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No, Filing A Defamation Lawsuit Is Never The Only Way You Can Clear Your Name

from the do-people-not-realize-this dept

The Washington Post’s Erik Wemple (who, for reasons I’ve never understood, always refers to himself as “The Erik Wemple Blog,” which is really annoying for readers), had a truly bizarre article recently about Devin Nunes’ defamation lawsuit against CNN, in which Wemple suggests that maybe this Nunes lawsuit is “halfway decent.” It is not. As we discussed in our own post about the lawsuit, this one may be his worst one yet and has little chance of surviving.

Still, what I found most bizarre about the Wemple piece, is that includes this truly ridiculous paragraph:

There are those who believe that a courtroom is the appropriate place to feud about alleged dairy secrets. ?Kudos to Congressman Nunes for utilizing the court system to vindicate his reputation,? wrote defamation attorney Elizabeth Locke of Clare Locke LLP in an email (before the filing of the CNN suit). ?In the United States, a defamation action that seeks monetary damages is the only remedy available to those who have been defamed. We should be celebrating, not disparaging, those who use the courts to resolve their disputes.?

If you recognize the name of that lawyer, Elizabeth Locke, or her firm, Clare Locke, it might be because we wrote about them last year, in highlighting how the firm and Elizabeth in particular have truly bizarre views on free speech, support making libel laws more stringent, and the firm specializes in intimidating journalists and news organizations to kill stories about important and wealthy people.

Even leaving that aside, Locke’s quote is just so out of touch with reality. A defamation lawsuit is “the only remedy” to those who have been defamed? Bullshit. How about just proving the defamer wrong? We live in an age when anyone can publish, and so if someone has said something false about you, you don’t need to run to court and make use of the power of the state to try to correct the record. You can do so yourself.

Defamation law was originally designed in a time when there really was little recourse if, say, a newspaper defamed you. They controlled the media channel, and an ordinary person would have little direct recourse to present their side of the story. But that’s not true any more thanks to the internet. On the internet, if someone says something false about you, rather than going through an expensive and wasteful defamation lawsuit and tying up the court system, you can just go on the internet and tell your side of the story. If you do it well (and people can help you do this for a mere fraction of what a pricey defamation lawyer will cost you), you can have a much more effective “recourse” to the defamation. You get your side out there much faster and more thoroughly, and the court of public opinion can determine who is right. If you present your case compellingly, whoever defamed you will end up having their own credibility and reputation hurt.

All of that works entirely without resorting to the court system and the frequently abused system of defamation law, which Nunes has been using to intimidate journalists, political rivals, and critics. The fact that a newspaper like the Washington Post would quote Locke without pointing out how what’s she saying is utter nonsense is disappointing. Given Locke’s history of trying to threaten various news sources, it’s a shame that the Washington Post would even consider her a valid subject for a quote — at least without qualifying the statement.

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Comments on “No, Filing A Defamation Lawsuit Is Never The Only Way You Can Clear Your Name”

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162 Comments
Stephen T. Stone (profile) says:

A defamation lawsuit is "the only remedy" to those who have been defamed? Bullshit. How about just proving the defamer wrong? We live in an age when anyone can publish, and so if someone has said something false about you, you don’t need to run to court and make use of the power of the state to try to correct the record. You can do so yourself.

[insert Shiva Ayyadurai joke here]

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That One Guy (profile) says:

Why prove someone wrong when you can bankrupt them?

The court isn’t even close to the only possible response to defamation, but it is certainly the best if the goal is attention and/or costing the other person/group huge amounts of money, whether to punish them, send a message to others, or both.

As an added benefit the legal route doesn’t actually require you to be right or the other person wrong, as so long as you have more money than them and can drag things on right and wrong can be replaced with pure attrition, where the only thing that matters is who has more money to burn.

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ArkieGuy (profile) says:

Corrected.....

I think it was supposed to say:

In the United States, a defamation action that seeks monetary damages is the only remedy available to [me where I can get paid by] those who [feel like they] have been defamed. We should be celebrating [my monetary good fortune], not disparaging, those who [ab]use the courts to resolve their [petty butt hurt] disputes.

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Wendy Cockcroft (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:2 Re:

It’s not hard to be persuasive.

If someone calls you a snot-eating bin-dipper, for example, demand evidence of mucus consumption and waste receptacle search activity.

If you can find other examples of the troll’s posts, link to them and point out that he’s in the habit of doing this to other people or making slight changes to his username and accusing you on other platforms. It works even better if you find out he’s using a burner .ru email address. This is the evidence I used to get the lies about me taken down. It proved he was a troll.

The trick to persuasion is to keep your head and provide evidence to back yourself up.

bobob says:

The best cure for defamation would be for people to not believe everything they read that incites an emotional response. Unfortunately, in the real world, most people are ruled by emotions instead of facts and logic. However, in Milkdud’s case, even the stupidest person on earth should have been able to grasp the idea that reporting factual information can’t possibly be defamation (unless you live in the UK) and the bar for public figures is incredibly high in the U.S.

Wendy Cockcroft (profile) says:

Re: Re:

Unfortunately, in the real world, most people are ruled by emotions instead of facts and logic.

This is true. And damn, they love soundbites. It works a lot better than carefully explained policies. 🙁

This is something you can use to your advantage. I leaned on the fact that the troll had contacted my employers and actively tried to get me fired. Portraying myself as an honest worker abused by a random troll and in danger of losing her job was the key to getting the crap taken down.

