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1227 posts

Uber Geek


# 215520 30-Jun-2017 17:47
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I recently came across this article in the Los Angeles Times:

 

http://articles.latimes.com/2010/aug/23/nation/la-na-blogger-suits-20100823

 

This articles mentions that: "Most people have no idea of the liability they face when they publish something online"!

 

And "The first thing people need to realize, they can be held accountable for what they say online," Baron said. "Before you speak ill of anyone online, you should think hard before pressing the 'send' button."

 

Now I realise that a lot of people post on this forum anonymously, but the article says that it's quite easy to track them down.

 

I really enjoy reading the frank views of people who post to the forums on this site, but I sometimes wonder whether some posters just occasionally get into territory that may leave them open to a lawsuit.

 

What are your views on this topic? I realise that the article is a USA one, but perhaps people in NZ should be aware of the contents of this article...just in case!!!


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4964 posts

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Trusted

  # 1809752 30-Jun-2017 18:00
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I seem to remember that either David Bain or his #1 fanboy successfully sued message boarders on TradeMe for defamation.


gzt

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  # 1809848 30-Jun-2017 19:52
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Yes, it can and does happen in NZ.

 
 
 
 


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  # 1809909 30-Jun-2017 22:45
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Why should defamation and other laws not apply online? Just act decently, learn the basics of the law and act within it, and you'll be fine. Not exactly hard for most people.

 

 

 

 

 

 


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  # 1809951 1-Jul-2017 08:12
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dejadeadnz:

 

..... Not exactly hard for most people.

 

 

 

 

But then there are the stupid and ignorant few.





"I have noticed even people who claim everything is predestined, and that we can do nothing to change it, look before they cross the road." -  Stephen Hawking


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Master Geek

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  # 1809962 1-Jul-2017 09:13
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floydbloke:

dejadeadnz:


..... Not exactly hard for most people.


 



But then there are the stupid and ignorant few.



Who should be called out IMO

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Ultimate Geek


  # 1809964 1-Jul-2017 09:22
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Reminds me of the advice I was given when I first started using email. "Don't write anything about someone in an email that you wouldn't say to their face."




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  # 1810037 1-Jul-2017 12:09
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k1w1k1d:

 

Reminds me of the advice I was given when I first started using email. "Don't write anything about someone in an email that you wouldn't say to their face."

 

 

Agreed, in an email or in online forums! But are public figures such as Prime Ministers, Presidents, sports personalities etc exempt from this rule?


 
 
 
 


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  # 1810066 1-Jul-2017 13:41
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frednz:

k1w1k1d:


Reminds me of the advice I was given when I first started using email. "Don't write anything about someone in an email that you wouldn't say to their face."



Agreed, in an email or in online forums! But are public figures such as Prime Ministers, Presidents, sports personalities etc exempt from this rule?



That is a good question about politicians, as we a democracy. Not sure about where the line is drawn on that.

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  # 1810077 1-Jul-2017 14:23
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mattwnz:
frednz:

 

k1w1k1d:

 

 

 

Reminds me of the advice I was given when I first started using email. "Don't write anything about someone in an email that you wouldn't say to their face."

 

 

 

 

 

 

Agreed, in an email or in online forums! But are public figures such as Prime Ministers, Presidents, sports personalities etc exempt from this rule?

 



That is a good question about politicians, as we a democracy. Not sure about where the line is drawn on that.

 

Surely that would depend on what someone says about them.  Calling a politician incompetent because someone doesn't agree with their policies or decisions they've made I would expect to be OK.  Accusing them of being, say, a paedophile with no reasonable justification is not.





"I have noticed even people who claim everything is predestined, and that we can do nothing to change it, look before they cross the road." -  Stephen Hawking


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Uber Geek


  # 1810088 1-Jul-2017 15:05
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floydbloke:

 

mattwnz:
frednz:

 

k1w1k1d:

 

 

 

Reminds me of the advice I was given when I first started using email. "Don't write anything about someone in an email that you wouldn't say to their face."

 

 

 

 

 

 

Agreed, in an email or in online forums! But are public figures such as Prime Ministers, Presidents, sports personalities etc exempt from this rule?

 



That is a good question about politicians, as we a democracy. Not sure about where the line is drawn on that.

 

Surely that would depend on what someone says about them.  Calling a politician incompetent because someone doesn't agree with their policies or decisions they've made I would expect to be OK.  Accusing them of being, say, a paedophile with no reasonable justification is not.

 

 

 

 

Although saying someone is incompetent I suspect could also be considered defamatory. Potentially it could affect that person getting a job, if their name is googled.  IMO anything someone says, they really have to have proof to show that is the case. etc. 


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  # 1810092 1-Jul-2017 15:18
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mattwnz:

 

floydbloke:

 

mattwnz:
frednz:

 

k1w1k1d:

 

 

 

Reminds me of the advice I was given when I first started using email. "Don't write anything about someone in an email that you wouldn't say to their face."

 

 

 

 

 

 

Agreed, in an email or in online forums! But are public figures such as Prime Ministers, Presidents, sports personalities etc exempt from this rule?

 



That is a good question about politicians, as we a democracy. Not sure about where the line is drawn on that.

 

Surely that would depend on what someone says about them.  Calling a politician incompetent because someone doesn't agree with their policies or decisions they've made I would expect to be OK.  Accusing them of being, say, a paedophile with no reasonable justification is not.

 

 

 

 

Although saying someone is incompetent I suspect could also be considered defamatory. Potentially it could affect that person getting a job, if their name is googled.  IMO anything someone says, they really have to have proof to show that is the case. etc. 

 

 

Agreed.  I was thinking in terms of legal boundaries.





"I have noticed even people who claim everything is predestined, and that we can do nothing to change it, look before they cross the road." -  Stephen Hawking


832 posts

Ultimate Geek


  # 1810374 2-Jul-2017 11:00
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Fortunately though, if you used that term for the bulk of politicians, truth is always a defence to prosecution......


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Uber Geek
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  # 1810386 2-Jul-2017 11:37
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Truth and honest opinion are both defences to claims of defamation.




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  # 1810575 2-Jul-2017 18:54
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cadman:

 

Truth and honest opinion are both defences to claims of defamation.

 

 

Thanks, well worth a read. Some people seem to think that freedom of speech gives them the right to say anything about anybody, even when online. But, as discussed in this article, freedom of speech comes with responsibilities and must have some constraints:

 

Of course, with rights come with responsibilities. Freedom of speech must have some constraints; that's why it is a crime to incite hatred and violence. And damaging someone's reputation – outside the privileged protection provided at universities and Parliament – can end in a defamation suit. Just as the courts and the media must always jealously guard freedom of speech from state controls, so must our universities.


gzt

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  # 1811256 3-Jul-2017 20:05
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Synchronicity. Paula Bennet has begun legal action over Facebook videos today:

http://www.newshub.co.nz/home/politics/2017/07/viral-paula-bennett-letter-defamation-and-harassment-lawyers.html

Lawyers for Ms Bennett have sent a cease and desist letter to the man ordering him to remove an open letter which they say has been shared online more than 5000 times.

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