Results 1 to 32 of 32

Thread: Posting defamatory and slanderous accusations on C2E

  1. #1
    Forum Administrator *
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Location
    Edmonton
    Posts
    2,494
    Blog Entries
    2

    Default Posting defamatory and slanderous accusations on C2E

    All,

    I am taking this opportunity to remind you to exercise discretion in posting any accusation against anyone, named or otherwise, that you are not fully prepared to defend in court.

    By you, I mean your actual given legal name, your public reputation, and potentially your asset base.

    While you may feel it is your "opinion" on a matter, claiming outright malfeasance, making claims of incarceration for activities related to your accusation, or by making suggestions of activity that could harm or end the lives of people (amongst other potential issues) - and doing so without providing documented evidence and proof to substantiate your allegation, thereby exposes C2E to litigation.

    This notwithstanding, you also harm the reputation of this forum as a place to discuss issues.

    C2E allows pseudonyms for many reasons. One major one is to allow people to express their opinions in a manner that hopefully forces the reader to address the opinion rather than the poster him or herself. It also allows for people who may feel threatened by their workplace or other area from actually coming forth and expressing an opinion on an issue. This allowance does not excuse outright accusations against public figures that are not either proven, or before the courts.

    Posts that are considered potentially defamatory or slanderous will be archived at the sole discretion of the moderation and administration of Connect2Edmonton. This is the rule, and was the rule from Day 1.

    This is not up for debate.

    We will exercise our judgment, and considering how many times I get threatened with lawsuits, and every time to date when I ask for proof the poster refuses to substantiate his or her claim publicly, or will not provide evidence to back the claim, I feel no remorse in archiving the post or thread. In fact, I feel rather infuriated that you would put my name, my reputation, and my asset base up for annihilation, not defend your accusations, and then argue with me about your "freedom of speech and right to an opinion."


    If you feel that you post was removed unfairly, this will only be discussed via private message.

    Thank you.

    PS - a reminder:

    We do not delete posts for the very reason of potential litigation. Instead of deleting, we archive and hide them from view.
    Ow

  2. #2

  3. #3
    C2E Long Term Contributor
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Downtown Edmonton
    Posts
    44,709

    Default

    ^haha nicely done.

    Thanks Rich
    www.decl.org

    Ottawa-Edmonton-Vancouver-Edmonton

  4. #4
    Partially Addicted to C2E
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Location
    Edmonton
    Posts
    199

    Thumbs up

    Reading that post was very astonishing.

  5. #5

    Default

    Is this the time when I now have to apologize to people?.
    "The man who does not read has no advantage over the man who cannot read." –Mark Twain

  6. #6
    I'd rather C2E than work!
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Location
    Edmonton (belevedre)
    Posts
    6,467

    Default

    I'm sure there is a wake up call for all members here !!
    Edmonton Rocks Rocks Rocks

  7. #7
    C2E Hard Core Contributor
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    Netherlands
    Posts
    3,713

    Default

    can we get an example of one of these posts that you get threatened with litigation over?

    mods must be doing a pretty good job cause sadly i always seem to miss the posts and threads that cause all the commotion on this board. stuff must get deleted(archived) before i get home from work
    be offended! figure out why later...

  8. #8

    Default

    i've seen it many times. It's pretty basic.

    "Company X is crooks, or Person B is liar and a fraud. "

    The thread that likely raised this warning from Admin came sometime in the overnight hours as I saw it first thing this morning (and its now gone).

  9. #9

    Default

    I know someone who got a real flogging in my mind for that fracas.
    "The man who does not read has no advantage over the man who cannot read." –Mark Twain

  10. #10
    Forum Administrator *
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Location
    Edmonton
    Posts
    2,494
    Blog Entries
    2

    Default

    Yes. We try to remove these asap. We've had a few when it comes to management companies and developers mainly. The audience as a whole rather quickly points these out, but some slip and I get to hear about it when I get the lovely process server.

    It is all in the wording, and in the fact that you are making these accusations anonymously. If Joe Schmuckatoli made these, and it was Joe, then the company could address the issue with Joe. Since they cannot find Joe, they sue C2E.

    The last time I asked for proof and help in one of these (and this one was not slanderous, more of a customer service issue gone haywire), I was actually told to **** off by the OP, that it was my problem. Well, thanks.
    Ow

  11. #11
    I'd rather C2E than work!
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Location
    Bonnie Doon
    Posts
    5,184

    Default

    However somehow Brian Burke was able to file a defamation lawsuit against anonymous online posters but did not target the website host.