Scote says:

Defamation law was to protect royalty

"Defamation law was originally designed in a time when there really was little recourse if, say, a newspaper defamed you. "

IIRC, defamation laws were originally to protect the crown. And it didn’t matter whether the claim was true, only whether it was defamatory. We still see the legacy of such laws in Thailand, which has a "lèse majesté" laws that are enforced against people who "defame" the king (the law now claims "national security" is what is violated, but the enforcement still applies to saying mean things about the king, much the way Trump considers an attack on him to be an attack on the US.)

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/L%C3%A8se_majest%C3%A9_in_Thailand

So, you have to be careful when you cite the history of defamation law.

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Anonymous Coward says:

Even leaving that aside, Locke’s quote is just so out of touch with reality. A defamation lawsuit is "the only remedy" to those who have been defamed? Bullshit. How about just proving the defamer wrong? We live in an age when anyone can publish, and so if someone has said something false about you, you don’t need to run to court and make use of the power of the state to try to correct the record. You can do so yourself.

Except when you can’t, like when landlords or employers deny applications because of what they read online, without even bothering to tell the person. Ask anyone who has been "cancelled" how that works. This is typical rational-actor fallacy that presumes others play fair and are intelligent when they are not.

Libel laws replaced DUELING, the primary "recourse" of the 1800s. People who had the courage to defame someone but not to show up for a duel were branded cowards and punished. That doesn’t happen today. Someone should NOT have to give equal footing on a debate stage over lies. They don’t have to in Australia or in the US, and should not here.

People who talk like the author of this article are the first to threaten litigation when THEY are targeted. These laws exist for a very good reason.

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Stephen T. Stone (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:

a law designed to replace dueling should be taken seriously

And yet you say this…

A woman who is accused of being a prostitute or sleeping her way into her job should not have to share a debate stage with her accuser(s).

…which makes me think you’d rather have dueling come back to replace defamation cases in courts of law.

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bobob says:

Re: Re:

"How about just proving the defamer wrong? We live in an age when anyone can publish, and so if someone has said something false about you, you don’t need to run to court and make use of the power of the state to try to correct the record. You can do so yourself."


Not always. A guy accused of being a pedophile or rape will have a difficult time ever getting out from under those accusations no matter what facts he can present to clear himself. Some false accusations create an emotional reaction in a lot of people that facts and logic will never overcome, especially in certain professions like teaching. Defending yourself with facts in emotionally charged accusations doesn’t level the field in countering the accuser just by virtue of having the same opportunity to present those facts to the same audience.

A person so accused also faces the possibility that freinds and family members might decide that the only way "justice" will be served is to becom vigilantes and take matters into their own hands.

Wendy Cockcroft (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:

Not always. A guy accused of being a pedophile or rape will have a difficult time ever getting out from under those accusations no matter what facts he can present to clear himself. Some false accusations create an emotional reaction in a lot of people that facts and logic will never overcome, especially in certain professions like teaching. Defending yourself with facts in emotionally charged accusations doesn’t level the field in countering the accuser just by virtue of having the same opportunity to present those facts to the same audience.

I’ve seen cases where people have had serious charges made against them. Ultimately, they were able to prove their accusers wrong. In one case, it was a neighbour getting revenge on a man who ratted on him for insurance fraud — and presented a photo of the man working on his roof as evidence that he was totally able to move around freely. The neighbour accused him of messing with his kids and called the police. The snitch was able to prove he was nowhere near the kid when the alleged incidents took place, and the accusation fell apart. The fraud got into more trouble for wasting police time.

Unless the accusations go public, truth will usually save the innocent. In the other case, a man was beaten so severely he had to leave town and change his name to escape the vigilantes.

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Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

Not always. A guy accused of being a pedophile or rape will have a difficult time ever getting out from under those accusations no matter what facts he can present to clear himself. Some false accusations create an emotional reaction in a lot of people that facts and logic will never overcome, especially in certain professions like teaching. Defending yourself with facts in emotionally charged accusations doesn’t level the field in countering the accuser just by virtue of having the same opportunity to present those facts to the same audience.

This would appear to contradict your other post.

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Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re: Free speech for everyone.

“With what’s going to happen to the gang, I’m not concerned.
You’re all very weak and stupid, and you’re bullies. You started shit that at some point you will wish you hadn’t. Masnick is the ringleader, and he obviously wants a pissing contest. He has one. The more he allows this to continue the worse it will be for him.”

This ones from your epic May meltdown bro. There’s some choice examples of you running your mouth off in that one.

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Scary Devil Monastery (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:3 Free speech for everyone.

"I would think someone who tracks this site’s comments to the point of obsession has already had the meltdown…"

No tracking nor obsession required.

See, that post of yours where you implied that some day soon all the "aspies" would get raped was simply too memorable for most people to actually forget, no matter how much we might like to.

I shouldn’t be too surprised that someone capable of writing a post like that to begin with might not have the common sanity to grasp why said post doesn’t require either obsession nor tracking to be remembered. I wish I could say that sort of shit coming from you was rare.

So, once again, Baghdad Bob, it would seem that your conflict with sanity is getting in your way when it comes to formulating actual points in a debate. And as usual your implied ad homs only serve to underscore that your sense of logic is as twisted as a moebius strip. You still don’t get to blame other people for remembering those times you went off the deep end.

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bhull242 (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:4 Free speech for everyone.

