had to live with years or decades with what had happened, unable to speak because they knew they’d be dismissed and destroyed if they said anything, finally got their stories heard.

I agree due process is an issue, and some women are bad enough to try and profit. But, you don’t get to fix the issues that allowed this to happen for decades by telling people their stories don’t count because they took too long to dare to say them. Didn’t work with pedo priests, and it’s not going to work with raping bosses.

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Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:2 Re:

I agree due process is an issue, and some women are bad enough to try and profit. But, you don’t get to fix the issues that allowed this to happen for decades by telling people their stories don’t count because they took too long to dare to say them.

The SYSTEM rewards liars. Women are the ones who allowed this to happen with their silence. Many who came forward in the 1990s were believed, particularly on Wall Street. Many women use sexuality as a meal ticket and #metoo is messing with their money. Not every woman is a lesbian feminist.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:4 Re:

Always seeing only the good in people is admirable but it is also myopic. If you don’t believe there are women out there who do indeed use their sexuality for profit then you probably also don’t believe there are people out there who game the welfare system. Believing that the whole world is honest paints a pretty picture of life on Earth but it is largely inaccurate.

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Stephen T. Stone (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:5

I’m sure there are women who use their sexuality for profit. (I visit Pornhub, for God’s sake.) But to imply through the word “many” that even a bare minimum majority of women do it is bullshit.

And yes, I’m sure there are people who game welfare systems, too. But they’re likely not very good at it. Why? Because anyone who is good at fraud can make a lot more money in business and politics.

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Stephen T. Stone (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:7

Yeah, they’re called the 1%. Or does it not count as welfare when rich people make money doing absolutely nothing and pay no taxes on that accumulated wealth?

(No, but for real, a woman named Linda Taylor was the inspiration for that ridiculously classist, racist, and sexist trope.)

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Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:8 Re:

Or does it not count as welfare…

Sure, but they’re not abusing the welfare system to get something they shouldn’t have gotten; They’re abusing the tax system to avoid paying something they should have paid. All the more heinous, really.

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Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:3 Re:

The only people who have a stick up their ass about meetoo always seem to be serial rapists and sexual harassers. And given your propensity for making rape threats I think it’s clear that your terrified your past will come back to haunt you. Ain’t that right Chris?

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Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

And that doesn’t even get into the notion that some people stay quiet to keep their lives from falling apart — e.g., an actress staying silent about abuse from a powerful film industry executive so she doesn’t lose roles.

Yet she (or he) could work with indies who’d be happy to have a name. Instead, s/he is so power-hungry that s/he tries to tame the badboy rather than work with the ethical alternative. That means she’s just mad she lost, not mad at the game.

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PaulT (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:2 Re:

"Yet she (or he) could work with indies who’d be happy to have a name."

Oh, and just to add, this is how far outside of reality you are – these victims usually aren’t "names" at the time, they;’re usually abused when they are unknown and thus have zero power. You think it’s hard as an unknown actress at the best of times, just wait until you’ve been blackballed by everyone with a say in what roles you get!

Oh, and you know who the biggest player in the indie market used to be? Harvey Weinstein. So, even your idiotic suggestion wouldn’t even be an alternative. He might not have been able to stop your indie projects getting made, but he sure as hell could have stopped them from being distributed.

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PaulT (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:

"people actually need to process events before coming to grips with them"

It’s often not about coming to grips with things. A woman telling people that 80s Cosby or 90s Weinstein wouldn’t have had a hope of any result other than having their career spectacularly destroyed with no consequences for either man. That’s why they kept doing it for so long – if someone did speak up, it posed little real danger until lots of other women realised they weren’t alone in being victims. Which took time.

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Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

It’s often not about coming to grips with things. A woman telling people that 80s Cosby or 90s Weinstein wouldn’t have had a hope of any result other than having their career spectacularly destroyed with no consequences for either man.

That’s a copout, and if your scenario materialized, it would reveal that not just the abusers were the problem, but those who retaliate against whistleblowers. Wall Street had its "boom boom room" scandals in the 1990s, and the world’s largest law firm had a senior partner pay $6.9 million in another case (think it was reduced). What’s changed is that our daughters didn’t listen to their "house moms" saying "this is how the world works."