    The hunt for CamBarkerfan begins: Brian Burke wins judgment against anonymous online commenters

    Former Vancouver Canucks general manager Brian Burke has quietly won a default judgment in B.C. Supreme Court against five online posters who allegedly defamed him.

    The five defendants -- who are only identified by their online surnames NoFixed Address, CamBarkerfan, Lavy 16, Tulowd and Naggah -- had failed to file and serve a notice of response to Burke’s lawsuit within the time allowed.

    Burke, who is now president of hockey operations for the Calgary Flames, had earlier won the right to serve his legal papers against the online commenters via the message boards they used to spread the allegedly defamatory material.

    The commenters were given 33 days to respond to the civil claim for damages but none have done so.

    The court also ordered that the defendants pay Burke damages that are to be assessed and to pay the plaintiff legal costs to be assessed.

    http://www.theprovince.com/sports/hu...998/story.html
    Notice of Civil Claim document filed in B.C. court:
    http://www.cbc.ca/sports/hockey/nhl/...tion-1.1400105
    So is this a precedent that one can sue anonymous online posters?

  12. #12
    I'd rather C2E than work!
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    edmonton
    Posts
    4,344

    Default

    ^ Don't know, but it's never wise to slander/defame/make libellous statements about anyone with deeper pockets than yourself.
    Nisi Dominus Frustra

  13. #13
    Forum Administrator *
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Location
    Edmonton
    Posts
    2,494
    Blog Entries
    2

    Default

    I cannot comment fully in the Burke case, but I would assume that the website in question was either approached or sued to get the requisite information to start to identify the potential posters.

    Rule #1 in litigation - sue everyone.

    Depending on the willingness of the site to cooperate would probably be the main determining factor in the site being targeted. One has to look up the Discover Vancouver forum as the example of what happens when you continue to allow too much questionable conversation. You become the target.

    Those familiar with what that forum was will also remember we worked hard NOT to be that forum.

    http://memebee.com/vancouver/viewtopic.php?f=2&t=17695 is a thread I found discussing the forum's disappearance - and the conspiracy theories therein.

    http://www.forumvancouver.com/thread...placement.687/ is another.

    In short, they were sued, raided by police, raided again, and basically caused way too much havoc. Comparisons to the Wild West were used, but the Wild West at least had some law by comparison.

    What is proves is that Free Speech (as so often flaunted as a reason) is not without responsibility. It is a two way street. While you may think you are free to say what you want, the person you are speaking about is also free to respond, or entitled to get the truth. The person you are talking about also should not have to spend the time defending his or her reputation from slander, innuendo, and unproven allegations - and when it is done from an "anonymous" source, it is infuriating and insulting. So, they will go after the website provider first (predictably) as they carry the message(s) that are at issue.
    Last edited by Admin; 27-11-2013 at 11:07 AM. Reason: addendum
    Ow

  14. #14
    I'd rather C2E than work!
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    Westmount, Edmonton
    Posts
    5,401

    Default

    In the Burke case it sounds like he filed suit against five usernames and got a default judgment against those usernames. There's nothing in the article that says they know who those people are yet or if they'll ever find out who they are.

    "For every complex problem there is an answer that is clear, simple, and wrong"

  15. #15
    I'd rather C2E than work!
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Location
    Bonnie Doon
    Posts
    5,184

    Default

    ^ If you look at the lawsuit papers (in the CBC link) and scroll to the bottom, each defendant posted from different websites/forums. So Burke's lawyers obviously approached a handful of different sites.

  16. #16
    Forum Administrator *
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Location
    Edmonton
    Posts
    2,494
    Blog Entries
    2

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Paul Turnbull View Post
    In the Burke case it sounds like he filed suit against five usernames and got a default judgment against those usernames. There's nothing in the article that says they know who those people are yet or if they'll ever find out who they are.
    One thing I discovered here is that you are not as anonymous as you may believe.

    Another lesson courtesy of the aforementioned Discover Vancouver observation.

