Former NSA Official Thinks A Blog Containing Nothing But His Own Tweets Is 'Defamatory'

from the hilariously,-falsely-accusing-someone-of-defamation-is-defamatory dept

Many people have varying ideas as to what exactly composes defamatory content. Some mistake statements of opinion ("this product sucks") for defamation. Some feel anything that doesn't describe their products or services in glowing terms is defamatory. Some feel any sort of criticism is defamation, even if the criticism is based on known facts.

But John Schindler (whose strange foray into Wikileaks/Snowden conspiracy theories we've covered here previously), former NSA officer and holder of a PhD in history (just ask him!) has gone far beyond any of these misperceptions. According to him, things he actually said are defamatory if published by a third party.

I have no idea how someone as self-assuredly brilliant as John Schindler would make this error but here's the chain of events. Schindler routinely berates anyone who questions his claims, calling them "stupid" and refusing to advance the argument past endless appeals to his own authority (the aforementioned PhD). Someone took notice of Schindler's tactics and crafted a Tumblr blog containing nothing but screenshots of actual Schindler tweets.

Here's a few of the tweets just to give you an idea of both Schindler's "conversational" patterns and the blog's content.

So, if there's anything unflattering contained here, it's Schindler's own tweets. Oh, and this amazing banner.

But when someone brought this blog to his attention, this was his response.
A few other Twitter users, despite being on Schindler's side, pointed out that there was nothing defamatory about collecting and posting Schindler's own words. So, Schindler doubled down.
This, of course, resulted in more derision, including a repurposed movie quote from a very familiar hat.
All the PhDs in the world aren't going to save you from having your own direct quotes turned against you. If anything, it only confirms what Schindler's critics believe: that he's pompous, arrogant and unwilling to actually engage in a debate. Instead, he prefers to belittle anyone who doesn't hold a precious PhD in history, using his doctorate to paper over any flaws in arguments.

I can't imagine it's much fun to see your Twitter feed boiled down to little more than shouts of "stupid!" and continuous pointing to a framed piece of paper, but whether Schindler likes it or not, those are his words and those are his go-to rhetorical devices. For someone who frequently uses the hashtag #caring to show his contempt for the ire he provokes, he certainly can't seem to take having his own abuse heaped on his Carebear-surrounded head.

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  1. icon
    John Fenderson (profile), 18 Mar 2014 @ 2:42pm

    Re: These seem fitting

    Yes, this. I've known and worked with MANY PhDs in various fields, and I've noticed a few things they all have in common. One of them is that very, very few of them constantly point to their PhD in debates or demand that they be called "Dr." unless they're medical doctors -- which is the same thing as pointing to their PhD.

    The ones who do are invariably the least capable ones.

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