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> Nowhere to hide, libel not covered by 1st
Somey
post Mon 30th May 2011, 8:27pm
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QUOTE(Silver seren @ Sun 29th May 2011, 11:55pm) *
Yeah, internet anonymity seems to be heading toward an end. I used to make fun of Canada because of Stephen Harper trying to make internet anonymity illegal (and then not really doing anything about it), but we're not really that much better here.

It may be too early to say "I told you so," but this is very close to what I've been going on about for five years now. Politicians are stupid, and court judges aren't that much smarter, at least when it comes to "new media." They're not going to want to make the distinction between anonymous blog commenters and anonymous encyclopedia-article-editors, or even between anonymous participants (in interactive websites) and anonymous readers. They're just going to want to do what their corporate-lobby masters want them to do, and that means fewer rights and less privacy for you, more rights and more profits for them.

Meanwhile, website operators like the WMF will continue to abuse (or allow the abuse of) the advantages that user-anonymity gives them, until it's ultimately taken away almost completely. Sure, "hacktivists" and other anonymous subcultures will continue to exist, but Wikipedia isn't some underground organization - without its heavy traffic and (related) Google-dominance, it could fade into second-tier status very quickly.
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Kelly Martin
post Mon 30th May 2011, 11:14pm
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Seems to me that defamation is an intentional tort, and as we all know, children as young as three have been held liable for intentional torts. Don't think that the "underagedness" of the defamer is an issue here, Master Seren. Perhaps you should edumacate yourself on the law before you open your furry little yap.

(Oh, wait, you think "education" is something you can get from Wikipoopia. Forget I said that.)
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Malleus
post Tue 31st May 2011, 12:52am
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QUOTE(Kelly Martin @ Tue 31st May 2011, 12:14am) *

Seems to me that defamation is an intentional tort, and as we all know, children as young as three have been held liable for intentional torts. Don't think that the "underagedness" of the defamer is an issue here, Master Seren. Perhaps you should edumacate yourself on the law before you open your furry little yap.

(Oh, wait, you think "education" is something you can get from Wikipoopia. Forget I said that.)

Children as young as three? Really? Who in their right mind would attempt to sue a three-year-old child through the civil courts?

This post has been edited by Malleus: Tue 31st May 2011, 12:53am
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NuclearWarfare
post Tue 31st May 2011, 2:04am
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QUOTE(Malleus @ Tue 31st May 2011, 12:52am) *

QUOTE(Kelly Martin @ Tue 31st May 2011, 12:14am) *

Seems to me that defamation is an intentional tort, and as we all know, children as young as three have been held liable for intentional torts. Don't think that the "underagedness" of the defamer is an issue here, Master Seren. Perhaps you should edumacate yourself on the law before you open your furry little yap.

(Oh, wait, you think "education" is something you can get from Wikipoopia. Forget I said that.)

Children as young as three? Really? Who in their right mind would attempt to sue a three-year-old child through the civil courts?


Some quick Googling got me this NYT article. That case is not about defamation but negligence. I don't really know/care about the difference between torts and civil suits, but I assume they are somewhat the same. However, what I found interesting was this statement in the article: "In legal papers, Mr. Tyrie added, “Courts have held that an infant under the age of 4 is conclusively presumed to be incapable of negligence.” (Rachel and Jacob Kohn did not seek to dismiss the case against them.)" That's in the United States only of course, but interesting nonetheless. Why is the minimum age requirement so low?
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carbuncle
post Tue 31st May 2011, 2:05am
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QUOTE(Malleus @ Tue 31st May 2011, 12:52am) *

QUOTE(Kelly Martin @ Tue 31st May 2011, 12:14am) *

Seems to me that defamation is an intentional tort, and as we all know, children as young as three have been held liable for intentional torts. Don't think that the "underagedness" of the defamer is an issue here, Master Seren. Perhaps you should edumacate yourself on the law before you open your furry little yap.

(Oh, wait, you think "education" is something you can get from Wikipoopia. Forget I said that.)

Children as young as three? Really? Who in their right mind would attempt to sue a three-year-old child through the civil courts?

WARNING: THIS VIDEO CONTAINS A TOPLESS CHILD AND MAY CAUSE EXTREME MENTAL DISTRESS AND/OR PHYSICAL DISCOMFORT IF YOU ARE NAMED OTTAVA.

WHo would sue a child as young as three? Someone who represents the family of this poor squirrel, cruelly cut down in the prime of life and at the peak of their nut-gathering potential.
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Newyorkbrad
post Tue 31st May 2011, 3:38am
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QUOTE(Malleus @ Mon 30th May 2011, 8:52pm) *

QUOTE(Kelly Martin @ Tue 31st May 2011, 12:14am) *

Seems to me that defamation is an intentional tort, and as we all know, children as young as three have been held liable for intentional torts. Don't think that the "underagedness" of the defamer is an issue here, Master Seren. Perhaps you should edumacate yourself on the law before you open your furry little yap.

