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User Name Thread Name Subject Posted
GUEST,Fed up Posting anonymously (184* d) RE: Posting anonymously 12 Jul 01


I came into this thread because I had followed the debate in teh CM/DB thread.

I mentioned previously that I felt there was a *potential* for that type of posting circumstance to end up in court as libel and defamation. It is similar to the circumstances of teh Yahoo/The1Quiz case, in that it was a CEO who claimed a poster had libeled him in a newsgroup related to his business.

Theoretically, an argument could be made by CM/DB that because these charges against were being done in folk forums, his reputation was damaged and his business suffered. People were suggesting CM be boycotted, there seems to be a possibility that at least some of the charges being levelled against him contain could be considered spurious, hearsay, whatever.

And also, I should mention, that defending against such charges0 might easily be done by parties posting about CM/DB. The point is, we don't control who decides to take up a lawsuit against us. Once one is filed, one must defend against it. In today's litigous world (and I trust that isn't much different in the UK than the US), I believe it is a real risk. Others mileage may vary.

I'm not saying this could, should, would happen. I'm saying there is always a possibility of such occurring. And that anonymous posting does protect against it to a certain extent, as the prosecuting parties have a burden to prove they need the identity of the poster revealed, which will slow many down.

As to Jon and others in UK--I recognize the laws are different there, and I'm not at all familiar enough with laws there.

Regarding the laws here, I'm referring to criminal law, the most likely use of the law against political dissidents. Government long arms (in the past in the US such as HUAC) don't have to comply with "regular" statutes either, as they (government bodies) appoint themselves special powers of prosecution--ie the Watergate, etc era of special prosecutors, who essentially replace the HUAC committees.

A lot of people here also seem to share a lot of personal information about personal problems. That too is an area ripe with problems. Again--connecting physical and mental health issues is one way people's reputations are often routinely destroyed on the basis of undermining public perceptions.

People can say "it can't happen here" of course, if that is what they want to believe. I just don't think they have the right to force their beliefs on others, and make them comply.

As I said, if anonymous posting is allowed here, the right to do it without harrassment (which, in my mind, definitely includes the right to decline giving personal information to the forum just because people want to know it to converse with you) needs to be safeguarded.


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