Shitty Man Shows How Shitty Men Can Shit On Free Speech By Suing Over The Shitty Media Men List

from the shitty-lawsuits dept

In the wake of the revelations about Harvey Weinstein, writer Stephen Elliott's name ended up on a Google doc called Shitty Media Men, along with the information "Rape accusations, sexual harassment [sic], coercion, unsolicited invitations to his apartment, a dude who snuck into Binders???" listed under the column heading "ALLEGED MISCONDUCT" and the additional note that, "Multiple women allege misconduct." He has now sued Moira Donegan, the owner of the Google doc, and dozens of anonymous third-party contributors to the list for defamation, as well as intentional and negligent infliction of emotional distress. He has also now cemented his reputation as a very shitty man.

First, let me say that I do not call Stephen Elliott a shitty man because of what posters to the Shitty Media Men list wrote about him. He's shitty for filing this lawsuit against the host of and contributors to the list, seeking to chill the speech of those who would speak out against bad behavior. He's shitty for threatening to unmask people who had exercised their right to speak anonymously to warn others of potential harm.

Plaintiff will know, through initial discovery, the names, email addresses, pseudonyms and/or “Internet handles” used by Jane Doe Defendants to create the List, enter information into the List, circulate the List, and otherwise publish information in the List or publicize the List. Through discovery, Plaintiff can obtain the email address information, Google account, Internet Protocol (“IP”) address assigned to the accounts used by the Jane Doe Defendants by the account holders’ Internet Service Provider (“ISP”), email accounts and/or Google accounts, on the date and time at which the Posts were published and/or information was entered into the List. Plaintiff intends to subpoena the shared Google spreadsheet metadata for the List, email accounts, Google accounts and ISPs in order to learn the identity of the account holders for the email addresses and IP addresses.

He's shitty for leaving everyone vulnerable to continued abuse, from any source, since by deterring speech about abuse, abuse will now be so much harder to check. And he's shitty for using disproportionate power to quell those who tried to resist him (which, of course, seems an odd play for someone who wants people to believe that claims he did the same sexually could not possibly have been true).

Because his power here is indeed unequal. The pen may be mightier than the sword, but it is no match for a lawsuit. A lawsuit targeting speech is giant tax on expression, extracting an immense cost for what should have been free to do. Speech isn't free when one must pay a minimum of five or six figures – if not more – to defend the right to "freely" express it.

This story therefore touches on a number of the issues we often talk about here at Techdirt highlighting this recurrent power imbalance that keeps threatening to make the right to free speech illusory. There's the chilling effect of the suit itself, both on these defendants and anyone else who might now be prompted to rethink speaking out in the future. There's the attack on anonymous speech, upon which public discourse often depends. And then there's the targeting of the intermediary in order to pressure those who enable others' speech to cease doing so.

That last line is an aspect to the suit particularly worth noting here. One of the points we keep making is that Section 230 isn't just about Facebook (or Twitter, or Google, or Yelp, etc…); it's about regular Internet users. This suit exemplifies why it's so important to preserve its critical protections for intermediaries of all sorts: because someday you, too, may want to facilitate the exchange of important information in a Google doc, and you might not want to be sued for it.

"In the beginning, I only wanted to create a place for women to share their stories of harassment and assault without being needlessly discredited or judged," Donegan wrote in The Cut in January 2018. "The hope was to create an alternate avenue to report this kind of behavior and warn others without fear of retaliation."

In this case, the progenitor of the Google doc was an intermediary enabling other people to express themselves through the online service – in this case, the Google doc – she provided. Section 230 allows that intermediaries can come in all sorts of shapes and sizes, because its immunity is provided broadly, to any provider of an "interactive computer service," which is "any information service, system, or access software provider that provides or enables computer access by multiple users to a computer server." That's what Donegan did with her Google doc: provide access to software to multiple users. If anything is somehow wrong with the content they contributed through this service, then they can be held responsible for it. But per Section 230, not Donegan.

(In his complaint Elliott does accuse Donegan of editing the spreadsheet, but not in ways that transcend the typical editing activity of an intermediary protected under Section 230.)

And it shouldn't be the other contributors either. None actually accused him of rape; the statement in question reflected only that that there had been accusations of it. Elliott's complaint would have Donegan and any author of this spreadsheet entry bear the burden of proving that he actually raped someone in order not to be liable to him. But that's not how defamation law works, nor is it how it should work. As the Supreme Court observed in New York Times v. Sullivan:

A rule compelling the critic … to guarantee the truth of all his factual assertions—and to do so on pain of libel judgments virtually unlimited in amount— leads to a comparable "self-censorship." Allowance of the defense of truth, with the burden of proving it on the defendant, does not mean that only false speech will be deterred. Even courts accepting this defense as an adequate safeguard have recognized the difficulties of adducing legal proofs that the alleged libel was true in all its factual particulars. Under such a rule, would-be critics … may be deterred from voicing their criticism, even though it is believed to be true and even though it is in fact true, because of doubt whether it can be proved in court or fear of the expense of having to do so. They tend to make only statements which "steer far wider of the unlawful zone." The rule thus dampens the vigor and limits the variety of public debate.

The burden is therefore on the plaintiff to show that the statement was false or was made in reckless disregard of the truth. Even if he were to be considered a private, rather than public, figure the burden would still be on him to show that the defendants at least demonstrated a negligent, rather than reckless, disregard for the truth, but it would be strange for him to argue his own cultural irrelevance in order to be able to prevail on that lower standard. His complaint itself laments a loss of stature that suggests he was at least a limited-purpose public figure, and thus required to prove "actual malice," which, despite some handwringing about Donegan's public feelings about other terrible men, the complaint doesn't seem to do. The lawsuit is also over speech about a matter of public importance, which in New York would also prompt the higher standard, which likely would need to be met before unmasking the speakers.

[U]nder prior case law, Google cannot be compelled to reveal the identity of an anonymous poster unless and until Elliott can prove that the posts were libelous, said Paul Levy, an attorney with Public Citizen who has helped establish precedent for when a court can compel an internet provider to identify an anonymous user. So if Elliott's attorneys want to identify the list contributors, they'll have to prove his case of libel before Google can be compelled to provide the information.

Furthermore, the only "truth" at issue here is whether he had ever been accused of rape. There could have been a false accusation and the statement would still be true. But what Elliott really wants is for the court to grant him a "get out of rape accusation free" card, if these anonymous speakers cannot substantiate his guilt. Which is what renders this lawsuit the piece of crap SLAPP that it is, and illustrates why a strong anti-SLAPP law needs to apply. The complaint was filed in New York, which has an infamously limited anti-SLAPP law, but it's notable that, per the complaint, Stephen Elliott lives in Louisiana, where there is a decently strong anti-SLAPP law. If that law is found to apply, it could lead to Elliott having to pay everyone else's legal bills.

But even so, the essential truth will remain. Even if Elliott had never before victimized women, this lawsuit is an attempt to victimize them now by burdening them with a cripplingly expensive and impossible task. And for this behavior he indeed is a shitty man.


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    identicon
    Agammamon, 22 Oct 2018 @ 11:02am

    Are you fucking serious?

    Bunch of people post unsubstantiated claims about other people. These claims are all defamatory. People have lost jobs and friends due to the reputation damage.

    But instead you jump straight to #BelieveHer?