(Oh, wait, you think "education" is something you can get from Wikipoopia. Forget I said that.)

Children as young as three? Really? Who in their right mind would attempt to sue a three-year-old child through the civil courts?

Usually, someone who's discovered that the three-year-old child is covered by his or her parents' insurance policy.
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Newyorkbrad
post Tue 31st May 2011, 3:44am
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QUOTE(NuclearWarfare @ Mon 30th May 2011, 10:04pm) *

However, what I found interesting was this statement in the article: "In legal papers, Mr. Tyrie added, “Courts have held that an infant under the age of 4 is conclusively presumed to be incapable of negligence.” (Rachel and Jacob Kohn did not seek to dismiss the case against them.)" That's in the United States only of course, but interesting nonetheless. Why is the minimum age requirement so low?

Because it's been set by judges and juries on a case-by-case basis, and cases with sympathetic facts for the plaintiff, such as the one referenced in the New York Times article you cite, can give rise to eccentric decisions. If the age were being set by statute, I'm sure it would be higher.

I believe the decision in that New York Times article is being appealed (unless the case has settled since then), so we may get a modern New York appellate decision on this issue in the next few months. The trial court judge is bound by the precedents, whatever they may happen to be; an appellate court has somewhat more discretion (although the next appeal would only be to the intermediate appellate court).
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Kelly Martin
post Tue 31st May 2011, 4:06am
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QUOTE(Newyorkbrad @ Mon 30th May 2011, 10:38pm) *
Usually, someone who's discovered that the three-year-old child is covered by his or her parents' insurance policy.
Tut, tut, Brad, you know as well as I that you can't write an insurance policy that pays out on intentional torts, at least not the traditional ones. The children who get sued in intentional tort are typically the ones with large inheritances, or at least anticipated inheritances, against which the judgment debt can be collected, in the future if not immediately.
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victim of censorship
post Tue 31st May 2011, 4:38am
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QUOTE(lilburne @ Sun 29th May 2011, 7:49am) *

Court orders hand over of identity of anonymous wikipedia editors.

http://lawkipedia.com/social-networking/id...-amendment.html

libel not covered by 1st - apparently.


So old wisdom from one our own at WR...

QUOTE
(Milton Roe @ Thu 22nd October 2009, 5:18pm) *
One day, some incident is going to rip through WP like an asteroid, and everybody that has anything to do with the project, is going to be completely and totally surprised at the depth of the anger unleashed.

Given that WP doesn't embrace the concept or practice of due process, the haphazard and frequent episodes of injustice (up to and including the hoary and recurring Scapegoat Drama) are a predictable source of the reactive anger that Milton anticipates.

Eventually that cumulative anger will boil over in a dramatic and cataclysmic paroxysm that will make the front pages of the mainstream press.

And Wikipedia will go up in smoke.
http://wikipediareview.com/index.php?s=&sh...ndpost&p=201201
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lilburne
post Tue 31st May 2011, 9:33am
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QUOTE(Somey @ Mon 30th May 2011, 9:27pm) *

QUOTE(Silver seren @ Sun 29th May 2011, 11:55pm) *
Yeah, internet anonymity seems to be heading toward an end. I used to make fun of Canada because of Stephen Harper trying to make internet anonymity illegal (and then not really doing anything about it), but we're not really that much better here.

It may be too early to say "I told you so," but this is very close to what I've been going on about for five years now. Politicians are stupid, and court judges aren't that much smarter, at least when it comes to "new media." They're not going to want to make the distinction between anonymous blog commenters and anonymous encyclopedia-article-editors, or even between anonymous participants (in interactive websites) and anonymous readers. They're just going to want to do what their corporate-lobby masters want them to do, and that means fewer rights and less privacy for you, more rights and more profits for them.

Meanwhile, website operators like the WMF will continue to abuse (or allow the abuse of) the advantages that user-anonymity gives them, until it's ultimately taken away almost completely. Sure, "hacktivists" and other anonymous subcultures will continue to exist, but Wikipedia isn't some underground organization - without its heavy traffic and (related) Google-dominance, it could fade into second-tier status very quickly.