Ironically, if he just laid down low for a while, it might give people a chance to forget. But since he just can’t help himself and can’t come up with any new material, everyone keeps getting reminded, ‘Oh, it’s that dude who wanted aspies to get raped and threatened children.’

Scary Devil Monastery (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:5 Free speech for everyone.

"Ironically, if he just laid down low for a while, it might give people a chance to forget."

Given the magnitude of the nonsense he usually excretes? I seriously doubt it, the dumpster fire of his posting history being just THAT memorable.

You may not remember the conversation you had a week ago but you will, sure as hell, remember the man who stripped down on the sidewalk and took a dump outside the metro station while screaming hysterically about pirates. Even if that latter part happened years back.

What is ironic about this is rather that Bobmail/Blue/Jhon seems to honestly believe it takes an obsessive stalkers to remember the times he decides to shit all over a forum thread.

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Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re:

You want to bitch about threatening litigation?

You really want to go down this road don’tcha, Herrick?

Because if you did, you’d lose.

I’m still waiting on that subpoena and press release with your real name on it, you old, cowardly, impotent fuckwit.

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Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:

I’m still waiting on that subpoena and press release with your real name on it

If it ever got to that, my attorney’s name would be on any paperwork in addition to mine.

Of course, if I posted with my actual name, the defamation would begin about two seconds later, or Masnick would just ban any mention of it to avoid all the negative press that would result.

The term "bigger fish to fry" isn’t in this site’s vernacular, so…

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Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

If it ever got to that, my attorney’s name would be on any paperwork in addition to mine.

So post that, then. Or is he just as chickenshit to post his real name, too?

Of course, if I posted with my actual name, the defamation would begin about two seconds later

Wasn’t that your end goal? To have a charge to throw at this site?

Masnick would just ban any mention of it to avoid all the negative press that would result

So the alternative is Masnick bans anything that defames you. This is… a bad thing how, exactly? It sounds like putting your real name here would result in a win for you no matter what happens!

"bigger fish to fry"

Ah, "I’m going to run away like I did after John Steele lost his appeal", got it.

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Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:2 Re:

If it ever got to that, my attorney’s name would be on any paperwork in addition to mine.

So post that, then. Or is he just as chickenshit to post his real name, too?

Aren’t women allowed to practice law? Curious how you’d know the gender of an attorney you don’t even believe exists. I also have more than one attorney for different types of cases.

Of course, if I posted with my actual name, the defamation would begin about two seconds later

Wasn’t that your end goal? To have a charge to throw at this site?
Masnick would just ban any mention of it to avoid all the negative press that would result.

That would be censorship, even though he’d be immune, or so he claims. And he would turn over IP evidence against his lawyer buddies? That’d be interesting. Actually, no, my goal is to have a free and open debate, but people LOSE those things, and then they lash out as they’ve already done to my alias.

The problem is that the nature of what I’d post would be very difficult for him to not answer or allow to be discussed, and those who discuss it simply wouldn’t be able to control themselves. I post anonymously to protect internet idiots from getting themselves sued. If I post my name, I’ve voluntarily injected myself into the conversation, but if SOMEONE ELSE does it, that would trigger standing for every previous defamatory post since it would then be tied to my name.

Of course, once people see who my lawyers are, they’d turn tail and run, which goes back to why defamation laws are necessary. I’ve already noticed the trolls scattering since they found the case I filed and realize not only do I have a lawyer, but I may very well be a millionaire or multimillionaire by this time next year, if not sooner. Either that or the high-billing attorney who took my case on contingency doesn’t care about money. Someone REALLY fucked up and the world will see how much mercy I have for them. The tone here is the same: bullies who only speak the language of force, in this case force of law. That’s the price of bullying people. Once you start, you can’t let up because the target sure won’t. The target will treat you as a threat to be neutralized (in court). The time to be nice and reason with people is before it gets to that.

So the alternative is Masnick bans anything that defames you. This is… a bad thing how, exactly? It sounds like putting your real name here would result in a win for you no matter what happens!

I’m not looking to WIN anything. I’d rather just debate without all the ad-hominems. In this case, however, I found Techdirt because it seems to be Ground Zero for the lawyer mafia I’ve been tracking for a very long time. Mike could be a "useful idiot" or he could be Al Fucking Capone for all I know. He had nothing to do with why I landed here. People attempt to bully me saying this doesn’t exist but how exactly would they know this? I was there.

Now, if you had a surefire case that will result in a seven- or eight-figure judgment against a defendant and had a contingency fee lawyer (there are other lawyers for internet trolls) closing that out, wouldn’t you wait until that was over to take care of all these cockroaches who thought you were broke and powerless? In fact, the longer they mouth off, the sweeter it will be when they finally realize what they were fucking with.

Harassing my attorneys will not end well for anyone. Given who these people use to harass, they might be surprised where their operatives’ loyalty switches once they see which side will be winning. Sammy Gravano was once a "standup guy" too. Self-preservation is a very predictable part of human behavior.

"bigger fish to fry"

Ah, "I’m going to run away like I did after John Steele lost his appeal", got it.

Yeah, you must be write because you don’t like me!

Stay tuned…

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:3 Re:

Aren’t women allowed to practice law? Curious how you’d know the gender of an attorney you don’t even believe exists

This coming from the "Women get jobs and power by being hookers and you can’t stop me from insisting that is the case!" guy. You’re not in any position to start playing the white knight, Jhon.

That would be censorship, even though he’d be immune, or so he claims. And he would turn over IP evidence against his lawyer buddies? That’d be interesting.