    He's shitty for filing this lawsuit against the host of and contributors to the list, seeking to chill the speech of those who would speak out against bad behavior. He's shitty for threatening to unmask people who had exercised their right to speak anonymously to warn others of potential harm.

    Oh, no no no - I've got it now. Fuck him, right? Allow unsubstantiated claims of abuse and crimes to stand because somewhere in that list there might be some real ones. He should accept his life being turned upside down because some different person might have done something bad to someone else.

    Got it.

    You're a shitty person Gellis.

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    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 22 Oct 2018 @ 11:07am

      Re:

      I have to agree. If these claims were supported by evidence the complainers should have gone to the police, not a Google doc. Until there is an active investigation this is all rumor and hearsay.

      Moving directly to "he's a shitty man" without any supporting evidence of the claims makes the author a shitty person. Moreso for making a point of his gender rather than calling him a "shitty person"; Gender focus illuminates your own bias and undermines your arguments.

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      • icon
        James Burkhardt (profile), 22 Oct 2018 @ 11:35am

        Re: Re:

        The accusation being sued over is not that he committed rape though - it is that he was accused of Rape and sexual assault.

        He is a shitty man because he claims stating that he has been accused of rape is defamatory - despite the high likelihood that at some point statements which could be taken as accusations of rape and sexual assault occurred, and he did not know about them.

        This lawsuit will not survive because that truth can not be proven defamatory, and under NY law they will not unmask the defendants until that happens. He is shitty because his stupid PR lawsuit is designed to silence speech, not actually address secondhand vague accusations of rape.

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        • identicon
          Azrael, 23 Oct 2018 @ 1:15am

          Re: Re: Re:

          So according to you if an anonymous poster like me would start saying about you that you enjoy digging corpses out of graveyards to have sex with them that would be just peachy and probably, hell, most likely true because it got posted on a page dedicated to outing necrophiliacs?

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          • identicon
            ryuugami, 23 Oct 2018 @ 2:27am

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            I don't think you understand how this "reading comprehension" thing works.

            If James was accused of necrophilia, you could truthfully and legally say that he was accused of necrophilia (especially if you have references to people saying it). You wouldn't be accusing him, you would be saying others did so.

            He would be justified in suing the original person that accused him, of course. Just as the shitty man this article is about would be justified in suing the people who accused him. Which is not the case here. For the tenth? twentieth? time. You moron (I can safely accuse you of being a moron, the proof is all over this page).

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      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 22 Oct 2018 @ 11:44am

        Re: Re:

        "If these claims were supported by evidence the complainers should have gone to the police, not a Google doc"

        That's your proof?

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    • icon
      Uriel-238 (profile), 22 Oct 2018 @ 11:14am

      Unsubstantiated

      Because our law enforcement and our communities are so good at substantiating sexual harassment, assault and coercion that it's barely an epidemic in the United States at all!

      What is not happening right now: any efforts to make claims of sexual harassment, assault and coercion easier to substantiate. No, it's easier just to sweep abuse to where it isn't seen, case in point the whole SESTA / FOSTA law and its consequences.

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    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 22 Oct 2018 @ 11:36am

      Re:

      I guess a poster with a name like that would have issues believing women.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 22 Oct 2018 @ 11:43am

      Re:

      "These claims are all defamatory"


      Says you.

      I thought it was up to a court of law to determine this,
      oh well - guess we no longer need to fund the court system or appoint any judges because here we have the definitive unbiased source of all dispute remediation.

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      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 22 Oct 2018 @ 11:59am

        Re: Re:

        You mean a court of law like the one being used in this lawsuit...?

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • icon
        btr1701 (profile), 22 Oct 2018 @ 3:45pm

        Re: Re:

        > "These claims are all defamatory"

        > Says you.

        NY Times vs. Sullivan was decided in a time before the current atmosphere of 'conviction by accusation' flourished with regard to sex crimes.

        If you ever have someone falsely accuse of being a pedophile, for example, you'll find out real quick how the accusation is taken instantly as true, you'll be socially ostracized, perhaps lose your job, and never trusted around kids again even if you're eventually exonerated.

        Ask the Duke Lacrosse kids what a false rape accusation can do to your life.

        In an atmosphere where a mere accusation can destroy a life, the standards in the Sullivan case need to be revisited to take that into account.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • icon
          Cathy Gellis (profile), 22 Oct 2018 @ 3:51pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          Sullivan is not ancient history. It's still good law, regularly reinforced by courts. Even in this day and age. ESPECIALLY in this day and age.

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          • icon
            btr1701 (profile), 22 Oct 2018 @ 3:56pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            > Sullivan is not ancient history. It's still good law,
            > regularly reinforced by courts.

            Never said it wasn't. But it needs to be revisited and refined. Just like regularly happens with all other judicial precedents. You don't think, for example, that there haven't been cases since Roe vs. Wade that have limited and focused the original decision in some ways and expanded it in others?

            Sullivan isn't sacrosanct. Its standard can (and should) be adjusted to reflect changing realities.

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            • icon
              Cathy Gellis (profile), 22 Oct 2018 @ 4:03pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              There's nothing to refine. Every time it's revisited, it's expanded. Because the essential reason for it hasn't changed. There's no way to "refine" it without making it open season on critics.

              (So in that respect it is sacrosanct, because the right to free speech is either meaningful or it's illusory. And you only get the former by upholding it.)

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              • icon
                btr1701 (profile), 23 Oct 2018 @ 10:57am

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                > There's no way to "refine" it without making it open
                > season on critics.

                Baloney. Intent can be a factor like it is in many other aspects of the law.

                > So in that respect it is sacrosanct

                Since that wasn't actually true, we're back to not being sacrosanct.

                (Weird how we managed to have free speech before 1964.)

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                • icon
                  Tanner Andrews (profile), 11 Nov 2018 @ 5:43pm

                  Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                  Intent can be a factor like it is in many other aspects of the law

                  Intent is a factor. When we refer to Times v. Sullivan, 376 U.S. 254 (US 09-Mar-1964) ``malice'', we are considering intent. The person publishing the defamatory information had to either intend to publish false information, or acted with such reckless disregard of likely falsity as to have imputed knowledge.

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        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 22 Oct 2018 @ 4:46pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          In response to an accusation, what does one do?
          Is your suggestion ... lynch 'em?

          "conviction by accusation" is not new,
          it used to be called "Trial by media"
          and before that it was called "yellow journalism"
          and before that .....

          I agree, it's shit show - but even the worst still get due process, or at least they are supposed to according to the law that you seem to want to toss out the window.

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        • identicon
          Wendy Cockcroft, 24 Oct 2018 @ 2:31am

          Re: Re: Re:

          What btr1701 said. I've seen this in real life, he's right. A man got beaten up and forced from his home over false allegations.

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    • icon
      James Burkhardt (profile), 22 Oct 2018 @ 11:48am

      Re:

      But instead you jump straight to #BelieveHer?

      We don't need to. Because the accusation of rape isn't being sued over. The lawsuit is about accusations of accusations of rape.

      We don't need to believe the rape happened to believe the accusations happened. You missed most of the article, probably didn't even read most of it, in your rush to decry #believeher. And you failed to note that no one sued claimed to be raped in the statements sued over, but rather claimed there were accusations of rape being told in the workplace. And that can be true even if there was no rape.

      We can discuss your real and serious concerns about false allegations and the damage they can do, and the accusations about accusations being sued over are a clear potential problem of false accusations, but perhaps you need to put away your shotgun of righteous indignation first.