Someone who says "I didn’t speak up for what’s right because it would have cost me money" isn’t exactly a moral compass. By speaking up, and letting the consequences play out, the truth comes out more quickly. Women were quiet out of selfishness not out of courage.

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Stephen T. Stone (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:2

Someone who says "I didn’t speak up for what’s right because it would have cost me money" isn’t exactly a moral compass.

Does this apply to the victims of child abuse in the Catholic Church, who also stayed silent for years (often well into adulthood, and sometimes even into old age) out of fear that they wouldn’t be believed or would suffer consequences that would throw their lives into disarray?

If not, explain why.

bhull242 (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:2 Re:

They weren’t silent out of courage, no. However, I disagree with just about everything else you said.

First off, the silence wasn’t courage, but the later speaking out often is.

For another thing, for a number of those victims, they initially blame themselves, believe it’s a personal issue that shouldn’t be made public, believe the right thing to do is to “fix” the abuser, or are in shock. The first three aren’t demonstrative of a weak moral compass; you may believe it’s wrongly calibrated, but there are moral arguments in favor of them, and it’s certainly not indicative that the moral compass isn’t strong. The last one isn’t something any moral compass can fix; it’s roughly equivalent to giving the navigator with the compass a concussion or disrupting the compass, whether with a strong magnetic field or with a strong shock (which can disrupt the magnetism in the compass if it doesn’t just break the compass entirely).

And it’s not just, “It will cost me money,” either. It could also cost them their jobs entirely, their friends, their family, or their reputation. (Look up “victim-blaming”.) On top of that, they may fear physical or verbal retaliation from the abuser. I suppose that may be selfishness to you, and it certainly isn’t courageous, but I don’t think a moral compass is enough to get past that.

And yes, those who retaliate against whistleblowers are part of the problem. I fail to see how that refutes or diminishes their point, though. Either way, it’s perfectly understandable that victims would remain silent, regardless of their moral compasses, and removing §230 or 1A won’t fix that.

And if the “moral” thing to do would have no consequences for the abuser(s), then is there really any point to it?

Scary Devil Monastery (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:2 Re:

"That’s a copout, and if your scenario materialized…"

There are about a thousand well-documented court cases of just this exact scenario playing out, so that scenario is not only well established, it’s also pretty damn clear in the picture it paints.

I wish I could hope you’re just confused, but after seeing the exact same arguments carried half a dozen years ago on Torrentfreak by "Bobmail" I’m pretty sure what really has you on the opposite fence of every moral standard in the world must be the way you keep thinking the victim is always, invariably, the one to blame.

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bhull242 (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

You realize that “coming to grips” with something includes “accepting that it actually happened”, right? Also, people with a “strong ethical compass” may have an even stronger sense of self-preservation.

Then there’s the fact that a “strong” ethical compass is not necessarily an accurate one, and that a traumatic event can knock the compass out of whack (much like can happen to a real compass). For one thing, they may blame themselves for what happened. It’s unfortunately common.

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Rocky says:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

You are driving a car, suddenly a pregnant woman holding hands with a child appears in front of you. There is no way you can stop in time and you can only swerve so much that you will miss one of them.

What do you do?

You are at a mall with a good friend and his daughter. Suddenly a man nearby pulls a gun and starts shooting people at random. You are too far away from the gun-man to do anything, suddenly he points the gun in the direction of your friend and child.

What do you do?

At work, a co-worker confesses to you that she discovered that the company embezzled most of the money in the company and the CFO has threatened to kill her and her family if she tell anyone and you know that the CFO has a shady past and will most likely follow through on the threat. Do you blow the whistle anyway and most likely get her killed or do you keep quiet until the company files for bankruptcy while all the employees loose their jobs.

What do you do?

You discover that your daughter is a drug-addict. If she is found out she will be kicked out from the university and lose her scholarship. Do you try to help her and hide her habit so she can stay at the university or do you force her to go to rehab which the university will find out which will make her hate you for the rest of your life?

What do you do?

People who talk about "strong ethical compass" and how easy it is to make choices never have had to make life-altering choices, because doing the right thing in some instances is one of the hardest decisions you will ever make and it’s never easy and those decisions will follow you for the rest of your life.