    It appears that in the Burke case, Mowerman is pretty much busted for you don't usually waste a process server's time. You really don't get that close without the site's cooperation in some aspect. Trust me on this one, you'd be surprised on how fast a warrant can be issued. I'm sure that a site's owner(s) really don't want jail time to protect the rantings of kwidgybo123.
    Ow

  17. #17
    I'd rather C2E than work!
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    Westmount, Edmonton
    Posts
    5,401

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Admin View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Paul Turnbull View Post
    In the Burke case it sounds like he filed suit against five usernames and got a default judgment against those usernames. There's nothing in the article that says they know who those people are yet or if they'll ever find out who they are.
    One thing I discovered here is that you are not as anonymous as you may believe.

    Another lesson courtesy of the aforementioned Discover Vancouver observation.

    It appears that in the Burke case, Mowerman is pretty much busted for you don't usually waste a process server's time. You really don't get that close without the site's cooperation in some aspect. Trust me on this one, you'd be surprised on how fast a warrant can be issued. I'm sure that a site's owner(s) really don't want jail time to protect the rantings of kwidgybo123.
    I have no illusions that people online can be tracked down, although much depends on the online practices of the people involved. It's interesting that in this case they don't seem to be trying that hard. Currently they have a default judgement against a bunch of usernames, just seems a little odd.

    "For every complex problem there is an answer that is clear, simple, and wrong"

  18. #18
    Forum Administrator *
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Location
    Edmonton
    Posts
    2,494
    Blog Entries
    2

    Default

    It is an interesting case, and possibly one that is meant to set a standard for activities. Like I said, I have no knowledge of the inner workings of the Burke case, and I can only comment on what I know, have experienced, and what I am actually allowed to say.

    To speculate however, the precedent that is being set here is potentially to enforce/re-enforce the ideal that while you are "anonymous", the username has a real person at the end of it. Even if it is a spam bot, there was a real user who created it. So, the judgment against the usernames is de facto a judgment against the person at the keyboard. Once there is proof as to who the person is, then it would carry over to the legal name.

    Mowerman probably got the scare of his life when the process server came onto the property. That alone is probably worth it to someone like Burke: the feeling that you are not as untouchable as you once thought.

    Yes, one can mask their activities for awhile. But in each and every instance, they get cocky and screw up.
    Ow

  19. #19
    I'd rather C2E than work!
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    Strathcona - Mill Creek
    Posts
    5,071

    Default

    I had a kid that used to email threats to me at my website. Grabbed his IP address, which was registered to a school in the US, and I called the IT department. I explained the situation to the guy, and said that I didn't want to get the kid into trouble, just teach him that you aren't anonymous online, and that you can be tracked down. The IT guy loved it, and said he'd talk to the principal about it. Hopefully it was a good lesson for the kid.
    They're going to park their car over there. You're going to park your car over here. Get it?

  20. #20

    Default

    This article isn't as dumb as it sounds.

    Researcher finds anonymity makes a difference with online comments
    http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases...0122134310.htm

  21. #21
    I'd rather C2E than work!
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    Westmount, Edmonton
    Posts
    5,401

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by KC View Post
    This article isn't as dumb as it sounds.

    Researcher finds anonymity makes a difference with online comments
    http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases...0122134310.htm
    What the study doesn't isolate is causality. Does lack of anonymity make people more civil or are uncivil people more likely to chose anonymity?

    "For every complex problem there is an answer that is clear, simple, and wrong"

  22. #22
    Forum Administrator *
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Location
    Edmonton
    Posts
    2,494
    Blog Entries
    2

    Default

    In my experience, both on this board and elsewhere, it is both.

    If I made this board free of anonymity, you'd see the result in the lack of posting and traffic. However, you'd probably see the civility improve greatly.

    There are always exceptions, even here. For example, a couple of posters who cause the most derails are both known to each other, and to many here. So, sometimes the personality conflict transcends pseudonyms.

    This is, as always, just my 2 cents.
    Ow

  23. #23
    Addicted to C2E
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    Edmonton
    Posts
    744

    Default

    Great thread....... and I am glad that this isn't the DV! Loved Gord Lacey's comment too much
    Thanks to Admin for keeping it the way it is !

  24. #24

    Default

    ^What's the 'DV'?.
    "The man who does not read has no advantage over the man who cannot read." –Mark Twain

  25. #25
    I'd rather C2E than work!
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Location
    Edmonton area.
    Posts
    6,174

    Default

    Discover Vancouver Forum. The site that disappeared in the aftermath.
    Last edited by Drumbones; 28-01-2014 at 09:31 PM.

  26. #26

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Admin View Post
    In my experience, both on this board and elsewhere, it is both.