      This does not raise to the level of defamation. If you think accusing someone of being accused of rape is the basis for defamation suits, you don't understand the first amendment at all.

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    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 22 Oct 2018 @ 12:00pm

      Re:

      Agreed. Shitty person or not, claims of being "accused of rape" ask for, no, DEMAND proof.

      Before everyone jumps all over me for that, if YOU were in his shoes *over the google doc*, not because you're "a shitty person", would you just "go quietly into this good night" or start throwing suits around?

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      • icon
        Samuel Abram (profile), 22 Oct 2018 @ 12:13pm

        Re: Re:

        claims of being "accused of rape" ask for, no, DEMAND proof.

        I think you misunderstood.

        Claims of rape demand proof. Claims of accusations of rape well, also demand proof, but the burden is much lighter. Feather-light, if you ask me.

        As an example, take then-SCOTUS nominee Brett Kavanaugh. He has been accused of rape. That is a cold-hard fact. Did he? That has not been proven, but it has been proven that he has been accused of rape.

        However, in US Defamation trials, the burden of proof is on the plaintiff. So that means even if Stephen Elliot didn't rape anybody, saying that he has not been accused of rape requires a much heavier burden of proof for him, the Plaintiff, than it does had Moira Donegan and the multiple Jane Doe defendants said Elliot was a rapist, because it's much easier to prove that you're not a rapist than that nobody said you're a rapist.

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        • icon
          btr1701 (profile), 22 Oct 2018 @ 3:47pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          > take then-SCOTUS nominee Brett Kavanaugh. He has been
          > accused of rape.

          No, he hasn't.

          > That is a cold-hard fact.

          No, it isn't.

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          • icon
            Mike Masnick (profile), 23 Oct 2018 @ 1:03am

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            No, he hasn't.

            Yes, he has been. https://qz.com/1402910/kavanaugh-accused-of-gang-rape-by-julie-swetnick-in-new-sexual-assault-allega tions/

            You can argue that that accusation is not credible, and I would agree with you. But the original commenter was making the point that saying someone has been accused of rape when they have, in fact, been accused of rape, is, indeed, a fact.

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            • identicon
              Anonymous Coward, 23 Oct 2018 @ 4:42am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              It is also a fact that the accuser withdrew the accusation in a subsequent television interview.

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            • icon
              Uriel-238 (profile), 23 Oct 2018 @ 11:37am

              Swetnick was investigated?

              My understanding is that Swetnick's accusations of Kavanaugh were largely ignored. They weren't investigated, and doing a cursory news search I'm not seeing anything that suggests new material has come up to say her claims are shown to be dubious.

              The kind of drugged gang rapes that Swetnick described in her claims have occurred elsewhere including in my own high school, so the question is not if the scenario was ridiculous, but if Kavanaugh was involved in them.

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              • identicon
                Anonymous Coward, 23 Oct 2018 @ 12:26pm

                Re: Swetnick was investigated?

                Person has backtracked on her claims that to date have not been corroborated by an independent source. See:
                https://www.hollywoodreporter.com/news/kavanaugh-accuser-julie-swetnick-sits-down-nbc-news-11484 14

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                • icon
                  Uriel-238 (profile), 23 Oct 2018 @ 2:11pm

                  Swetnick's claims

                  As I understand Swetnick's claims, they are:

                  1. That Swetnick had seen a prior instance in which another girl was drugged and gang raped, and Judge and Kavanaugh were part of the gang.

                  2. That Swetnick had been gang raped in a similar fashion, but doesn't remember being victimized directly by Kavanaugh. 3. Kavanaugh was at the party a

                  In the Hollywood Reporter article she claims that Kavanaugh was at the party where she was gang-raped, but doesn't specifically remember him participating.

                  As far as I'm aware, only Kavanaugh has specifically disputed these claims, by attesting his virginity through his high-school years. They haven't been confirmed or seriously investigated by anyone as far as is known in the public.

                  When I do a search for swetnick backtracks claims, I only get far-right sites, which indicates they're feeding off each other. Where's the original article? What are the root facts? What's the take from Reuters or Associated Press?

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                  • identicon
                    Anonymous Coward, 23 Oct 2018 @ 6:59pm

                    Re: Swetnick's claims

                    Read her declaration. Watch NBC report. You will learn that your #1 is incorrect. #2 is generally correct. A least one acquaintance of Kavanaugh has likewise denied the claims she made.

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                    • icon
                      Uriel-238 (profile), 23 Oct 2018 @ 8:00pm

                      NBC Swetnick Interview

                      According to the NBC page regarding Swetnick's interview:

                      Swetnick provided NBC News with the names of four friends who she said went to the parties with her. One is deceased, while two others did not respond to requests for comment. A fourth told NBC News he didn't remember Swetnick.

                      So, lack of response and lack of memory, which is different than a conflicting claim.

                      Mr. Judge vehemently denies Ms. Swetnick’s allegations. according to Judge's attorney, but then again, he is motivated to do so.

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                      • icon
                        Uriel-238 (profile), 23 Oct 2018 @ 8:02pm

                        Re: NBC Swetnick Interview

                        I'm not reading anywhere here anything that conflicts with my #1.

                        I didn't watch the video, though. Are you saying that she recants her claim that she's seen Kavanaugh involved somewhere in the video?

                        Maybe I can find a transcript.

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                        • identicon
                          Anonymous Coward, 23 Oct 2018 @ 8:11pm

                          Re: Re: NBC Swetnick Interview

                          Need to watch video. She backpeddles re the one she has accused, and admits she did not know what, if anything, may have been going on behind closed doors.

                          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • icon
        James Burkhardt (profile), 22 Oct 2018 @ 12:19pm

        Re: Re:

        Proving an accusation of rape is an understood process, involving sussing out stories and verifiable movements and physical evidence. Proving an accusation of an accusation of rape is not.

        How exactly do I prove that while I worked at a company there were rumors accusing a higher ranking employee of rape? Honestly, it would be the worst thing to investigate. Those working there have every reason to deny or dissemble or deflect, and those not working can have credibility undermined. In the end, I can see no point at which a judge would agree that you have definitively proven both that such accusations never occurred publicly or privately and nothing was ever said which could reasonably been interpreted as an accusation of rape which is the actual legal standard for defamation. Which is why this lawsuit is shitty.

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    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 22 Oct 2018 @ 12:24pm

      Re:

      Rut roh. Sounds like someone’s got a few consentless skeletons in his closet.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 22 Oct 2018 @ 6:58pm

      Response to: Agammamon on Oct 22nd, 2018 @ 11:02am

      What happens in a Google Doc or a conversation while jogging or at a party isn't any of his damn business anyway. Stop being an asshole if you don't want people to warn other people about your assholery.

      Yeah, fuck him.

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    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 22 Oct 2018 @ 11:37am

    Lawsuits are the legal remedy for defamation, online or otherwise. How else is someone, who has been accused on this list or elsewhere online, meant to defend themselves?

    This rambling nonsense of a post is so biased and prejudicial that I am baffled how it made it through copy editing.

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    • icon
      James Burkhardt (profile), 22 Oct 2018 @ 11:59am

      Re:

      The issue is it is not defamatory.

      The false accusation of rape might be. Very well could be.

      This is not an accusation of rape. It is the accusation that he has been accused of rape, potentially privately.