Then go ahead and do it, you waste of hot air. But considering the sort of IP address evidence you hold up as the gold standard I sincerely doubt Masnick has anything to fear.

Actually, no, my goal is to have a free and open debate, but people LOSE those things, and then they lash out as they’ve already done to my alias.

Gee, it’s almost like people don’t want to debate against a fucknugget who boasts about his influence and control over women and threatens rape against those who disagree with him, who woulda fucking thought?

You? Open debate? Right, and there’s winged boars flying out of my ass.

The problem is that the nature of what I’d post would be very difficult for him to not answer or allow to be discussed, and those who discuss it simply wouldn’t be able to control themselves. I post anonymously to protect internet idiots from getting themselves sued

Ah, defaulting back to the "I know something you don’t know" kindergarten level of debate skills, plus a helpful reminder of you not knowing how the law works. Nobody needs your definition of "kindness", Herrick, if all it means you throw rape and lawsuit threats around like candy on Halloween.

Of course, once people see who my lawyers are, they’d turn tail and run

Techdirt saw Charles Harder. Aka Trump’s lawyer. They didn’t run and now Shiva Ayyadurai has to live with the ignominy of failing to destroy a nobody’s website.

He had nothing to do with why I landed here

Don’t make me laugh harder, Jhon.

Yeah, you must be write because you don’t like me

Well, I don’t like you, but why is that the metric that determines I’m right? No, I’m right because people in general don’t think much of lowlifes that celebrate the flashbanging of babies, insulting the children of others because they have a hateboner for the dad, and suing of grandmothers based on shitty evidence that could be outclassed by crayon scribblings on a fucking napkin.

Stay tuned…

Oh, we will. I daresay everyone will be here same time next year to witness the fuck all you’re going to bring to the table.

Scary Devil Monastery (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

"If it ever got to that, my attorney’s name would be on any paperwork in addition to mine."

So wait, is this going to be one of those threads where you threaten legal action, implying that SOON we will all get hauled off to court and have our lives ruined, the way you’ve been going on since the good old days at Torrentfreak?

Or is it going to be one of those threads where you imply everyone around here has a mental disability and will be raped for it?

"Of course, if I posted with my actual name, the defamation would begin about two seconds later, or Masnick would just ban any mention of it to avoid all the negative press that would result."

Dude, if you posted with your actual name then no defamation would be necessary to make you look like the gormless moron you’ve long proven yourself to be. Because I frankly fail to see what could be more harmful to your "image" than what you yourself have written.

Since neither factual truth nor opinion can be defamatory there’s actually no limit to what we could – legally – address you as, fuckwit.

But that is, I expect, what makes your posts so unmistakable, Baghdad Bob, and why no one around here has any problem linking the particular roadkill you post under one anonymous handle or another to the crap you posted back when you still bothered to name your sock puppets Jhon Smith, Bobmail, or out_of_the_blue.

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Anonymous Coward says:

*Re:
"How about just proving the defamer wrong? We live in an age when anyone can publish, and so if someone has said something false about you, you don’t need to run to court and make use of the power of the state to try to correct the record. You can do so yourself."

Not always. A guy accused of being a pedophile or rape will have a difficult time ever getting out from under those accusations no matter what facts he can present to clear himself. Some false accusations create an emotional reaction in a lot of people that facts and logic will never overcome, especially in certain professions like teaching. Defending yourself with facts in emotionally charged accusations doesn’t level the field in countering the accuser just by virtue of having the same opportunity to present those facts to the same audience. A person so accused also faces the possibility that freinds and family members might decide that the only way "justice" will be served is to become vigilantes and take matters into their own hands.

They know this. Many attorneys, including one or more who have posted here, have done this to others, inciting this exact type of violence by linking to that exact type of defamation.

What’s funny is they think the people they defame can’t resort to their own "justice."

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Stephen T. Stone (profile) says:

Re:

Many attorneys, including one or more who have posted here, have done this to others, inciting this exact type of violence by linking to that exact type of defamation.

[citation needed for what is damn close to a defamatory statement in and of itself]

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Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:2 Re:

Then please prove the truth of your claims here. Also, he doesn’t say that what you said is defamatory, just close to it.

Can’t defame someone on their own blog since they consented to publication by not moderating comments. It also gives them the chance to delete anything they find defamatory, so what seems like "harassment" actually is the opposite since it is said "to their face" where they can refute or delete it, rather than behind their back on another site.

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Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:4 Re:

Sure this site is moderated. It’s called "click here to report this".

Legally, it would have to moderate BEFORE allowing the post.

I could literally accuse him of ANYTHING and not be sued for it here. One of my favorite loopholes.

I just post here to let the lawyers in question know that one day I’ll be posting this stuff on online review sites, with full evidence to back it up, under my own name, and then they’ll realize who my attorneys are, at a point where my cash position will likely be at least as strong if not MUCH stronger than his.

If you had a case worth millions and an attorney taking it on contingency because it’s so strong, would you deal with internet gnats BEFORE or AFTER that case was done?

"Anticipation is worse than the event." Steven Seagal said some thing like that once.

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Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:5 Re:

Legally, it would have to moderate BEFORE allowing the post

You were already told that the preemptive tech you want doesn’t exist no matter how much Bill Barr wants it to.

I could literally accuse him of ANYTHING and not be sued for it here. One of my favorite loopholes

And this would be why nobody believes you when you claim you want open debate.