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That One Guy (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:3 Re:

Dumbasses, or the lucky and/or wealthy who have been so sheltered that they’ve never found themselves in a position where the ‘good’ choice will actually cost them something real and significant, and as a result they simply cannot imagine why anyone else would ever struggle in a choice like that.

Scary Devil Monastery (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:4 Re:

"Dumbasses, or the lucky and/or wealthy who have been so sheltered that they’ve never found themselves in a position where the ‘good’ choice will actually cost them something…"

And then there’s the sociopaths who doesn’t see the benefit of doing "the right thing", but know it adds credibility to categorically state that anyone who doesn’t is weak and therefore deserves anything they end up getting.

In the unlikely event that Baghdad Bob actually is in the position to do the right thing, and chooses to actually do so (which will only happen if he can be observed to do it) it’ll be very easy for him because no matter who else it hurts he won’t give two shits. That’s become pretty clear by now.

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Stephen T. Stone (profile) says:

Re: Re:

For what reason should an American citizen be able to enter a foreign country with much less stringent defamation laws, successfully sue an American company for defamation, and have the judgment enforced by the foreign country upon that American company?

Scary Devil Monastery (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:3 Re:

"He really can’t let that butthurt money trolling business model idea go, can he? He’ll flog this horse’s carcass till it’s nothing but dust before he gives up on it."

Oh, he fully admires the butthurt money model. I think the reason he’s so opposed to section 230 is on the more personal note that he thinks it’ll be far harder for him personally to commit fraud and con people if a simple google on his actual name would turn up reviews of his past behavior.

His defense goes FAR beyond a mere idolization of shady ambulance-chasing lawyers and copyright trolls at this point.

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bhull242 (profile) says:

Re: Libel Tourism

I believe you’re referring to the SPEECH Act. It did pass, and it prevents the enforcement of foreign judgements within the US if it violates US jurisprudence on speech, like the CDA §230, DMCA, and 1st Amendment. It can’t be used to prevent foreign lawsuits that would be unenforceable here, though.

Frankly, there are some other aspects regarding jurisdiction that seem problematic. I don’t know how it works in Ireland, exactly, but in the US, if a person or entity from country/state A inflicts injury upon another person or entity from A or country/state B, and the injury occurred in A, B, or country/state C, then later the injured person moves to country/state D, that doesn’t mean a court with jurisdiction in D but not A, B, or C has jurisdiction over a lawsuit the injured person brings against the injurer over that injury.

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That One Guy (profile) says:

So confident...

Claims BuzzFeed(located in the US) defamed them(also in the US), sues in another country(with, purely by coincidence I’m sure, a much lower bar for that particular accusation) because they might sue Twitter for stupid reasons down the line and that company’s HQ is in the country.

They might as well have admitted that even they know they wouldn’t have a chance in US courts and therefore went shopping for a country with lower standards, as I doubt they’re fooling anyone who spends even a few seconds thinking about it. As BuzzFeed rightly noted, ‘The fact that he doesn’t even seek to address these claims, choosing instead to abuse the Irish court system and attack BuzzFeed, speaks for itself. ‘

Anonymous Coward says:

John Smith/horse with no name/Whatever/MyNameHere/Just Sayin’/The Anti-Mike sees an article that cursorily mentions Section 230, loses his shit, and rants about his mailing lists and women despite having enough influence to win over Hollywood and nuke websites he hates from orbit, like this one?

News at goddamn fucking 11.

Still waiting for that subpoena/lawsuit/press release with your real name on it, Prenda apologist.

Bring it, you unnamed, impotent old fuckwit.

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FemaleForTony says:

Venue Shopping is Smart

All of the hate for Tony is from everyone who has never seen him help people. Tony is one of the most selfless and caring individuals to spotlight the world. He is THE most giving celebrity on the planet and has helped millions get over the shit that holds them back. Attend one of his events, listen to any of his programs and you can HEAR the passion in his voice. He deserves his day in court to defend himself and the opportunity to share his side… and he shouldn’t be ridiculed to not try and defend himself in the court of public opinion… personally, I have presented myself to the press to defend a family member and all they did was spin my words to meet their story. Even if Tony did hold a press conference, his words would be held against him, or spun or bastardized by the media. So he uses a court that will be separate from the American culture of guilty before proven innocent. Go Tony. And you assholes who believe he’s guilty before he’s defended himself… I hope one day you know what it’s like to be on trial in the court of public opinion and realize that there basically IS no defense. Y’all expect him to bend over and take it. I hope YOU all bend over and take it.