Hmmm I'm not too sure. Justice Eady in the UK, who seems to be quite big on defamation and privacy, has dismissed libel in comments on discussion board posts as equivalent to chatter down the pub. The Judges are capable of determining the impact of the website in question, so those commenting in Joe's personal blog will have less to worry about than say a reputed and widely read blogger's postings, or an insertion into a WP article. As the site gains in perceived reputation and authoritativeness so the liability increases for anything that is added as main article there.
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lilburne
post Tue 31st May 2011, 9:50am
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QUOTE(victim of censorship @ Tue 31st May 2011, 5:38am) *

QUOTE(lilburne @ Sun 29th May 2011, 7:49am) *

Court orders hand over of identity of anonymous wikipedia editors.

http://lawkipedia.com/social-networking/id...-amendment.html

libel not covered by 1st - apparently.


So old wisdom from one our own at WR...




I suspect that in some circumstances, AFD debates, talk page discussions, and other venues will also be examined. Plaintiff: "When I complained and tried to remove the libel I was blocked, and banned. When I created a new account to complain I was again blocked and labelled a 'sockpuppet master' a term of opprobrium on the site. When it was proposed that the article be deleted 20 other members insisted that the libel be kept." etc, etc.
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Newyorkbrad
post Tue 31st May 2011, 11:33am
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QUOTE(Kelly Martin @ Tue 31st May 2011, 12:06am) *

QUOTE(Newyorkbrad @ Mon 30th May 2011, 10:38pm) *
Usually, someone who's discovered that the three-year-old child is covered by his or her parents' insurance policy.
Tut, tut, Brad, you know as well as I that you can't write an insurance policy that pays out on intentional torts, at least not the traditional ones. The children who get sued in intentional tort are typically the ones with large inheritances, or at least anticipated inheritances, against which the judgment debt can be collected, in the future if not immediately.

Read the context again, please, Kelly: I was answering Malleus's question, which was about suits against very young children (such as the one discussed in the New York Times article that NuclearWarfare linked, which involved a 4-year-old who knocked over an elderly person while riding her bicycle on the sidewalk). Those are negligence cases; there are obviously no cases where a toddler has been sued for defamation, and I don't know who the youngest person who has held amenable to a suit for that tort would be.

That being said, defamation is indeed covered under some insurance policies; many newspapers, for example, have such coverage (Googling "libel insurance" yields plenty of hits), although I don't know what qualifications and exceptions the coverage might have. And I believe there are cases holding that defamation is covered under some traditional homeowners' policies, depending on the wording of the policy. There are certain intentional torts that are uninsurable (fraud is the main example, and in some states breach of the fiduciary duty of loyalty, as opposed to the fiduciary duty of care), but for better or worse, defamation isn't always one of them.
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Newyorkbrad
post Tue 31st May 2011, 11:36am
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QUOTE(lilburne @ Tue 31st May 2011, 5:33am) *

QUOTE(Somey @ Mon 30th May 2011, 9:27pm) *

QUOTE(Silver seren @ Sun 29th May 2011, 11:55pm) *
Yeah, internet anonymity seems to be heading toward an end. I used to make fun of Canada because of Stephen Harper trying to make internet anonymity illegal (and then not really doing anything about it), but we're not really that much better here.

It may be too early to say "I told you so," but this is very close to what I've been going on about for five years now. Politicians are stupid, and court judges aren't that much smarter, at least when it comes to "new media." They're not going to want to make the distinction between anonymous blog commenters and anonymous encyclopedia-article-editors, or even between anonymous participants (in interactive websites) and anonymous readers. They're just going to want to do what their corporate-lobby masters want them to do, and that means fewer rights and less privacy for you, more rights and more profits for them.

Meanwhile, website operators like the WMF will continue to abuse (or allow the abuse of) the advantages that user-anonymity gives them, until it's ultimately taken away almost completely. Sure, "hacktivists" and other anonymous subcultures will continue to exist, but Wikipedia isn't some underground organization - without its heavy traffic and (related) Google-dominance, it could fade into second-tier status very quickly.



Hmmm I'm not too sure. Justice Eady in the UK, who seems to be quite big on defamation and privacy, has dismissed libel in comments on discussion board posts as equivalent to chatter down the pub. The Judges are capable of determining the impact of the website in question, so those commenting in Joe's personal blog will have less to worry about than say a reputed and widely read blogger's postings, or an insertion into a WP article. As the site gains in perceived reputation and authoritativeness so the liability increases for anything that is added as main article there.

Interesting. I haven't read the British cases on this issue, but the cases in New York on "John Doe" discovery so far seem to focus most heavily on the fact/opinion distinction.
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Kelly Martin
post Tue 31st May 2011, 11:58am
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I think it's a matter of time before someone in the UK gets their ass sued into oblivion for editing Wikipedia, and shortly after that there will be no UK editors of Wikipedia left, once all of them realize that they're totally vulnerable there to defamation claims.