I just post here to let the lawyers in question know that one day I’ll be posting this stuff on online review sites, with full evidence to back it up, under my own name, and then they’ll realize who my attorneys are

You’ve been pissing and moaning about this since two years ago. Nothing has happened. And now you’re saying that you’re going to post this on fucking online review sites? That’s how you tell people who your lawyers are? Online review sites instead of the court system?

at a point where my cash position will likely be at least as strong if not MUCH stronger than his

Didn’t you say you had rich patrons to help you live off the mailing list theft? Now you’re poorer than Masnick? As in… Masnick, the guy who the critics say live off shitty Google ad revenue? What?

If you had a case worth millions and an attorney taking it on contingency because it’s so strong, would you deal with internet gnats BEFORE or AFTER that case was done?

Hell if I know. I don’t get drunk over power fantasies against nobodies on the Internet.

Scary Devil Monastery (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:5 Re:

"I just post here to let the lawyers in question know that one day I’ll be posting this stuff on online review sites, with full evidence to back it up, under my own name, and then they’ll realize who my attorneys are, at a point where my cash position will likely be at least as strong if not MUCH stronger than his."

At which point you’ll be a public laughingstock. Should we congratulate you in advance?

No, Baghdad Bob, I’m afraid that the very many years you’ve promised everyone to do exactly that has, by now, made pretty sure we’ll need to actually see you man up and do it before we do anything other than shake our heads and laugh at most anything you say.

Well, granted, we didn’t laugh much when you threatened to rape "all the aspies" because bigotry and threats of sexual assault aren’t really funny.

But hey, go ahead. Make everyone’s day by going public and trying to launch a SLAPP or ten. I’m afraid that just your wishful thinking alone won’t suffice to convince the law it is your friend.

Wendy Cockcroft (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:6 Re:

"I just post here to let the lawyers in question know that one day I’ll be posting this stuff on online review sites, with full evidence to back it up, under my own name, and then they’ll realize who my attorneys are, at a point where my cash position will likely be at least as strong if not MUCH stronger than his."

None of that makes any sense. What you’re saying is, you’ll post lies about this site on review sites. The reputable ones will take them down on receipt of a counter-notice proving that you’re wrong while the less credible ones will let Mike leave a counter-notice stating that you’re full of crap.

Should you be stupid enough to go legal, discovery will be a hoot, given all the lies and threats you’ve posted.

Scary Devil Monastery (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:7 Re:

"Should you be stupid enough to go legal, discovery will be a hoot, given all the lies and threats you’ve posted."

I think that he dimly perceives this which is why all he ever does is shake his fist in everyone’s face going "Soon! Soon you’ll ALL pay! You just wait!!"

I’d call it pathetic but then again that’s how I’d describe it if a ten year old throwing a tantrum did it. When a self-described adult does the same the only appropriate word is "delusional".

bhull242 (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:3 Re:

First of all, that doesn’t make it not defamatory.

Second, and most important, that wasn’t the claim that I was asking you to prove anyways. Remember how you said that truth is an absolute defense to defamation? I’m asking you to actually prove those claims that you claim are true, meaning that truth is a viable defense.

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Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:2 Re:

So what happens if I provide the evidence? Everyone just believes it (should be easy since it’s authenticated)? Don’t think so.

More like everyone starts trying to attack the messenger, starts searching the internet, finds defamation, repeats it in their own words, gets sued or prosecuted depending on the conduct, etc. Internet lies are like mines in a field that people walk over. They see it "on the internet" and begin repeating it without linking in a way that would protect them, then they get sued. Lawyers who profit from this type of lawsuit are like arms dealers who profit from war encouraging war.

Now this is not MY fault, so don’t blame me when nature takes its course when I have internet arguments against people who get all jacked up, ready to believe anything about someone they don’t like, and not questioning why someone with ties to attorneys just "happened" to show up in a thread with a link to the lies that set them up to be sued.

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Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:4 Re:

Mate, we already caught you disparaging Masnick’s family and offspring. Several times. I daresay he’s got more than enough ammunition to throw a restraining order at you for stalking him so obsessively.

He’s free to file for one if he believes that.

Actually, he’s a PUBLIC FIGURE. I could picket his HOME if I wanted to. I could drag his wife into this because she chose to marry him.

Test me again. Please.

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Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:5 Bring it on motherfucker

You’re an old, impotent, fuckwit. You got nothing but empty threats. You’ve been posting the same debunked bullshit for years and all you do is cry and lie when you get called out on it bro. You have nothing and you are nothing and the only reason we humour you is that your impotent flailing are mildly amusing.

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Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:6 Bring it on motherfucker

You’re an old, impotent, fuckwit.

And you’re a coward who’d never say that to anyone’s face. Masnick sure wouldn’t. He’s WAY too weak.

You got nothing but empty threats.

Aww I struck a nerve.

You’ve been posting the same debunked bullshit for years and all you do is cry and lie when you get called out on it bro.

How would you know what’s true or not regarding those with whom you have nothing to do?

You have nothing and you are nothing and the only reason we humour you is that your impotent flailing are mildly amusing.

That’s called bullying, done from behind a monitor, like any coward does. You’d never talk like that to anyone’s face. Masnick definitely wouldn’t. Also see above: you wouldn’t know one way or another.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:7 Bring it on motherfucker

“You’d never talk like that to anyone’s face.”

Coming from you Jhon, that’s as rich as heavy whipping cream.

“Aww I struck a nerve.”

