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White Prism
(cracked actor)
10/25/06 02:19 PM
Measures to protect TW from legal action  

Good evening.

K raises a very interesting point in this post where he mentions that there have been two attempts in the previous year alone to sue Teenage Wildlife. Later in the same thread he describes how both attempts were related to accusations of paedophilia. Regular readers will know that I, Auntie Prism, have bandied that term around freely in cases where there has been no evidence (as such) to support its use, deploying it variously as a term of mockery, jocularity and . . . er . . . affection? I have not, however, been notified by the moderators of potential legal action resulting from my use of the term, although I have read, briefly, about one or two cases where harmful remarks posted on websites have resulted in successful convictions, the exact nature of which I have not pursued. When the accusations of paedophilia at TW have taken on a more serious tone (e.g. the insinuations made against ArdentDesir) I have actively fought against its use.

K raises the point to justify the need to occasionally edit or delete certain posts on the board. As posters, I believe it is our duty to protect the site we so dearly cherish and keep the moderators' work to a minimum, so I am asking the moderators of the kinds of material and discourse that may have potential legal implications. If we have a list of fairly obvious DO NOTS, posters would not become as upset to see that their posts have been edited. We know already, for example, not to share copyrighted songs/MP3s (one that DukeWhite never paid much attention to), and that copied text and pictures should be provided with a source wherever possible (as is standard in the Quotes Database) . . .

So, then, name-calling? Do the moderators suggest we should continue as normal, accusing other posters of paedophilia as we see fit, even if the accusation is clearly groundless? Can we expect our posts to be edited to avoid the confrontations that K so despises if a poster raises an objection?

What if the name-calling is grounded in fact, or what I assume to be fact? For example, am I safer, legally, to say, 'Alan Hawker is a heterosexual!' as opposed to the 'P' word*, even if the insinuations of 'heterosexual' aren't particularly nice in this context? Sure, calling Pablo a hetero seems fairly innocuous on surface level, but I think it would acquire a certain fakeness and humorousness through repetition.

And I'm using Pablo purely as an example; I'm not suggesting that Pablo was involved in the initial spate of legal activity, at least not until I've heard from my lawyer.


*prude

Sweetness, sweetness, I was only joking when I said I'd like to smash every tooth in your head . . .

AdamAdministrator
(cricket menace)
10/26/06 03:12 AM
Re: Measures to protect TW from legal action new [re: White Prism]  

One problem is that we do not know what clearly constitutes as libel until it comes about. The threat to sue has actually been 3 times in the last year - each one involving different sets of individuals.

My suggestion - if nothing is done to fix the inherit problems of the site (primarily the acceptance of new registrations), then continuing the boards in the modern state with so few posters and increased legal threat is not a benefit to the site owner. In that case, I say close the place down.



Monkeyboy
(band intro)
10/26/06 03:47 AM
Like finding out Santa is a lie new [re: Adam]  

In reply to:

In that case, I say close the place down.


I agree, though I don't think anyone wants it to come to that.

But assuming that it might, can I ask for a promise that you'll let us know it's happening at least a month before the fact (or whatever length of time you want to commit to)? I'm sure you would anyways but it's good to have some sort of promise.

"i like nice people and nice things." - Dogz

AdamAdministrator
(cricket menace)
10/26/06 04:22 AM
Santa is dead new [re: Monkeyboy]  

Certainly some kind of system that provides due time and ability for people to establish alternative posting site(s) and to consolidate ongoing internet friendships would be important.



White Prism
(cracked actor)
10/26/06 04:53 AM
Time to join the CloneZone? new [re: Adam]  

In reply to:

One problem is that we do not know what clearly constitutes as libel until it comes about.


Indeed; so not just accusations of paedophilia (which nonetheless seem to work best for goading people) but libel can be potentially any accusation, either true or false, that can be contested? I've read a few different summations of libel and the following seems to encapsulate its main points:

In reply to:

(Barron's) [libel is a] defamatory statement about a person that is published and thereby exposes that person to public ridicule. Libellous statements are not the same as slanderous statements. Libellous statements are printed, malicious (i.e., printed without just cause), and may be true; however, slanderous statements are spoken, not printed, and are not true. A lawsuit charging a publisher or advertiser with libel may be lost if it can be proven that the allegedly libelled individual is a celebrity (in the public eye) and that the statement in question was published because of its newsworthiness, not because of malicious intent on the part of the publisher or advertiser.


The distinction between celebrity and non-celebrity is an interesting one. Does that mean I can exploit Monkeyboy's position as a self-confessed Z-list internet celebrity to publish defamatory remarks 'in the public's interest'?

The law doesn't seem to treat 'jokes' or non-serious accusations any differently (see the Jimmy Hill case here). Unfortunately the article is old and only mentions that legal action arose out of 'jokey' comments, not the end result.

So, essentially, any statement that one writes and publishes on the internet about another person could potentially result in a suit? And that certain accusations (such as paedophilia) are more likely to result in action, and that we ought to pay some mind to this, as you mentioned in your post on the other thread?

Final question:

In reply to:

(from the other thread) It sounds like EJ had a problem with the thread title and what could have become of the thread or interpreted of the thread given that.


So was the thread deleted because 1) it would have (likely) resulted in rampant accusations of paedophilia among various posters 2) one of the posters who has threatened legal action previously could exploit the thread as evidence that TW is a kiddy porn goldmine 3) both of the above?

Sweetness, sweetness, I was only joking when I said I'd like to smash every tooth in your head . . .

KModerator
(thunder ocean)
10/26/06 07:23 AM
Re: Measures to protect TW from legal action new [re: Adam]  

In reply to:

The threat to sue has actually been 3 times in the last year - each one involving different sets of individuals.


Did I just forget one occasion or is there one time you haven't told us* about?

* = As in the mods. Normal posters are to be kept in the dark as they are.

"The meeting was for fund raising, surely this is a good thing."
- Dogz on charity

Strawman
(chameleon, comedian, corinthian and caricature)
10/26/06 08:19 AM
Has it really come to this? new [re: White Prism]  

Fucking hell!

All this because a depressed little welshman has no backbone.

I hope he's proud of himself, you know, like he's finally achieved something in his life?



ziggfried
(acolyte)
10/26/06 08:52 AM
Tears of a Smurf new [re: Strawman]  

In reply to:

...a depressed little welshman...




James Dean Bradfield?



Marquis
(wise like orangutan)
10/26/06 10:29 AM
Death to the Plaintiff new [re: Adam]  

I think the simpler, better solution for all involved is to attack the legal problems at their root. If someone threatens to bring a ridiculous lawsuit against TW over some stupid joke or other, ban them. Immediately and unequivocally. These litigious cocksuckers are a threat to the continued existence of the TW we all love so dearly, and having proven themselves unable to take the heat, they should be summarily exiled from the kitchen.

Put it to his head and said, "Ya scared ain't ya?"
He said, "Hustler for death, no Heaven for a gangsta."


diamondogz74
(freecloud)
10/26/06 10:33 AM
Death to bad ideas new [re: Marquis]  

In reply to:

I think the simpler, better solution for all involved is to attack the legal problems at their root. If someone threatens to bring a ridiculous lawsuit against TW over some stupid joke or other, ban them. Immediately and unequivocally


Leaving just a bunch of members continually insulting one another, yeah, sounds just like a New York city attention span idea.

Got any more good ones?


London Bye Ta-Ta...


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