It'll take longer to break the shield in the US, but eventually that'll happen to. The difference between Wikipedia, IMO, and random blogs, forums, and Twitter is that the latter are all "take it as you find it" random junk with no inherent credibility, while the former holds itself forth as a trusted authority by claiming to be an encyclopedia, and eventually that distinction is going to make a difference somewhere. If you want to wear the uniform, you have to walk the beat, as it were.
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lilburne
post Tue 31st May 2011, 12:16pm
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QUOTE(Newyorkbrad @ Tue 31st May 2011, 12:36pm) *

QUOTE(lilburne @ Tue 31st May 2011, 5:33am) *

[Hmmm I'm not too sure. Justice Eady in the UK, who seems to be quite big on defamation and privacy, has dismissed libel in comments on discussion board posts as equivalent to chatter down the pub. The Judges are capable of determining the impact of the website in question, so those commenting in Joe's personal blog will have less to worry about than say a reputed and widely read blogger's postings, or an insertion into a WP article. As the site gains in perceived reputation and authoritativeness so the liability increases for anything that is added as main article there.

Interesting. I haven't read the British cases on this issue, but the cases in New York on "John Doe" discovery so far seem to focus most heavily on the fact/opinion distinction.


Comments are more like slander
http://www.out-law.com/page-9330

and much of it is mere vulgar abuse.
QUOTE

It is this analogy with slander which led me in my ruling of 12 May to refer to "mere vulgar abuse", which used to be discussed quite often in the heyday of slander actions. It is not so much a defence that is unique to slander as an aspect of interpreting the meaning of words. From the context of casual conversations, one can often tell that a remark is not to be taken literally or seriously and is rather to be construed merely as abuse. That is less common in the case of more permanent written communication, although it is by no means unknown. But in the case of a bulletin board thread it is often obvious to casual observers that people are just saying the first thing that comes into their heads and reacting in the heat of the moment. The remarks are often not intended, or to be taken, as serious. A number of examples will emerge in the course of my judgment.

http://www.bailii.org/ew/cases/EWHC/QB/2008/1797.html


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Somey
post Tue 31st May 2011, 5:11pm
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QUOTE(Kelly Martin @ Tue 31st May 2011, 6:58am) *
The difference between Wikipedia, IMO, and random blogs, forums, and Twitter is that the latter are all "take it as you find it" random junk with no inherent credibility, while the former holds itself forth as a trusted authority by claiming to be an encyclopedia, and eventually that distinction is going to make a difference somewhere.

Exactly what I've been thinking - and what's more, it's actually very difficult for someone with little or no knowledge of the software to figure out precisely who put what into an article, and when (much less why). Whereas, if a falsehood is clearly presented as the opinions/claims of a single individual, right there on the page (as it would be in a forum like this one), then even if that individual is posting under a silly-sounding screen name (like "Somey," for example), the claim is much less likely to be believed by the credulous and the effect is much less damaging.

The fear, then, is that politicians aren't going to make that distinction, or anything even close. We can talk about case law and precedent all we want, but at least in the United States, if the politicians pass something and the President signs it and it then makes it past constitutional review, it's the law - and the judges simply have to follow it, no matter how liberal-minded they might be personally about online anonymity.

The main reason things are the way they are now is because the law is vague, easily (mis)interpreted, and waaay behind the current state of technology - and perhaps more importantly, judges are (generally speaking) a little harder to buy off.
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Sololol
post Tue 31st May 2011, 6:07pm
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Didn't see this posted yet. Here's the order denying Skybeam's motion.

The edits in question not only linked Facconable to Hezbollah but warned customers that their purchases would "provide support for an organization identified by the U.S. government as a supporter of terrorism." I can see why they aren't exactly pleased by this.

This post has been edited by Sololol: Tue 31st May 2011, 6:42pm
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Silver seren
post Tue 31st May 2011, 7:58pm
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So, I guess we'd better gear up for another American Revolution then. For the internet!
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thekohser
post Tue 31st May 2011, 8:15pm
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QUOTE(Sololol @ Tue 31st May 2011, 2:07pm) *

The edits in question not only linked Facconable to Hezbollah but warned customers that their purchases would "provide support for an organization identified by the U.S. government as a supporter of terrorism." I can see why they aren't exactly pleased by this.


This is a great find, Sololol.

However, the edits warned "customer's". wacko.gif
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lilburne
post Tue 31st May 2011, 8:53pm
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QUOTE(Silver seren @ Tue 31st May 2011, 8:58pm) *

So, I guess we'd better gear up for another American Revolution then. For the internet!


Or don't add lies about people onto the interwebby, no matter how it is sourced. Note that a whole load of stuff that gets printed by newspapers is downright lies, particularly when it involves a current event, some months later they get sued for it. The wikipedia editors that have regurgitated the lies are probably just as liable. I don't think there is much of a defence in "well he said so first!"
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