    If I made this board free of anonymity, you'd see the result in the lack of posting and traffic. However, you'd probably see the civility improve greatly.

    There are always exceptions, even here. For example, a couple of posters who cause the most derails are both known to each other, and to many here. So, sometimes the personality conflict transcends pseudonyms.

    This is, as always, just my 2 cents.
    Anonymity has some severe problems with it, but then using one's own name can too. Other's acting anonymously or not (on or off-line) can use your openness and honesty against you - or your circle of friends, relatives and acquaintances.

    Moreover, as is, I've never ever commented one way or the other (at least I sure hope not) about my employers, however, if everyone used their real names, you can be sure that future employers, future co-workers would be dredging up ancient, out-of-context, comments to either use for or against you. In some cases it would be like having a criminal record that follows you for the rest of your life. You may have long since changed your opinion (isn't that part of the reason forums exist, to voice, to debate, to learn...) yet on the internet there is little allowance for that. Whatever you say or do, WILL be used against you.

  27. #27
    C2E Junkie *
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Edmonton
    Posts
    13,360
    Blog Entries
    1

    Default

    ^thank you for this

    Other's acting anonymously or not (on or off-line) can use your openness and honesty against you - or your circle of friends, relatives and acquaintances.
    I snapped my crayons a couple weeks back because of this very thing. I found out, all in one day, how several people I trusted and worked with over the years...actually were submarining efforts and using my published and private opinion against me...in denying me opportunities to speak...denying me opportunities in my professional life...shorting the success of things that many liked...to the author(s) of some rather hurtful posts both here and op-eds in the Journal...

    ...both lurkers here, and posters...

    I too have grown, and I will never apologize for that...or for standing up for those being bullied by agendas...or for demanding of my city and of my acquaintances a level of drive, consideration for others, and critical big picture thinking that I expect in greater levels of myself...

    ...nor will I stoop to the levels of cowardice and subversive bullying I've seen demonstrated recently.

    ...but your truth of:
    (...)would be dredging up ancient, out-of-context, comments to either use for or against you. In some cases it would be like having a criminal record that follows you for the rest of your life. You may have long since changed your opinion (isn't that part of the reason forums exist, to voice, to debate, to learn...) yet (...) there is little allowance for that

    (...)
    ...is recently all too real...
    Onward and upward

  28. #28
    Addicted to C2E
    Mr. Reality Check

    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Location
    Edmonton, Alberta
    Posts
    10,759

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by RichardS View Post
    ^thank you for this

    Other's acting anonymously or not (on or off-line) can use your openness and honesty against you - or your circle of friends, relatives and acquaintances.
    I snapped my crayons a couple weeks back because of this very thing. I found out, all in one day, how several people I trusted and worked with over the years...actually were submarining efforts and using my published and private opinion against me...in denying me opportunities to speak...denying me opportunities in my professional life...shorting the success of things that many liked...to the author(s) of some rather hurtful posts both here and op-eds in the Journal...

    ...both lurkers here, and posters...

    I too have grown, and I will never apologize for that...or for standing up for those being bullied by agendas...or for demanding of my city and of my acquaintances a level of drive, consideration for others, and critical big picture thinking that I expect in greater levels of myself...

    ...nor will I stoop to the levels of cowardice and subversive bullying I've seen demonstrated recently.

    ...but your truth of:
    (...)would be dredging up ancient, out-of-context, comments to either use for or against you. In some cases it would be like having a criminal record that follows you for the rest of your life. You may have long since changed your opinion (isn't that part of the reason forums exist, to voice, to debate, to learn...) yet (...) there is little allowance for that

    (...)
    ...is recently all too real...
    i'm not sure on line comments are treated any differently than off line letters to the editor or printed editorials or columns or interviews or discussions with colleagues you haven't seen for a decade or more... i think the issues isn't how long lived comments are as much as how different comments are when they are anonymous and when they are not.
    "If you did not want much, there was plenty." Harper Lee

  29. #29
    I'd rather C2E than work!
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Location
    Edmonton area.
    Posts
    6,174

    Default

    I noticed some more scary comments against PCL on the Corner1 thread. Better nip that in the bud. Just being a rat here.

  30. #30
    C2E Hard Core Contributor
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    Netherlands
    Posts
    3,713

    Default

    ^ Snitches get STITCHES!!!
    be offended! figure out why later...

