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Court Weighs Online Commenters' Rights

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posted on Dec, 12 2011 @ 08:19 PM
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Well, here in my home state of Indiana a judge has ordered two local news services to reveal the identities of an anonymous poster who is accused in a defamation suit. Instead, the IndyStar (Gannett Co., Inc.) has decided to take it to the Indiana Court of appeals.

I wonder if this case, as little as it is, will set any precedence for future cases. There is a video in the source link that I cannot embed, but I believe the judge's attitude says alot. Worth the couple minutes to watch...



INDIANAPOLIS -- The Indianapolis Star went to court Monday to protect the identity of an online commenter named in a defamation suit.

The commenter, who goes by the name of DownwiththeColts, attacked former Junior Achievement CEO Jeffrey Miller on IndyStar.com, alleging that mismanaged funds could be found in Miller's bank account.

A Marion County judge ordered The Star to reveal the name of the commenter, but the newspaper elected to take the case to the Indiana Court of Appeals instead.

Attorneys for The Star said giving up the name of an online commenter is a slippery slope.


Indeed it's a slippery slope. I happen to finally agree with something Gannett is saying.

Source


edit on 12/12/2011 by freakjive because: (no reason given)




posted on Dec, 12 2011 @ 08:30 PM
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Indeed it's a slippery slope.


Very much agree with that. Certainly if someone is threatening someone's life or saying that Coke is antifreeze they should be looked into (leave the Coke thing alone health nuts) but tongue in cheek comments like that need to be left alone. Look how bad The Daily Show or Colbert bash people.



posted on Dec, 12 2011 @ 08:51 PM
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Originally posted by Domo1



Indeed it's a slippery slope.


Look how bad The Daily Show or Colbert bash people.


Better be careful, you might get taken to court!

We all know how litigious society is these days.



posted on Dec, 12 2011 @ 08:56 PM
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reply to post by Mapkar
 


Ugh I know it. It's frightening to think how much trouble the average ATSer would get in. I think EVERYONE here has at some point bashed politicians (many quite gleefully).



posted on Dec, 12 2011 @ 09:05 PM
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reply to post by Domo1
 


I agree, and what makes it worse is that "defamation" really seems to me to be very open to interpretation. Seems like these terms really only apply when it's convenient. At what point does your comment about me turn into defamation? When it's a matter of convenient leverage!



posted on Dec, 12 2011 @ 09:06 PM
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I do not see how one person's comment at the bottom of a news article damaged this guys reputation beyond repair. They say "campaign of smear" - not 'smears', they are talking about one comment.
It really does not make sense to me.
This is troubling.



posted on Dec, 12 2011 @ 09:27 PM
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reply to post by BlueBanshee
 


It's troubling for a few reasons. At what point do they stop? Do we have to see where you've said something? Do we have to hear you say it? Or can we hear someone say they heard you say it? What if it gets to the point where all we have to do is think the wrong thing?

Realistically it'll be a LONG time before you can actually get in trouble for simply thinking something... But, what happens when having an ideology different than the status quo becomes a problem? If it gets to that point I'd be willing to say that our ideas may become a problem and anyone caught with one of these ungood ideas could be charged with thoughtcrime. And we all know there's a room 101 for us all somewhere.



posted on Dec, 12 2011 @ 11:02 PM
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reply to post by Mapkar
 


It will be really interesting to see what the appeals court has to say. I really hope they can it.



posted on Dec, 12 2011 @ 11:12 PM
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reply to post by Mapkar
 





I agree, and what makes it worse is that "defamation" really seems to me to be very open to interpretation. Seems like these terms really only apply when it's convenient. At what point does your comment about me turn into defamation? When it's a matter of convenient leverage!


I've been defamed a number of times here. I am NOT a troll! I believe it becomes defamation when someone lies and that lie begins to actually effect your life negatively. So if you said Domo1 is stealing money from the govt. that's fine. If you said (Insert my real name here) is stealing from the govt. and lost a job/was investigated that's defamation. I may be a bit off and concede I'm not sure about the term. I am also too lazy to Google it.



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