      Now this is where the serious issues involved with false accusations of rape can come up. But as has been noted in RTBF posts, the fact that they were accused is still truthful, even if the accusation was false.

      People on this list are moneyed public figures, with access to the public and press and experts necessary to defend themselves. Invite them to make their claims public or invite an investigation into their claims. A good PR person should be able to downplay anonymous claims on a random internet list.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 22 Oct 2018 @ 12:00pm

      Re:

      One method of defense would be not to act in a manner that results in multiple women feeling strongly enough about your behavior to add you to the list in question.

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      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 22 Oct 2018 @ 1:51pm

        Re: Re:

        For all we can tell those anonymous posts were made by male business rivals. Being innocent is not a defense against anonymous accusations anymore. I would be less pessimistic if there weren't multiple incidents of false accusations in the news. Genuine accusations should have verifiable details- the problem is how to allow factual accusations and remove negative consequences for actual victims.

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        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 22 Oct 2018 @ 1:56pm

          "the problem is how to allow factual accusations"

          We call that "police investigations of credible accusations".

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

          • identicon
            Anonymous Coward, 22 Oct 2018 @ 4:50pm

            Re:

            We certainly do not refer to it as an FBI investigation which is micro managed by the white house.

            reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

          • icon
            Uriel-238 (profile), 22 Oct 2018 @ 7:43pm

            Again with law enforcement

            Law enforcement has proven to be disinterested in credible accusations unless there's a payoff in the end. So maybe if the rapist is also a suspected drug peddler.

            I suppose one way to get a form of perverse justice would be to frame him as a drug peddler, or SWAT him as an assault in progress (with drugs and money involved).

            But that goes down the same line of pre-law-inforcment justice, in which the sex-assault victim points out the guy and her brothers leave him naked in the desert, twenty miles away from the nearest highway

            ...which is again, taken on her word, and raises the same darned issue: we need to develop better ways to detect the circumstances of sex crimes once reported (and without turning the victim into a crime scene for hours), otherwise it will continue to come down to one word against another, and thus who has the most power, either money or friends and family with guns.

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        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 22 Oct 2018 @ 3:37pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          This is a wonderful imaginary scenario you've created in your mind to avoid taking multiple accusations by multiple women seriously.

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

          • identicon
            Anonymous Coward, 22 Oct 2018 @ 3:39pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            So you admit the document itself, despite "only" accusing him of being accused, is something that should be taken seriously?

            reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

            • icon
              btr1701 (profile), 22 Oct 2018 @ 3:50pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              > So you admit the document itself, despite "only" accusing
              > him of being accused, is something that should be taken
              > seriously?

              Boom. He really walked right into that logic trap, didn't he?

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            • identicon
              Anonymous Coward, 23 Oct 2018 @ 8:53am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              Yes.

              I don't know why you think this is some groundbreaking point you've made.

              reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • icon
          Uriel-238 (profile), 22 Oct 2018 @ 7:11pm

          Innocence

          To be fair, being innocent is not a defense against anonymous accusations anywhere. Police informants are legendary for being incredibly dubious until they are relied upon in court to justify a search. Then they're highly reliable. There's also the matter of trick-pony drug dogs, cheap field tests that test positive for powdered sugar or cat litter and labs that don't bother doing tests (which, I guess, should count as anonymous accusers.) But I expect at this point more than 50% of our incarcerated in the US didn't do whatever it was they were convicted of.

          You speak of multiple incidents of false accusations of rape / sexual assault / sexual coercion in the news. Recent news? Can you link some?

          To clarify, I assume you mean incidents that were proven false, rather than incidents that weren't proven true. Kavanaugh's alleged sexual assault was not proven false, rather the US Senate and the FBI intentionally chose to look not very hard and only where there wasn't much in the way of evidence.

          And then the report was made secret, so we have to trust the Feds and the Senate that everything's legit.

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    • identicon
      ryuugami, 22 Oct 2018 @ 12:08pm

      Re:

      How else is someone, who has been accused on this list or elsewhere online, meant to defend themselves?

      As several people pointed above, the list did not accuse him of anything. The list said others accused him of stuff, which is true.

      This rambling nonsense of a post is so biased and prejudicial that I am baffled how it made it through copy editing.

      Evidence says you didn't even read the article, and due to your biases jumped straight to an incorrect conclusion. You should really read before you comment, it would give you a chance of not making a complete fool out of yourself.

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      • This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
        identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 22 Oct 2018 @ 12:55pm

        Re: Re:

        I read it through twice, actually, trying to piece together its awfulness. Change the pronouns and there's no way this would ever be posted, and you know it.
        You should really read before you comment, it would give you a chance of not making a complete fool out of yourself.

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        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 22 Oct 2018 @ 1:58pm

          "Change the pronouns and there's no way this would ever be posted, and you know it."

          Isn't that largely because women are typically the ones who are raped and not the ones who are doing the raping?

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          • identicon
            Anon, 22 Oct 2018 @ 2:25pm

            Re:

            OK. Change it to "women who make false allegations of rape" What percentage of women in divorce court make false allegations of child abuse?

            Should people be allowed to create their own "sex offender watch list" using anonymous allegations of rumors? At the very least, anyone who puts a name on a list - rape, molestations, false accusations, whatever - should be a first-hand complainant. Allowing accusations of rumors to come from those with no direct knowledge is simply opening thngs up for malicious libel.

            How do we prove something is direct? Details. Remember the old joke about saying "Rush Limbaugh denies he ever raped an underage girl" or whatever that stupid (but point-making) meme was? No details, no facts, not credible.

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            • identicon
              Anonymous Coward, 22 Oct 2018 @ 2:36pm

              Re: Re:

              “What percentage of women in divorce court make false allegations of child abuse?“

              What does that have to do with the price of tea in China?

              Same with the rest of your, almost relavent, questions.

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        • icon
          Uriel-238 (profile), 22 Oct 2018 @ 7:51pm

          Change the pronouns.

          It's funny someone might mention that, given that male rape is rampant in the military, and is typically not reported. And when it is reported it's usually not escalated, rather the victim is channeled to less desirable duties if not discharged entirely. And if there's insufficient evidence, those false allegations can easily turn into a court martial.

          So I'm sure that lists of such offenders are plentiful in the US Armed Forces to know which officers like to Sail the seven seas (as it were).

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  • This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
    icon
    Bamboo Harvester (profile), 22 Oct 2018 @ 12:42pm

    So, in the course of just a couple of months, we've gone from "accuse a man of sex crimes and he's guilty, even if he didn't do it" all the way to "SAY a man was accused of rape, even if he didn't and wasn't, he's guilty".

    Even further than that, once such a claim is made, any legal defense the man puts up is an attack on the First Amendment.

    Hey, start up a rumor, no, wait, POST ON THE INTERNET that you heard your boss was accused of being a pedophile and see how long you keep your job. And if you had a GOOD job, your now former boss will be seeing you in court...

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    • icon
      Samuel Abram (profile), 22 Oct 2018 @ 12:54pm

      Re:

      The problem with that logic is that Journalists won't be able to report on sexual assault anymore. Also, the Boss in question should at least have a good PR team willing to quell any rumors.

      And it is indeed possible to clear your name of rape. It's been done before. Ask George Takei. Or the Duke LaCrosse players. Their lives have not only been not ruined, but restored. A defamation lawsuit is unnecessary and even counterproductive.