  31. #31
    Forum Administrator *
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Location
    Edmonton
    Posts
    2,494
    Blog Entries
    2

    Default

    All,

    I have been approached by a company who is initiating legal action due to comments made here recently. I again ask you to keep things factual. C2E will cooperate with authorities and the courts in any official investigation.

    Admin
    Ow

  32. #32
    Forum Administrator *
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Location
    Edmonton
    Posts
    2,494
    Blog Entries
    2

    Default

    Good morning posters,

    As I said above, recent comments and some of the threads have sparked a flurry of activity both from public relations, and legal action. I need to reiterate a few things, and some of this text is already posted in the large condo management thread currently residing in real estate development.

    My words there are as follows:

    This thread, while a simple way to discuss your dealings, opinions, and experiences with businesses in the realm of condominium management is also not a way for you to erroneously air complaints or accusations of malfeasance against the company. When people solicit your opinion, they looking for how you felt or what you thought. When you reply with outright accusations of wrongdoing, you place a company's reputation risk.

    It is understood, and we have coached here at C2E, that any company who feels that their reputation is being hurt by post here at C2E is more than welcome to post a rebuttal. C2E welcomes open two-way conversation between those who have a complaint, and those who wish to resolve it.

    It is not acceptable for people, who think anonymity helps them, to post things that they don't want to substantiate yet expect C2E to either defend their position, or expect C2E to keep their position up when they refused to defend it. I'm glad in this case that the company had its chance to speak, and the poster has responded. However, in far too many cases and in far too many threads when people ask for sources for your posts when you were chastising or making accusations against named people in the public realm or named companies in the public realm, many posters either refused to substantiate their claims, or simply ignore my requests for substantiation yet expect that I somehow honor their "freedom of speech" by keeping posts up that people already told me are slanderous. "Freedom of speech" does not mean you are free to slander, free to lie, or free from the responsibilities of your speech. I've said this many times before, but for any of you to expect me, the moderators, or this board to bear the full brunt of responsibility of your half-baked, misinformed, or outright false accusations or opinions is insulting to no end.

    I will respond in more detail in the member alerts threat. I expect going forward that any information posted about any specific company will be factual. If someone posts a position that they just simply do not like company X, then I hope posters in the audience realize that is just one opinion.
    The trend of people believing they can use Connect2Edmonton to outright insult people, to post slanderous and outright accusations of malfeasance against companies, or to start to solicit methods and tactics to avoid not only paying your fair share, but to avoid authorities and the repercussions therein is incredibly alarming. Furthermore, the amount of outright insulting and indignant responses I received both on the form and in private messages when I, or other moderators, ask you to either prove your accusations or to think twice about the legal, moral, and ethical dilemma you have placed Connect2Edmonton in is both disappointing and extremely alarming.

    Let me be clear. When Connect2Edmonton was started, it was meant to be a place where people would share and collaborate on ideas to improve Edmonton. All ideas were encouraged, and thoughtful discussion promoted. As in all Internet forms, and even coffee pot discussions, opinions and ideas can run rampant and turn into heated conversations, or he said she said, or worse flat out accusations. We've tried as much as we can to moderate and discourage the worst of it without damaging the ability for people to speak as they naturally speak. Should this forum continue, we will continue to moderate as best we can.

    But the reality of recent events is casting doubt on the desire to even carry forward with this concept. While buoyed by the recent amicable settlement on a recent thread, they still are several others under dispute and discussion. We grow tired of having to answer angry phone calls and emails from people who posters here think they can wantonly insult, or bring up rumors and innuendo, and then simply refuse to back up your facts and figures. That is intolerable and unacceptable. I have a full-time job, the moderators have a full-time job, and we do not need to have another full-time job we get paid absolutely nothing for, but starts to occupy far too much of our time to simply try to research and defend opinions of people not brave enough to stand up for them.

    Going forward, there will be an expectation that if you do not quantify it is your opinion and are stating something as fact, you will be expected to provide the source of your information. Flippant comments about the source will not be tolerated.

    I know people like to speak from the hip about their opinion. I know many conversations happen in coffee shops, bars, basements, and other methods all over town. These conversations say things that probably you don't want people to hear. However, when you post them here, they are available for a large audience to read. Please keep that in mind when you type. Passion is amazing, passion is good, but passion can lead to a path you don't want to go. Debate and discussion often lead to a better future. In debate, disagreeing is encouraged, being disagreeable is not. Please start taking that to heart before you hit the keyboard.

    Thank you,

    Admin
    Ow

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •