Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Cyberbullying



Watch your mouth - text.
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People say things in emails and comment boxes - yes, and on blogs - stuff they may otherwise never say to someones face - kind of like screaming obscenities at drivers from the safety of your car. Insult to injury. I've done it - I try really hard not to. Although I wouldn't hesitate to say the same things face to face - been there done that. Bad dog anyway!
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Somehow many of us think public figures, even fellow bloggers we disagree with, are fair game - on some level they may be. But there may also be consequences. No one is really anonymous online - we can be tracked. Happily I post my real name and real email address, so if anyone wants to sue me, fight with me, kill me, they can find me - the only thing phony about me is my profile photo - which looks nice, doesn't it. Anyway, I haven't gone so far as to warrant a lawsuit, and hopefully I never will. However, I've had people drop me from their links, ceased following me, wrote and told me they will never read me, and so on, but that is about it. (I'm not making any money or winning any awards for this blog, so I don't care.)
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We all know detraction and calumny is not only sinful but unlawful - so none of us want to do that sort of thing - but what if you call someone a skank? Though perhaps uncharitable, is that a crime? I have to doubt it - BUT. News today is that a model, Liskula Cohen won a lawsuit forcing Google to reveal the identity of a blogger who insulted the model on one of his blog posts.
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The blogger wrote: “I would have to say the first-place award for ‘Skankiest in NYC’ would have to go to Liskula Gentile Cohen,” the blogger “Anonymous” wrote in one posting. The blog, since removed, ridiculed the former Australian Vogue covergirl as a “40-something” who “may have been hot 10 years ago”, when she was actually 36.
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Justice Joan Madden rejected the blogger’s claim that the blogs “serve as a modern-day forum for conveying personal opinions, including invective and ranting”, and should not be treated as factual assertions." - Story
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Ms. Cohen wants the identity of the man for her attorney - so that she can sue him for defamation of character.
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Charges of defamation of character are difficult to prove, but this case may be a good reminder for everyone online to watch what they call Sr. Chittister from now on.

6 comments:

  1. Doh! Looks like I need to put a lawyer on retainer. I still think she looks like Bilbo from the LOTR.

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  2. People shouldn't worry- Sr. Chittister is too busy doing God's work instead of talking about it to sue people for what they might say about her.

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  3. Hey Terry...c'mon i wanna see a real picture of you!!

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  4. Sr. Joan is certainly out and about doing much work, but little or any of it can be termed God's.

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  5. Aaron Eckhart just tweeted that some blogger using his picture will be hearing from his lawyer...

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  6. "wounding anonymous comments?" This just sounds like a cheap way to get a bit of publicity. As far as I know--this is still a free country. Well, if someone sues me--for giving my opinion--they must be pretty bad off.

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Please comment with charity and avoid ad hominem attacks. I exercise the right to delete comments I find inappropriate. If you use your real name there is a better chance your comment will stay put.