Blog Fight Devolves Into Legal Nastygrams
from the say-what-now?!? dept
Another blog (which I'd never heard of until now) called "GetOffMyInternets.net" published a post, now deleted, though it wasn't too difficult to find the Google cache or popular press which quoted the key parts. As far as I can tell, the "dispute" is that Armstrong claimed that she was taking a break from blogging for a bit. Good for her. But "GOMI" wrote that the "break" was "fake" because she was really in LA filming a show for YouTube. Forgive me again for not quite understanding what's wrong with any of this. I'm not sure why it would be a problem whether or not she was in LA filming whatever she wanted. However, what does seem clear is that Armstrong was not happy about this, declaring publicly that it was defamation, and asking publicly for a lawyer. She appears to have found a lawyer who then sent a legal nastygram to GOMI and its hosting company, claiming that the original post was "defamatory."
Separately, the letter appears to suggest that Armstrong/her lawyer would drop the defamation issue if only GOMI reveals its source for the original story:
Once again, I have no clue if the original allegation is true or not. And I remain at a complete loss as to how it matters to anyone. If she was in LA, good for her. If she wasn't... um... good for her. Who really cares?
But what I do care about is legal bullying, and I have to raise questions about a legal nastygram sent over something as simple as a claim about where someone was at a particular time. While Armstrong and her lawyer seem to think that it's defamation, beyond the trouble understanding what the problem is here, the bar for defamation for a public figure, which Armstrong undoubtedly is, is quite high, and requires malicious intent. It's difficult to see how the original post would come anywhere within the same time zone as that bar.
That said, in looking over some of Armstrong's history, it appears she, too, was once against legal bullying:
I have no faith in our legal system, one that guarantees victory only for the party who can afford to pay for it, one that would allow a large company to bully a private citizen because it knows that she has no money with which to defend herself.Perhaps she got the wrong lesson out of that experience.
That said, in typical Streisand Effect fashion, this whole kerfuffle seems to only have called much more attention to the original issue, and brought a spotlight on what (again) appears to be a totally insignificant point. If she's just ignored the post in the first place, and let the matter pass, it seems likely it would have been forgotten long ago. So why waste time and money on lawyers to send a nastygram when, at best, all it's going to do is call much more attention to the original post? What actual "harm" was caused by anything here? Is going to LA to film a web video some sort of massive euphemism for something horrible I don't know about?