I’m not the one threatening to rape/assault/expose/sue/whatever bullshit you come up with next, because no one took your impotent threats seriously bro.

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Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:4 Re:

BTW the nonsequitur above has nothing to do with what others might have done to me.

This isn’t your business anyway, it’s Mike’s, and the little coward isn’t saying shit. He lets "anonymous" posters do that on a site he controls. If he wants to answer what I say about him or his family, he can speak for himself just fine, here or on any other website.

Stephen T. Stone (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:3

More like everyone starts trying to attack the messenger, starts searching the internet, finds defamation, repeats it in their own words

Well! At least we know (you think) you’ve been defamed. What’s wrong, did someone insult your dick?

Also: No matter how much you whine about “repeated defamation”, the only person responsible for defamation is the person who made the defamatory statement in the first place.

Internet lies are like mines in a field that people walk over.

Not seein’ an explosion from all the times people have repeated yours when they quoted your posts, so…

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Wendy Cockcroft (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:3 Re:

So what happens if I provide the evidence? Everyone just believes it (should be easy since it’s authenticated)? Don’t think so.

They believed me. The lies were posted on multiple platforms. The troll even set up a blog and made one post just to tell lies about me.

The whole damn lot went down on every platform bar the one that let me post a rebuttal.

not questioning why someone with ties to attorneys just "happened" to show up in a thread with a link to the lies that set them up to be sued

I think there may be lead in your tinfoil hat.

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Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:4 Re:

So what happens if I provide the evidence? Everyone just believes it (should be easy since it’s authenticated)? Don’t think so.

They believed me. The lies were posted on multiple platforms. The troll even set up a blog and made one post just to tell lies about me.

Unfortunately "they" didn’t believe the people who have died in similar situations, though I doubt you were defamed as they were. Rose McGowan also did not have your experience, which is why she had to sue.

The whole damn lot went down on every platform bar the one that let me post a rebuttal.

Well then someone could repost it to a second blog and not let you rebut it. Be thankful YOUR case worked out. That doesn’t mean the laws should be abolished. Also if you had no damages you had nothing to sue over.

not questioning why someone with ties to attorneys just "happened" to show up in a thread with a link to the lies that set them up to be sued

I think there may be lead in your tinfoil hat.

The same brand as in the one worn by Rose McGowan, who has e-mail evidence?

Scary Devil Monastery (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:6 Re:

"Why are you hung up on her?"

Judging by Baghdad Bob’s previous posts on similar topics it would seem he perceives her to one of those women who sleep with people for money and then turn around and complain. Because, apparently, that’s a very common thing. /s

And apparently either;
A) No woman ever agreed to sleep with him for what benefits he could offer, which he takes personally…
and/or;
B) he feels truly threatened by the idea that forcing a woman to have sex with someone could backfire.

It ties nicely with his previously observed predilection for punishment, power trips, and reactive defense of shady unscrupulous manipulators.

This comment has been deemed insightful by the community.
bhull242 (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:3 Re:

Question: If there is any truth to your claims and evidence to back them up that is easily authenticated, but you don’t expect anyone else on this site to believe you even if you provided the evidence and so won’t bother to do so, then why the hell do you even bother posting these claims here? Only a troll would do that.

Look, if you aren’t going to provide evidence, no one is going to believe you. If you do, then we can check it out ourselves and maybe we’ll believe you. And what do you have to lose, anyways?

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Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:3 Re:

You threatened to rape Aspie asses on multiple occasions, Herrick.

You chose to involve everyone else.

You could’ve fucked off and nobody would’ve cared up until the point you chose to defend yourself because some nobody on the Internet said something bad about a throwaway pseudonym.

Now you’re angry because you have to lie in the bed you chose to have diarrhea in.

Scary Devil Monastery (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:4 Re:

"Now you’re angry because you have to lie in the bed you chose to have diarrhea in."

Ah, poor old Bobmail doesn’t have much of a choice. When Torrentfreak required disqus-valid accounts his ass was toast there and I’m guessing most of the forums he might choose to comment on put him in the same position. TD is just about that one forum remaining where he can take a dump these days.

I’d recommend he go post on Breitbart or Stormfront but he might not like that his only role in those venues would be as the cheerleader applauding people who are better by far at making a rancid agenda sound reasonable than he is.

Darkness Of Course (profile) says:

WaPo is slacking

I’ve commented there a few times, quoting Steve Bannon? WTF, he’s a raging white nationalist and his entire purpose to helping Donny The Commy/Con get elected is "the destruction of the administrative state"

Which is to say, the rule of law. Either he is completely ignorant re why there is loads of staff to babysit all the requirements for the laws, or he’s just wanting to burn everything down.

Either way, neither him or Newt are people that have anything worth quoting. Ever.

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Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:

Except that woman wasn’t killed because she was defamed, but instead because she was a whistleblower, or "snitch," which is another consequence of speaking up. In fact, people don’t file whistleblower lawsuits against employers or landlords because one way to silence them is to ruin their reputation online (see Rose McGowan).

This is a specific harm caused by search engines.

If you live in an apartment building, and a piece of your ceiling drops in your kitchen, missing killing you by a foot, are you going to tell the world and complain to the government when that will cause your landlord to maliciously sue you for eviction, and even if you win, "tenant screening" companies will make sure no one else rents to you? Of course not. You’ll move, and leave the problem intact for the next poor sucker. Expect numerous buildings to burn down or fall down because of this. I’ve seen many more cases like that in recent years but that’s just anecdotal.

