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Hundreds who posted views on sex assault trial targeted in Tarrant suit

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posted on Feb, 8 2009 @ 11:28 AM
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Hundreds who posted views on sex assault trial targeted in Tarrant suit


www.dallasnews.com

04:39 PM CST on Saturday, February 7, 2009
By CHRIS HAWES / WFAA--TV

FORT WORTH — Hundreds of people who posted their opinions of a sexual assault trial in an online forum are now the targets of a lawsuit.

The authors of those comments on a Web site thought they were anonymous, but this week, a judge ruled their names should be revealed.

(visit the link for the full news article)


Related News Links:
www.dallasnews.com
www.freerepublic.com
www.topix.com




posted on Feb, 8 2009 @ 11:28 AM
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I find this alarming that us posting online voicing our opinion of a news story could be forced to have our identities revealed AND sued!!!



And so this month, the Leshers sued 178 anonymous posters on the Web site. A Tarrant County judge ordered Topix to turn over potentially identifying information about the users listed in the lawsuit.. The site has until March 6 to comply with the ruling.

"We do not just give up people's privacy," said the Web site's CEO Chris Tolles. "We're very, very careful about that."



So, if we are to post our opinions of these people HERE, can a judge force our identities to be made public so they can sue us?

I honestly don't fear the government seeing what I read, but now i think I have to fear regular John and Jane citizen coming after me!

www.dallasnews.com
(visit the link for the full news article)

[edit on 2/8/2009 by greeneyedleo]



posted on Feb, 8 2009 @ 11:36 AM
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woa , more moolah for the Leshers coming in , The lawayers will have a field day over this



posted on Feb, 8 2009 @ 11:40 AM
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Ugh! Can we speed up the bankruptcy of America, please?



posted on Feb, 8 2009 @ 11:44 AM
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reply to post by greeneyedleo
 


Voicing an opinion is not the same a perpetrating libel.

People on this site should think carefully about that... Some posts obviously may bring unpleasant consequences.

[edit on 8-2-2009 by loam]



posted on Feb, 8 2009 @ 11:47 AM
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Originally posted by loam
reply to post by greeneyedleo
 


Voicing an opinion is not the same a perpetuating libel.

People on this site should think carefully about that.


Well that is true. But I have seem some slanderous things said about celebrities that im sure they could claim as libel. So is there now a chance this could happen to us all?

Like I said, im more afraid of regular citizens coming after me then the government.

Guess I will just have to keep my thoughts to myself on many issues. LOL



posted on Feb, 8 2009 @ 11:58 AM
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Hah this case is ridiculous. Getting sued for writing stuff on the internet... Gimme a break.

ISP's are going to protect thier customers, Web site owners are going to protect thier customers, G W Bush is going to protect his cronies. To say something online about someone is damn right freedom of speech and could be jsut as well said outloud and in public.

Are they going to get these people all around the world? What if there were 1000 posts by 1000 different people? How about 10000 posts? This is ridiculous.



posted on Feb, 8 2009 @ 12:01 PM
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Originally posted by eldard
Ugh! Can we speed up the bankruptcy of America, please?


With all due resect, if you are unhappy, and want to see the end of the world, perhaps you should try to see that tyranny is not fun, and the way things should be is JUSTICE! - Fight AGAINST the new world order, and then perhaps you'd be happy.

I mean, really... What the hell is up with that post of yours? ... And they call US conspiracy nuts? It's pretty crazy to actually DESIRE the destruction of anything, unless it's evil.



posted on Feb, 8 2009 @ 12:03 PM
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Originally posted by DaRAGE


Are they going to get these people all around the world? What if there were 1000 posts by 1000 different people? How about 10000 posts? This is ridiculous.


That's why World-wide internet censorship is starting now!



posted on Feb, 8 2009 @ 12:03 PM
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How long before this happens here at ATS? I know I'm not anonymous. My name is all over the internet(I prefer it that way), and I have some strong opinions on things, strong feelings. How long before I'm dragged to court or dragged from my home by "Law enforcement" over comments made here on ATS?