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      • icon
        Bamboo Harvester (profile), 22 Oct 2018 @ 1:06pm

        Re: Re:

        As others here have been quick to point out, it's an allegation of an allegation of rape.

        In no way is filing suit over slanderous or libelous rumor that has been posted as "fact" an attack on the First Amendment.

        A LOT of people have cleared themselves of claims of rape. Probably a good half of divorces have a claim of rape in them. But unless it was reported and charged, it's summarily dismissed.

        If I started leaving posts on public message boards that "I heard Mike Masnik was accused of being a pedophile", I'd expect someone knocking on my door inside of a few days waiting to say that wonderful phrase, "You've been Served".

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      • icon
        btr1701 (profile), 22 Oct 2018 @ 3:52pm

        Re: Re:

        > Also, the Boss in question should at least have a good PR
        > team willing to quell any rumors.

        What fantasy world do you live in where every manager in charge of employees has a PR team in standby?

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • icon
          James Burkhardt (profile), 23 Oct 2018 @ 8:17am

          Re: Re: Re:

          What about a public figure in the media doesn't have a PR team?

          The original point of this list was to help women in media avoid those who might harm them, a rumor grapevine used as long as women have been in the workplace to help avoid sexual assault, because "you should not be hanging out with those types" is how we teach women to avoid assault.

          Your continued insistence of applying a legal analysis predicated on a public figure in the media, and insisting this guy is somehow the man on the street shows how little you understand the real world and the law.

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      • identicon
        David W Jones, 22 Oct 2018 @ 5:42pm

        Re: Re:

        "The problem with that logic is that Journalists won't be able to report on sexual assault anymore."

        The problem with all of this is that sexual assault and rape are crimes, and these crimes should be handled through the criminal justice system. Social media is not the appropriate venue in which to address complaints of criminal behavior. If a man (or person) has committed a sexual assault or rape, and such has been documented in court, what would restrain a journalist from reporting on that?

        The reason that the alleged victims don't want to use the legal system is that it is easier to destroy a man with no proof other than their say so. People do lie, so it should take more than one person anonymously saying it is so to cause harm to a man's reputation and to cause aspersions in their employment and social circle. In a court of law, a man is considered innocent unless proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.

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        • icon
          Uriel-238 (profile), 22 Oct 2018 @ 7:22pm

          The Criminal Justice System

          The Criminal Justice System is notoriously poor at serving justice when it comes to sex crimes. Most offenders don't get reported. Most that get reported don't get indicted, and most that get indicted don't get convicted.

          This is the same justice system that can indict a ham sandwich (for anything else) and convicts 90% of the time if they haven't already arranged for a guilty plea, and also can't indict or convict law enforcement officers to save lives.

          So to suggest that victims of sex crimes should resort to our criminal justice system is either a) ignorant at a time when everyone should know, since it came up in the Kavanaugh affair (#WhyIDidn'tReport), or b) an argument made in bad faith, knowing the legal system is not a place to reasonably expect justice to be served.

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          • identicon
            Anonymous Coward, 23 Oct 2018 @ 8:44am

            Re: The Criminal Justice System

            And yet it does a better job than the alternatives humanity has tried. It's not perfect, but it's the best we have, and as such, an argument for its use is not in bad faith.

            You, on the other hand seem to be arguing for witch hunts, the punishment of innocents and the use of mob justice. I would say it is you who are arguing in bad faith.

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            • icon
              Uriel-238 (profile), 23 Oct 2018 @ 12:06pm

              The best we have [right now]

              The best we have is perhaps one of the shittiest arguments for the status quo, though makes an outstanding argument for radical liberalism. (id est, a significant number of people are miserable, and continuing to exist day after day for them is an exertion. And any effort to slow progress toward a day that they're not miserable is a crime against them.)

              But in the old days, when a woman got raped, or accused someone of rape, her family would, without proof, exact revenge on the rapist (and if necessary his family), sometimes leading to centuries long feuds or, in some cases, wars between states.

              But the severity of the consequences at least created a major disincentive for sexual assault, where here in the United States there's very little.

              And given how so many here are eager to retain a system that doesn't punish sexual assault very well, in the current political clime, it creates an inviting, fecund environment for vigilantism to grow.

              We could treat rape victims better. We don't have to live with the best we have. And yet so many have expressed terror over the notion of change.

              Maybe it will take blood before the US is motivated.

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          • icon
            Cdaragorn (profile), 23 Oct 2018 @ 9:14am

            Re: The Criminal Justice System

            Failing to convict when the crime cannot be proven is not failing to serve justice, even when the crime actually did happen. It is in fact justice served exactly as it should be.

            Yes it is sad that it is so hard to prove sexually related crimes, but that doesn't make it ok to ignore proper due process on the excuse that it's hard. Nor does it mean the system is doing anything wrong with regard to those crimes.

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            • icon
              Uriel-238 (profile), 23 Oct 2018 @ 12:16pm

              Failing to convict

              Yes, in a system that feeds on convictions, where we funnel minority children into prisons, suddenly when a woman is doing the accusing we're worried about innocence and Blackstone's Formulation and due process.

              Once again, it is demonstrated that crime is what other people do. Justice in the US isn't about people answering for their crimes, it's about locking up the weirdos (as determined by those in power).

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        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 23 Oct 2018 @ 7:01am

          Re: Re: Re:

          "The reason that the alleged victims don't want to use the legal system is that it is easier to destroy a man with no proof other than their say so."


          Oh, I doubt that.
          Do you have anything in support of your wild ass claim?

          There have been many articles/discussions on this topic, perhaps you missed them all. Or, you simply do not think they have any credibility because you are always right.

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 23 Oct 2018 @ 4:01am

        Re: Re:

        "The problem with that logic is that Journalists won't be able to report on sexual assault anymore."
        I don't see a problem with this.

        "Also, the Boss in question should at least have a good PR team willing to quell any rumors."
        You're an idiot.

        "And it is indeed possible to clear your name of rape."
        No, it isn't. Even if you wave a legal court document over your head, too many people will simply believe you "paid off" the court for the win.

        Accusations are permanent.

        "It's been done before."
        Cite me one example that has a guaranteed 100% successful outcome.

        "Ask George Takei."
        Nope. His accuser recanted his story.

        "Or the Duke LaCrosse players. Their lives have not only been not ruined, but restored."
        You're an idiot. Not only did the players suffer hell during the accusation and investigation, several still report to this day the accusation still haunts them.

        The coach was fired from his job. A completely innocent person's life was ruined over a single accusation.

        Nifong, the original prosecutor, was disbarred. What's this tell you?

        "A defamation lawsuit is unnecessary and even counterproductive."
        Of course it's counterproductive, because people will always believe the accusation first.
        Moreso, any lawsuit only draws attention to the accusation, until it's resolved.

        Do you honestly think all the women Cosby assaulted were vindicated?

        The law needs to be changed. If a person alleges another of misconduct, then media shouldn't be allowed to "cover the story" by digging into the lives of the parties involved, have talking heads give their two useless cents worth of opinion (as many did with the lacrosse players), or any other information which can (and often) taint public opinion.

        Report the accusation, and that's it. Nothing beyond that.

        Everything else gets resolved by court of law.

        I'm not a woman, so I can't even begin to imagine the hell it must be to live with horror of the sexual assault.

        But, and this will piss off women everywhere, fuck you for not defending yourself immediately after the action.

        By keeping your mouth shut, you allowed other victims to share your nightmare.