Why would a woman go #metoo on an employer if it costs her her job and no new employer wants to hire a snitch? Internet retaliation is real (see Rose McGowan).

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Wendy Cockcroft (profile) says:

Mike Is Right

A defamation lawsuit is "the only remedy" to those who have been defamed? Bullshit. How about just proving the defamer wrong? We live in an age when anyone can publish, and so if someone has said something false about you, you don’t need to run to court and make use of the power of the state to try to correct the record. You can do so yourself.

go on the internet and tell your side of the story

If you do it well (and people can help you do this for a mere fraction of what a pricey defamation lawyer will cost you), you can have a much more effective "recourse" to the defamation. You get your side out there much faster and more thoroughly, and the court of public opinion can determine who is right. If you present your case compellingly, whoever defamed you will end up having their own credibility and reputation hurt.

All of that works entirely without resorting to the court system and the frequently abused system of defamation law…

My own personal experience of being defamed totally bears this out. I went on the internet and told my side of the story, bringing evidence to the admins of the platforms hosting it. Result: lies taken down. Only one website still hosts it, but they let me post my side of the story so whenever anyone sees the torrent of lies, they also see my rebuttal.

People did indeed help me, and for free. All I had to do was show them the evidence; they acted on it straight away. The existence of horrible and untrue statements about an individual or group are only defamatory if they cause actual harm. The crap about me did not; everyone ignored it and the troll slithered back beneath his bridge. Mike is right, people. Heed him.

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Anonymous Coward says:

A defamation lawsuit is "the only remedy" to those who have been defamed? Bullshit. How about just proving the defamer wrong? We live in an age when anyone can publish, and so if someone has said something false about you, you don’t need to run to court and make use of the power of the state to try to correct the record. You can do so yourself.

Except you can’t eliminate the defamation, and not everyone is going to be rational, especially if you’re someone (or a race/gender/whatever) that they don’t like. A racist, sexist, or other bigot is going to believe lies that play to negative stereotyping. Further, no one should be made to repeatedly answer to lies. A better idea is for people to learn not to publish something unless they can prove it is true in a court of law.

What’s next? Telling women not to carry mace but instead to just reason with their rapists?

go on the internet and tell your side of the story

Which draws more attention to the lies, which can’t always be disproven (you can’t prove a negative), and that assumes that someone hasn’t just taken an adverse action based on what they read.

If you do it well (and people can help you do this for a mere fraction of what a pricey defamation lawyer will cost you), you can have a much more effective "recourse" to the defamation. You get your side out there much faster and more thoroughly, and the court of public opinion can determine who is right.

Tell that to the men who have died because internet mobs believe lies that imputed things like pedophilia or even adultery. You’re living in a fantasy world if you think people are that rational, as others have pointed out here.

If you present your case compellingly, whoever defamed you will end up having their own credibility and reputation hurt.

The "rational actor fallacy." Employers would rather not take the chance. BTW, employers who GOOGLE people who happen to be whistleblowers have satisified the first element of proving retaliation, which is knowledge that someone has exercised their Title VII rights.

There’s a much better way to deal with defamation anyway: don’t trust anyone, go off the grid, and since you’re in isolation, get REALLY wealthy, THEN interact with the world, and watch how people who first shun you because of GOOGLE then try to win you back over when they realized they just sent a few million dollars out of their lives. As "The 48 Laws Of Power" (a book which is a blueprint for socipaths) shows, appealing to someone’s self-interest is much more effective. That’s why people who wouldn’t lend someone $20 for groceries can be conned into "investing" millions into a good story. Bernie Madoff did it best: he’d "let slip" that he makes a solid 11 percent for his clients, "nothing spectacular," know that his marks would grab the bait, tell them his fund was closed, and have them BEGGING him to con them out of their money.

All of that works entirely without resorting to the court system and the frequently abused system of defamation law…

Except when it doesn’t, and someone dies, gets attacked, harmed, loses a job, place to live, a lover, and is generally shunned because some freak on 4chan did it for the LULZ. There’s a reason the lawmakers don’t agree with you. Also YOU are a woman. Try being a man lied about and see how well that works.

My own personal experience

Triple redundancy from someone attempting to sound educated.

of being defamed totally bears this out.

Defamed how? Were you accused of raping a six year-old? Of being a hooker? What were these horrible lies?

I went on the internet and told my side of the story, bringing evidence to the admins of the platforms hosting it. Result: lies taken down. Only one website still hosts it, but they let me post my side of the story so whenever anyone sees the torrent of lies, they also see my rebuttal.

So if I find that site and repost it, I am immune under Section 230, even if I don’t let you have a rebuttal. Good to know. After all, you can just tell your side of the story so it won’t be an issue. Now what if I pay someone who is judgment proof and/or terminally ill to blast your reputation into oblivion and there’s no one for you to sue, over lies that you can’t so easily disprove? You wouldn’t mind, right, since everyone will believe your side of the story.

I’m sure the same could be done to Masnick and he’d just clear his name with his words, at least according to your logic.

People did indeed help me, and for free. All I had to do was show them the evidence; they acted on it straight away.

Which means they LIKED YOU. You’re female. I know women who think every male in distress is rescued just as they are, because people who are nice to THEM couldn’t possibly treat men different, since after all these men don’t want sex <cough> in return for their help (doesn’t mean they ask for it but they might want it). Anecdotes don’t carry the same force as a lawsuit and a court order.

The existence of horrible and untrue statements about an individual or group are only defamatory if they cause actual harm. The crap about me did not;

Which means you haven’t endured a truly bad scenario.

everyone ignored it and the troll slithered back beneath his bridge. Mike is right, people. Heed him.

Most people side with women against men so you had a bias in your favor you want to pretend doesn’t exist.

MY personal experience is that when people thought I couldn’t afford a lawyer, they acted like school bullies who would never face consequences. When they learned I have a lawyer, and a really, REALLY good one, they all scattered like cockroaches. It’s quite amazing, actually.

I tried it your way and it didn’t work. The online defamers and bullies are so bad that the only way to truly deal with them is to spend whatever it takes on attorneys to put a stop to it. Often people who cross lines thinking you can’t fight back wind up with so much liability that the lawsuits start funding each other.

One of these days those lawyers I talk about doing bad things are going to meet one of my attorneys. That will be a interesting to say the least. I bet if they knew I would have a lawyer when they started shit with me, they wouldn’t have. At least now no one — and I mean NO ONE — does.

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Wendy Cockcroft (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:

^This. You’ve brought no evidence to show us, Jhon.

I was called into the office; had I been a new employee on probation or a temp I’d have been fired. When a certain other (very noisy) person got involved, she contacted my employers too. The legal team were involved. It was a very scary time for me and I had to contact my local police and ask them to write an email and a tweet to advise that I wasn’t under criminal investigation.

Had I been looking for another job at the time, I’d have been rejected out of hand; being a target makes other people nervous that the troll might do the same to them. It’s actually not the first time I’ve been targeted, so of course the anxiety from the last wave of attacks came rushing back to haunt me and compounded the hell out of my distress because I actually did lose my job that time. I nearly lost my holiday pay, too. I had to take them to a tribunal to get it. When it happened again, I knew what to expect and I was afraid. In the end, my employers were supportive and once I produced the email and tweet from the police, they let it go. I was promoted later on that year.

I nearly shut my blog down over it; the troll was trying to silence me after all, and since I feared being constantly targeted and therefore being at risk of losing my job, that was on the table. In the end, he disappeared when I used his own posts to discredit him.

People didn’t help me because they liked me or because I’m female. They helped me because I told the truth and made my case in a reasonable, rational manner with evidence. It took a while to get it all down as I also had to wait for the internet cache to clear.

As for being accused of heinous crimes against children, etc., the accusations usually fall apart when you demand evidence. It takes a lot of guts to stand your ground, but I know a guy who did — I called him The Snitch because the lies were told about him because he’d ratted on The Fraud, who had made a false claim to his insurance company. When the police showed up, he answered their questions and the case fell apart because The Fraud couldn’t keep his story straight.

The man who was beaten up was the victim of a whispering campaign so didn’t have a chance to put his side of the story to anyone.

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Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re:

Yawnorama

You’ve been saying that for years. And literally every single person posting here knows exactly how full of shit you are. It’s quickly going past fun into really really depressingly sad. Like the last year of listening to blue balls bitch and moan and gradually lose the capacity for coherent thought.

Don’t be like blue balls bro.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re:

Masnick made a very powerful enemy in Shiva Ayyadurai.

How’d that turn out?

Would you like me to hyperlink that thread for you, Herrick? I could always use the laugh. The sight of you, blue and Richard Bennett losing so much shit Trump could have used it to build his wall was fucking ambrosia.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

Ordinarily I’d link to the original thread, but why do that when I can link to a choice quote instead?

Here’s one where Jhon Herrick Smith demonstrates that he thinks of Masnick’s children. Very often. Disturbingly often.

He thinks about them so much that trying to quote his original set of fighting words trips the site’s spam filter because it smells suspiciously like stalking and pedophilia.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:3 Re:

IP address defaming the president is a mainstay of his. On the other hand his schizophrenia means he either swings between "Section 230 must die because women get called hookers and that’s bad" and "Section 230 must die because it lets women sleep their way to power, also fuck them all".

And he says he wants "rational debate". Ha!

Scary Devil Monastery (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:3 Re:

"…because old Jhon boi hasn’t got an original though in his head. He even pulled out the classic IP address defaming the president gambit today."

Ah, Bobmail ran with that argument five years or more ago on Torrentfreak. He’ll never tire of it. The dream of somehow making armed secret service agents hunt pirates still has him jizzing in his sheets at night.

We tried telling him back then as well that there’s a significant difference between the USSS chasing leads for murder threats aimed at the CiC and copyright enforcement being able to drag pirates off in chains entirely based on the equivalent of a crayon drawing by a five year old.

But what can we say? While the man has that dream he’ll just keep denying factual reality.

Scary Devil Monastery (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:

"The sight of you, blue and Richard Bennett losing so much shit Trump could have used it to build his wall was fucking ambrosia."

You realize you’re just talking about three sock puppets waved around by a single old frustrated fuckwit who likes to pretend there are other people sharing his delusions, right?

Jono793 (profile) says:

By way of example

Covington High School controversy. They followed two strategies in response to the cropped video of the "MAGA Hat boy"

First strategy; they posted the full video of the incident. They told their side of the story online and on TV(Admittedly not something most ordinary people get to do). And while some commentators changed tack to whine about "white privilege" and various tangential complaints (like rich kids affording a PR firm), the original accusations were pretty thoroughly debunked.

Second strategy: they sued the Washington Post for Defamation. Their complaint was dismissed straight away. The end.

Now tell me. Which of those strategies was more effective?

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