Would ATS come to the aid of its' users should something like this occur? I doubt it. This sets a very dangerous precedence. It would be unfortunate if we all got a subpoena for not warning the world of the financial crisis(Nevermind we STILL get laughed at when we do), or our opinions on an issue involving government, or another court case. This is scary, I don't know that places like ATS that once felt safe(within reason) to express ourselves, are safe anymore should this lawsuit be deemed legitimate enough to carry forward.

This should be bothering the Mods and Site Owners as much as the users. This could be a blow to the User Generated Content format that has given rise to unprecedented exposure of alternative topics and informed discussion. ATS' theme being Conspiracy, how long before our debates turn into court testimony, or if members of ATS are charged WITH conspiracy due to the sensitive nature of our topics(Military, intelligence, government functions, economic issues, and so forth).

I don't like this. I don't like this at all.



posted on Feb, 8 2009 @ 12:09 PM
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Originally posted by projectvxn
It would be unfortunate if we all got a subpoena for not warning the world of the financial crisis(Nevermind we STILL get laughed at when we do), or our opinions on an issue involving government, or another court case. ...
I don't like this. I don't like this at all.


Hmmm. So if they cannot completely censor the net NOW, they will come up with a tyranical law... I see...

However; NOBODY IS GOING TO LAUGH AT YOU IF YOU PRESENT THE TRUTH CORRECTLY; State the facts, and start from the bottom; Say; Did you know that the Federal Reserve is not really federal at all? ... etc... For example; What if I printed money myself... It would bring down the value of the dollar. - You know, things like that... Make it sound interesting... This goes for every subject. Another example; 'Hey mate, did you know that we shouldn't really have to be paying for gas & electricity, and if new clean technology was not suppressed, it would actually CREATE jobs, and getting rid of oil for energy use would actually be good for the economy, not to mention, put thousands of dollars a year BACK in YOUR pocket?

[edit on 8-2-2009 by Time=Now]

[edit on 8-2-2009 by Time=Now]

[edit on 8-2-2009 by Time=Now]



posted on Feb, 8 2009 @ 12:20 PM
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Yes, but how we bring these things up in forums like these are now suspect and could very well be up for some sort of judicial review in the near future. This is scary as it won't matter how you present the facts, or even how you express your opinion, just doing so could have you dragged into court. That is very worrysome, and totally forestalls the gains made by those of us who not only support free speech, but internet neutrality as well.



posted on Feb, 8 2009 @ 12:52 PM
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reply to post by greeneyedleo
 



You're pretty safe slamming celebrities, politicians and anyone else who comes under the definition of "public figures," at least in America. The standard of defamation has been set so high for public figures that it is difficult (but not impossible) for them to win libel suits. They have to prove actual malice, that is, that individuals knowingly made false and defamatory statements against them, in order to have a shot at winning.


It's attacks on ordinary citizens that might get you into trouble, if you make false defamatory statements about them. The key word here is false, because truth is the ultimate defense in a libel/defamation case. If someone wrote, "Joe Blow is a perverted rapist," and Mr. Blow had actually been convicted of rape, he would have no case. However, if Mr. Blow was not a rapist, or had been acquitted, the person who made the statement might be open to a libel suit. That is, if Mr. Blow has the resources to hire an attorney and pay for an expensive and possibly fruitless attempt to locate and sue his online defamers.



posted on Feb, 8 2009 @ 12:54 PM
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Well, when people want to attack the messenger instead of the message, libel can result. And there is so much of that going on here at ATS, I really do have to wonder what would happen if a suit came down for that.

I mean jeez, look at how we talk about Faal. Could that person sue us for libel?

Or what about this post, from a recent thread here:

www.abovetopsecret.com...

Could Alex sue that person for libel for what he said?


As to Jones. I don't think any adult who behaves as he does in his work will ever influence anyone but adolescents. Unfortunately some of us never recover from puberty and think his behavior is indicative of something other than his immaturity. How sad.


Clearly the poster is incorrect about Alex Jones in that sentiment, because Alex no doubt has influenced more than adolescents. Unless you consider the likes of Ron Paul, Willie Nelson, the Austin City Chief of Police, Charlie Sheen, Jordan Maxwell, and so many other prominent people adolescents. They have all been on his radio show, and are clearly affected by what he says.

So where does this start, and where does this end? Do we really need to be more careful about what is said personally about others?

And what about websites like World Net Daily. If I type World Nut Daily, can they sue me for libel for degrading their name intentionally without any other given reason? And even if I have a reason, can I still call them that?

I dunno man, this does set a dangerous precedent. And maybe an ATS site admin should weigh in on this with their feelings on the matter. It could affect posting tremendously, not necessarily so much in quantity, but in content. Maybe that's one reason for the The Issue of "Hate Speech" On AboveTopSecret.com thread?



posted on Feb, 8 2009 @ 12:59 PM
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I believe the issue of "Hate speech" is pointing at the closet bigots on this site who hide behind false disagreements(expertly crafted) to suit their narrow world views. This does nothing but hinder conversation. But such rules could possibly be keeping us out of the fire. At least for now. Remember that these people are being sued for their opinions, and it is of little significance what kind of speech someone uses when they weigh in on a subject, hateful or not, such a lawsuit could threaten our ability to opine on anything let alone promote and use "Hate Speech"



posted on Feb, 8 2009 @ 02:01 PM
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reply to post by Xenophiles
 


What about "I believe that Joe Blow is a perverted rapist"...?

Would there be a difference?

Shouldn't it be taken as a given that posts on the Internet by anything other than a mainstream news website is pretty much just an opinion?



posted on Feb, 8 2009 @ 02:03 PM
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simple rule - do not say anything onthe ` internet ` which you would not say to thier face



posted on Feb, 8 2009 @ 02:07 PM
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Symbiote

You are correct. It is nothing more than an opinion and said anonymously to boot. The problem with cases like these is that you have to prove that the comments caused enough DAMAGE to you in order for a verdict to be rendered. Meaning, that the person who feels victimized by such internet banter has to prove that such speech did damage to him/her that MSM coverage or Local coverage didn't do. Then that damage has to be specified, quantified, and verified to be directly linked to the libel issue. Otherwise none of this flies. Which makes me wonder if this case is going to be thrown out. Or if they actually can twist the law to make a "legitimate" complaint.

If I had a nickle for every person who insulted me on the internet the amount of money I would have would be enough to bail-out Wall Street and Main Street a million times over.

[edit on 8-2-2009 by projectvxn]



posted on Feb, 8 2009 @ 02:27 PM
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I thought you had freedom of speach in America? Some Lawyers are out of control, they dont seek to protect justice anymore, they think in terms of revenue. What is justice when an innocent person can be effectively 'sold' to the public as commiting a crime?



[edit on 8-2-2009 by freeradical]



posted on Feb, 8 2009 @ 03:13 PM
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Originally posted by TrueAmerican


As to Jones. I don't think any adult who behaves as he does in his work will ever influence anyone but adolescents. Unfortunately some of us never recover from puberty and think his behavior is indicative of something other than his immaturity. How sad.


Clearly the poster is incorrect about Alex Jones in that sentiment, because Alex no doubt has influenced more than adolescents. Unless you consider the likes of Ron Paul, Willie Nelson, the Austin City Chief of Police, Charlie Sheen, Jordan Maxwell, and so many other prominent people adolescents. They have all been on his radio show, and are clearly affected by what he says.


True American,

That was my opinion which has nothing to do with Libel. Opinion is protected and the Supreme Court has ruled on that. You are misunderstanding the definition of Libel.


This is being misunderstood. We do not have the right to fabricate facts about someone in a way that causes them emotional or financial harm. There is a fine line. If I express my opinion it is protected. If I fabricate a fact about someone to cause them harm, I am committing an act of Libel.

If for instance a person were to say they personally saw Alex do something that would destroy his career; that would be Libel.

Under your definition, every Commentator in the News Industry would be in court for Libel, just for reporting on the recent elections. Not the same thing at all.

These comments the article is about must contain some factual claims that are untrue or the Judge would not have ruled that way.

I would think this one will see the Supreme Court before it is over, as it should.

On a side note to you TA, I don't disagree with a lot of things Jones has to say, I just believe his methods are childish and immature.

[edit on 2/8/2009 by Blaine91555]




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