        All you had to was accuse the perpetrator. Then. Now. Tomorrow. Human nature will have the accusation believed before truth.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 23 Oct 2018 @ 1:21pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          I'm not a woman, so I can't even begin to imagine the hell it must be to live with horror of the sexual assault.

          What makes you think is only happens to women? Try being a sexually assaulted man and see what king of support you get. You may wish you were a woman.

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 22 Oct 2018 @ 1:03pm

      "So, in the course of just a couple of months, we've gone from "accuse a man of sex crimes and he's guilty, even if he didn't do it" all the way to "SAY a man was accused of rape, even if he didn't and wasn't, he's guilty"."

      Nah, it's more like "if someone accuses a man of sex crimes, unless the claim is bullshit on its face, investigate the claim seriously". Only a few people are saying "believe women no matter what, even without evidence" and they can be ignored. And no one is saying the dude accused of rape in the Shitty Men List is guilty of rape, just that he has been accused of rape. Is that enough to toss the guy in jail? No.

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    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 22 Oct 2018 @ 1:21pm

      Re:

      The guy's not in prison. He has not been found guilty.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 22 Oct 2018 @ 3:31pm

        Re: Re:

        And yet his life has more than likely been negatively impacted via this "innocent" act you defend.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • icon
          Cathy Gellis (profile), 22 Oct 2018 @ 3:53pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          It was more than likely negatively impacted by his drug use.

          I didn't mention that in the post, but he's candidly admitted to the drug use, and it's referenced in at least one of the linked articles.

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

          • icon
            btr1701 (profile), 22 Oct 2018 @ 3:58pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            How is that relevant to anything?

            reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

            • icon
              Cathy Gellis (profile), 22 Oct 2018 @ 4:07pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              It's not really relevant to whether the lawsuit is an illegitimate attempt to chill legitimate speech, which is why I didn't mention it earlier. But it does suggest taking his claims of harm with a grain of salt. By his own admission he's lived a life full of self-destructive choices, in no way due to the speech of anyone else.

              Drug users are also not known for their great control over their inhibitions, so the fact that he has been one also goes to suggest that the accusations about him are quite plausible.

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              • identicon
                Anonymous Coward, 23 Oct 2018 @ 3:06am

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                That's one of the most ridiculous arguments I've ever heard.

                "We can't trust him because he uses drugs"

                Sorry, we can't trust you because you drink coffee.

                reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

                • identicon
                  Anonymous Coward, 24 Oct 2018 @ 7:04pm

                  Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                  "Sorry, we can't trust you because you drink coffee."

                  Wow, that is some false equivalency you got goin' there.

                  Coffee doesn't make you lie, cheat, steal. Coffee doesn't make you abusive. Coffee doesn't completely change your personality. Coffee doesn't cause you to do things and then totally forget you did them when the coffee passes out of your system. Coffee doesn't make you vicious or stupid or incredibly self-involved.

                  Drugs do all of that and worse.

                  You can trust a drug users about as far as you can comfortably spit out a rat.

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                  • icon
                    Uriel-238 (profile), 24 Oct 2018 @ 8:15pm

                    Drugs and "drugs"

                    Coffee contains caffeine, which is a drug. (It's also a poison, just not a one that is very toxic to humans)

                    I do a number of drugs, myself, addressing a number of medical conditions. The ones I do that aren't caffeine are prescribed by my doctor.

                    It's sloppy to use drugs to specifically mean controlled substances used recreationally and then abused. Many many drug users -- even those taking them without doctor supervision -- are careful to use them so as to not endanger themselves or others.

                    So that's also to say it's sloppy to assume drug users are untrustworthy or poorly behaved. And people who are under the influence are -- assuming they haven't been Mickey Finned -- still responsible for their actions.

                    Mr. Elliott, it sounds like, has been poorly behaved regardless of whether or not he uses drugs. That he's poorly behave because he's just an asshole or because he's Hyding out is irrelevant.

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          • identicon
            Anonymous Coward, 23 Oct 2018 @ 5:05am

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            Look up Ad Hominem in the dictionary. Then take the paste you've been eating and use some to put your post in as a perfect example.

            reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    carlb, 22 Oct 2018 @ 12:52pm

    Odd double standard

    Odd that the questionable accusations against Julian Assange are pretty much repeated as gospel in US propaganda, even though he has neither been charged nor convicted, but when it comes to actually cleaning up the cesspool of actual rape suspects stateside... suddenly all we hear is ambulance chasers whining about the supposed rights of the perps to engage in reputational management and put victims on trial?

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  • icon
    Zof (profile), 22 Oct 2018 @ 1:37pm

    Counterpoint (since there isn't one)

    How dare he not ignore someone talking shit about him. As a man, he's suppose to let anybody say anything about him he wants. Hell, accuse him of anything. He should just quietly sit there and take it. Doesn't he realize he's already guilty?

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    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 22 Oct 2018 @ 1:40pm

      Counter-counter point: Did the women who made that list accuse him of rape? If they didn't, he should be concentrating on finding the ones who did.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • icon
        Zof (profile), 22 Oct 2018 @ 1:48pm

        Re:

        Are the women of that list current being sued and will he probably win because the law is on his side? Yes. Do they totally deserve it for acting like high school children putting together a slam book instead of going to the cops? Yes. Do we punish people in our society for talking shit without backing it? We sure do. Just because this is "right scented" doesn't mean you skip the process.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • icon
          Stephen T. Stone (profile), 22 Oct 2018 @ 2:03pm

          "Do they totally deserve it for acting like high school children putting together a slam book instead of going to the cops? Yes."

          What would they go to the cops with, third-party hearsay accusations? That isn't enough for the cops to start digging, even if the accusations sound credible.

          "Just because this is "right scented" doesn't mean you skip the process."

          And the process isn't being skipped. The dude isn't in jail. The cops aren't investigating him because they lack any direct accusations. He hasn't been found guilty in a court of law. All that the document accused him of was "being accused of rape". I could say someone accused you of being Candlejack, but that means noth

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          • identicon
            Anonymous Coward, 22 Oct 2018 @ 3:35pm

            Re:

            > What would they go to the cops with, third-party hearsay accusations? That isn't enough for the cops to start digging, even if the accusations sound credible.

            But third-party hearsay is enough to post up a public document spreading the unfounded rumors without concern for the target or any risk of legal backlash?

            Hey everyone else, let's put up our own document accusing Stephen T. Stone of being accused of rape and lots of other things. After all, we don't need any facts to back this up and there's no risk of the law getting involved.

            reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

            • identicon
              Anonymous Coward, 22 Oct 2018 @ 4:32pm

              Re: Re:

              Do it, and we will rightfully mock you with all the derision and ridicule you deserve. Not just for missing the point, but for missing the point in a completely stupid and predictable way.

              reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

            • identicon
              Anonymous Coward, 22 Oct 2018 @ 4:54pm

              Re: Re:

              "But third-party hearsay is enough to post up a public document spreading the unfounded rumors without concern for the target or any risk of legal backlash?"

              Seems to work for Donald

              reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      James Burkhardt (profile), 22 Oct 2018 @ 1:47pm

      Re: Counterpoint (since there isn't one)

      There are entire swaths of action between 'ignore' and 'unwinnable spurious lawsuit for defamation'. As a public figure, he has the resources to defend himself, to note the anonymous and vague nature of the rumors being reported for instance. Note the significant level of heresy these second and third-hand accusations represent.