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FemaleForTony says:

Re: Re: Venue Shopping is Smart

Anonymous Coward:

Stereotypical internet troll – your brain instantly goes to insults for your own amusement. Cute, but it just means you don’t have anything substantive to rebut. So I thank you for your witless commentary. You truly are as your name suggests, an anonymous coward.

FemaleForTony says:

Re: Re: Re:2 Shop Smart ship S Mart

As a matter of fact, no I wasn’t paid for my opinion. How shocking. I honestly believe in Tony and genuinely support his search for justice—- notice I said “justice.” If he is found guilty or innocent, that’s for the jury to decide. If he is entitled to compensation from the media or not, that’s for a court to decide. Being in law school myself, if Ireland publications such as buzzfeeds european branches have libeled him, the foreign court venues are valid. Of course the court will decide soon if he has proper contacts to be heard there. And of course he will choose the venue most advantageous… if he didn’t he’d be stupid. He’s not a stupid man. The public and the press love to see people fall from high places by any means. Well I honestly believe that they will not see another Harvey Weinstein in Tony. But that’s what the media is gunning for. I am proud to defend Tony. If he is really culpable, then I hope justice is served to those women, but I just don’t feel like there’s a lot of fruit to be said in their accusations, and I see more of the blood thirsty media trying to have their second Harvey to devour.

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bhull242 (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:3 Shop Smart ship S Mart

And of course he will choose the venue most advantageous… if he didn’t he’d be stupid.

In addition to venue shopping being a really sketchy thing to do generally, this particular instance is just plain nonsensical. Neither party was in Ireland, an Irish citizen, or a resident of Ireland at the time of the alleged offense, and it’s difficult to say that the offense occurred in Ireland. It makes no sense that Tony could sue Buzzfeed over this in Ireland just because he moved there sometime after the fact. That’s not how jurisdiction is supposed to work. As a business located solely within the US owned by US citizens being sued over speech directed towards and concerning US citizens and residents, Buzzfeed should receive the same protections everyone in the US gets. Not receiving those protections would mean that justice won’t be served by them losing.

if Ireland publications such as buzzfeeds european branches have libeled him, the foreign court venues are valid.

Buzzfeed doesn’t have a European branch at all. Its only physical location(s) is/are in the US. It is in no way an Irish publication. Twitter has a European branch in Dublin, but Twitter isn’t even a party to this lawsuit. That’s one of the main reasons this lawsuit is being discussed here: the venue makes absolutely no sense from a legal point of view. Try rereading the article; it specifically says that Buzzfeed has no physical presence in Ireland.

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That One Guy (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:4 'Wanting' doesn't mean 'owed' or 'allowed'

That’s one of the main reasons this lawsuit is being discussed here: the venue makes absolutely no sense from a legal point of view.

It does actually, just not a good reason, which is rather the point.

Legally it makes perfect sense that he would want a venue where his claims wouldn’t get shut down from the start thanks to the first amendment and/or 230, the problem for him is that what he wants along those lines is irrelevant thanks to what the article and you pointed out about how it’s not the right venue and is instead a pretty blatant abuse of the legal system.

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bhull242 (profile) says:

Re: Venue Shopping is Smart

For the record, I have not come to a conclusion about whether or not the accusations against Tony are true. I also know nothing about him. I am just a neutral observer on that.

However, that is completely immaterial here. Even assuming that the accusations against him are false, and even if BuzzFeed is defaming him, that still doesn’t justify this obvious libel tourism and forum shopping.

Please explain why Ireland is a reasonable forum for this lawsuit considering the fact that, at the time of publication, all involved parties were Americans and only had physical residence in the US. Remember, Twitter is not currently a party to the lawsuit, so the fact that it has its European HQ in Dublin is irrelevant.

Do I expect Tony to just lie down and take these accusations without defending himself? No, I don’t. However, I can still criticize the means he chooses to use to defend himself. The ends don’t justify the means.

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