      He chose to attempt to silence these voices, which is the issue.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • icon
        Zof (profile), 22 Oct 2018 @ 1:53pm

        Re: Re: Counterpoint (since there isn't one)

        Hmmm. I guess they probably shouldn't have talked shit about him huh. I guess it's good he has money. On the bright side, poor people can just kill themselves if they can't afford lawyers to defend themselves from hearsay and don't like their lives destroyed. Good talk.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • icon
          James Burkhardt (profile), 22 Oct 2018 @ 2:09pm

          Re: Re: Re: Counterpoint (since there isn't one)

          Well, a lower bar for defamation exists when they aren't public figures. (it was noted in the article that this has a slightly better chance under those standard) Interestingly, not only do public figures have the resources to employ counter speech, but are more likely to get involved in larger instances of public defamation.

          That said, a spurious actually winnable lawsuit remains an extreme, poor choice to deal with claims that you have been accused of rape. It engages the Streisand Effect to make those claims more well known, while providing little ability to stop discussion of those claims by the wider audience.

          P.S. You've taken my response to your commentary that involved the specifics of this situation, and claimed that it was my position for a more general case that was not within the framing of your original comment. That's a pretty shitty thing to do.

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          • icon
            btr1701 (profile), 22 Oct 2018 @ 4:02pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re: Counterpoint (since there isn't one)

            > not only do public figures have the resources to employ
            > counter speech

            Public figure /= rich

            I don't know where this strange idea comes from that the moment you meet the Sullivan standard for 'public figure', you suddenly have all sorts of money and resources to fight back.

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            • identicon
              Anonymous Coward, 22 Oct 2018 @ 5:00pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Counterpoint (since there isn't one)

              I'm sure there are plenty of people who made the news but remain poor, some of them are in jail because they could not afford an attorney. Being forced into a plea deal when you didn't do it because you are poor, welcome to America - land of the free & home of the brave - if you are wealthy.

              reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

            • icon
              James Burkhardt (profile), 23 Oct 2018 @ 8:23am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Counterpoint (since there isn't one)

              Resources =/= money.

              With his position he has an immensely larger ability to get free airtime for a press conference, get on talk shows, and other means of getting his message out. That is part of the core reasoning behind the public figure distinction (esp the limited public figure), that the fact they are in the public sphere grants them a platform for speech a non-public figure does not have.

              reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 22 Oct 2018 @ 1:53pm

      Re: Counterpoint (since there isn't one)

      So he’s supposed to lay there and take it like some kind of non consensual victim of some description, is what you’re saying.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • icon
        Zof (profile), 22 Oct 2018 @ 1:58pm

        Re: Re: Counterpoint (since there isn't one)

        Yes. He's already guilty. The website decided.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 22 Oct 2018 @ 2:39pm

          Re: Re: Re: Counterpoint (since there isn't one)

          Well it’s a good thing some random google doc isn’t a court of law.

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

          • identicon
            Anonymous Coward, 22 Oct 2018 @ 3:36pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re: Counterpoint (since there isn't one)

            No, it's a court of public opinion which can be just as damaging.

            reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

            • identicon
              Anonymous Coward, 22 Oct 2018 @ 4:37pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Counterpoint (since there isn't one)

              Except the court of public opinion is just that, opinion. And how many of us would have an opinion on this topic except the shithead brought this rather dubious matter before a court of law? You can’t mandate an opinion. Now if only there was some term a mighty clever fellow around here had come up with to illustrate this process for the slow of learning.

              reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

              • identicon
                Anonymous Coward, 24 Oct 2018 @ 10:11am

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Counterpoint (since there isn't one)

                So you want to be able to tell everyone what opinions they need to have and not have.

                reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    Zof (profile), 22 Oct 2018 @ 1:57pm

    If somebody is actively trying to destroy my life

    I'm not going to stop until I destroy theirs, and their desire to ever try it again. And that's not because I'm a shitty anything. It's because I'm normal and I like surviving.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    Uriel-238 (profile), 22 Oct 2018 @ 2:07pm

    Diseased sluts.

    For decades, if not centuries, it's been acceptable for men to spread rumors about which women were easy, which of them weren't, and which of them carried sexually transmitted diseases. Most of these rumors were unfounded, and driven not to protect gentlemen seeking one-night stands, but used as notches for bragging rights. The Renate Alumni puffing to one-up their colleagues.

    And in most cases, by far, women only could suffer without recourse, because even state courts were disinclined to believe an alleged slut, let alone an allegedly diseased slut.

    In this case, the circumstances have been turned around, not because women have anything to gain by alleging aggressive men, but to protect each other from harm. Shitty man lists exist out of necessity because the culture of sexual assault and coercion in the US is still endemic, and compounded by industries that are particularly competitive.

    That is to say this such lists are a natural byproduct of a culture that no one has bothered to change. Kill this list and two shall take its place. If you don't want to be on such a list, don't coerce or attack women when you have the power to do so.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      Bamboo Harvester (profile), 22 Oct 2018 @ 3:17pm

      Re: Diseased sluts.

      Seriously? "His brother was worse" defense?

      Judge all men by what some other men have done in the past.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • icon
        Uriel-238 (profile), 22 Oct 2018 @ 6:53pm

        "His brother was worse" defense

        I have no idea what that means. The points I was making were:

        1) We've already established that it's acceptable to ruin someone's reputation regarding sexual matters when that person is not a man.

        2) We've also already established that careers can be ruined by rumors alone, when they are not regarding a boss who allegedly sexually coerced his clerks. Women are branded as promiscuous (or frigid!) which is used to justify ending (or at least limiting their career), the same with anyone regarded as a pedophile, again, just the rumor can end someone's career, especially if it involves children (say teaching or other school-related personnel).

        3) This was a private list before it became a public list, and dozens more exist and will continue to exist (whether or not I think it's wrong or right) because this is how women survive in contemporary work environments. As they continue to need to survive, lists will continue to be used.

        Judge all men by what some other men have done in the past.

        This is exactly what we do regarding women. Yes, there have been incidents in which the circumstances of a sexual assault were dubious. Desiree Washington, for instance was reputed to have explained her entire plan to a friend, to claim Mike Tyson raped her. But incidents of such false allegations are rare compared to the grisly commonality of sexual assault in our society, and our failure to take sexual assault and sexual coercion seriously is an indictment of the United States regarding its lack of commitment to actual equality.

        Regarding the many based on the crimes of a few, incidentally is what corporations do to their customers, given that they have a few cases of customer service fraud, and countless legitimate incidents where their product fails, but they all treat every case as a fraudster until proven otherwise. There are exceptions, of course, but they're rare. And more and more laws are interpreted to give corporations more privilege than humans.

        As the whole Kavanaugh affair put into sharp relief, the United States has no interest in taking sexual assault or sexual coercion seriously despite the Hollywood sexual harassment reckoning and the #MeToo movement. If facing these matters head on means that some men will fail to achieve political or financial power, we'd clearly rather that all women suffer without justice (unless she has six brothers and a father to tie the bastard to an anthill -- old school). We aren't interested in conducting thorough investigations. We aren't interested in making it easier for someone so traumatized to report. We aren't interested in creating a process of detection that doesn't involve forcing a woman who's been raped doesn't have to spend six hours with some violent stranger's jizz inside her. Victims who report are put through so much more hell for a tiny, tiny chance that their assailant will be discovered and convicted, it's no wonder that they don't report at a nauseatingly high rate.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Glenn, 22 Oct 2018 @ 2:10pm

    I don't believe anyone just because he/she says it. Allegations of illegal behavior only have relevance in a legal environment. I wouldn't even waste my time looking at a list such as this.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 22 Oct 2018 @ 3:48pm

    I believe that anonymity and its ability to allow marginalized individuals to speak truth to power is important, but that does not get in the way of my dislike of anonymously-compiled lists such as these, and the actions that people take that are based off said lists.

    I recall when GamerGate was in full swing and there were dozens of these types of lists. They were used in order to rile people up, coordinate harassment, and worse. 8chan created a bogus "Antifa" list made up of signatories of an anti-Trump petition in hopes of harming said signatories. Louisiana police picked up on this list, and people's lives were put in danger.

    There is now a chance with this list that people will become victims of similar brigading and harassment tactics. If the claims and accusations are true, then that is for the court of law to decide, not online mobs. And with this lawsuit, which I find ridiculous, the people who contribute/have contributed to this list could have their identities revealed and become targets themselves.

    In my view, anonymity is a valuable tool in the fight against oppression, but it can also be used irresponsibly. The way in which the creators of this "Shitty Media Men" list have used their anonymity was irresponsible, and now both they and others are being put in harm's way.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      Thad (profile), 22 Oct 2018 @ 4:04pm

      Re:

      If the claims and accusations are true, then that is for the court of law to decide, not online mobs.

      Sexual assault is extremely difficult to prove in court, and most accusers never report being attacked.

      The threshold for telling someone to be careful around a person is entirely different from the threshold for a criminal conviction, and should be.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    NoahVail (profile), 22 Oct 2018 @ 8:19pm

    As recently as Oct 11, Stephen Elliot's twitter was public.
    https://webcache.googleusercontent.com/search?q=cache:https://twitter.com/s___elliott

    Today it is not. https://twitter.com/S___Elliott
    Neither is his Instagram https://www.instagram.com/s___elliott/

    Perhaps re-victimizing women is not working out the way he had hoped.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    John Smith, 23 Oct 2018 @ 1:57am

    There is also "false light" defamation which doesn't require outright defamation for a claim to succeed.

    Internet lies are par for the course now. those who believe those lies create an internet history of their own. A list like that is not protected by Section 230 as it's its own creation, and noting that someone else called someone a defamatory name can indeed rise to the level of a lawsuit. Truth is also not a defense against IIED.

    These lists attempt to put targets on people's backs. They also try to use someone's employer or other important person in their life as a pawn. Heck, a defense attorney who created a list like that and "empowered" some woman to publish it might make a lot of money.

    The answer is what this guy is doing: sue the pawns. Perhaps then the women will turn around and sue the people who set them up to be sued.


    It would also help if any accusation of criminal conduct be treated as an unsworn statement to law enforcement, with criminal penalties if proven false.

    The real problem is the people who let internet vigilantes manipulate them.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 23 Oct 2018 @ 6:07am

      Re:

      Fuck. I just needed an extra "Section 230 is to blame" for me to finish my bingo card.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 23 Oct 2018 @ 7:06am

      Re:

      "Internet lies are par for the course now."

      Hey, look - it's brand new and exciting because it's on the internet!

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      Toom1275 (profile), 23 Oct 2018 @ 8:03am

      Re:

      There is also "false light" defamation which doesn't require outright defamation for a claim to succeed.

      Perhaps that's because "false light [invasion of privacy]" and "defamation" are two mutually-exclusive concepts?

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Wendy Cockcroft, 23 Oct 2018 @ 7:18am

    Due Process is not an impediment to justice

    But even so, the essential truth will remain. Even if Elliott had never before victimized women, this lawsuit is an attempt to victimize them now by burdening them with a cripplingly expensive and impossible task. And for this behavior he indeed is a shitty man.

    No, Cathy. No. Just no.

    I've had people tell lies about me on the internet and ended up at risk of disciplinary action over it. The fact that I didn't get fired is not the point; if the managers here weren't so decent, if one or more of them had it in for me, I could be on the dole now.

    Due process is not an impediment to justice, and it needs to apply to everyone. And yes, I have suffered from unwanted touching, etc. so I'm not some ignoramus spouting nonsense about something I know nothing about.

    Rape culture is a thing and posts like this play into it, amplifying voices that mock the #MeToo movement questioning why we should #BelieveWomen. This is not helpful!

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      Uriel-238 (profile), 23 Oct 2018 @ 2:24pm

      Only we don't HAVE due process.

      The problem here in the US (and if media is to believed, in France) due process doesn't serve. People get sexually assaulted or coerced and then there's no recourse. If they report, often the victim is at higher risk of being fired or disgraced than the offender.

      And here in the US, the 2016 Presidental election and the Kavanaugh appointment have demonstrated we're okay with that. Worse yet, we're okay with then denying women reproductive rights and allowing the offender access to the children.

      If we really do believe in due process, the entire way we handle sex crimes needs to be reformed. Every report needs to be taken seriously. We need to get the rate from report to conviction up to above 50%.

      Then, maybe, sexual coercion won't be a normal thing that every woman has to deal with in the workplace. Maybe lists of dangerous sexually-aggressive men won't need to be a thing that women have to pass around to each other through gray channels.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Wendy Cockcroft, 24 Oct 2018 @ 5:44am

        Re: Only we don't HAVE due process.

        Agreed in full. Due process ought to mean that allegations are fully and completely investigated and charges brought if there's sufficient evidence to do so.

        Both parties should not be named in order to protect their reputations until after a conviction has been secured. Otherwise, the accused, if found innocent, will still have stigma of the accusation hanging round his neck for years on the basis of there being no smoke without fire.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • identicon
          Wendy Cockcroft, 24 Oct 2018 @ 5:46am

          Re: Re: Only we don't HAVE due process.

          I've been lucky in my last few jobs: it seems to me that robust workplace policies educating and dealing firmly with employees over harassment and discrimination, etc., have had a very positive effect.

          Since social attitudes are at the root of the problem, they will have to change before anything else does.

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 23 Oct 2018 @ 8:25am

    First, let me say that I do not call Stephen Elliott a shitty man because of what posters to the Shitty Media Men list wrote about him. He's shitty for filing this lawsuit against the host of and contributors to the list, seeking to chill the speech of those who would speak out against bad behavior. He's shitty for threatening to unmask people who had exercised their right to speak anonymously to warn others of potential harm.

    Thank you, Cathy, for articulating the conclusion I came to after reading many opinions -- in better words than I could.

    I was somewhat sympathetic to Elliot's predicament until he burned the bridges and locked himself in the Shitty Man's Land forever.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    #HuntTheseLyingCunts, 7 Nov 2018 @ 7:22am

    re: shitty, slanderous#politicalwhores

    Funny piece,except for that one detail you left out:

    The #MeToo band of Mary slanderers is falling flat on its face,as little more than YET ANOTHER moral.panic that benefits the Domestic Violence Industrial Complex, and its associated NGIs/polutucal spy rings.

    And that because one lesbians grudge against the Weinsteins,and case after case reveals the true nature of womenwho use the pussy paradox, while hiding behind poluce state mechanisms to pkay the girl card.

    Yeahhh*equality* is inthe shitter. Thanks, third wavers!

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]


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