Friday, January 31, 2014

Belated Cheers For the Demise of "Free Dominion"

Internet discussion boards appear to be dying. But the rumours of "Free Dominion's" death* have nothing to do with sociological trends. Like many a right-wing boor, some person or persons on the site slandered and libeled an actual person and thought it was protected free speech.

Here's a (too late) legal tip: If you actually believe what you're writing about someone, then it's libel.

To whit: If you really think someone is a terrorist sympathizer, and you say that someone is a terrorist sympathizer on a public forum, you can't turn around later and say you were exaggerating for effect.

Have the courage of your convictions.

The same goes for any idiot who finds someone's real name, uses that name to call them a pedophile, and then gets sued for slander. (At least show up in court to defend yourself, you doofus!)

* I notice that one of the sites mourning the silencing of Free Dominion is the neo-Nazi, white supremacist bastion "Stormfront." Why doesn't that surprise me? (Why do these right-wing assholes insist they're not racists? Are they too stupid to know their protestations are in vain? Yes they are too stupid.)


Anonymous said...

Your 'to whit' contradicts your 'legal tip'

thwap said...

Um. No it doesn't.

If I say someone eats kittens, it's obviously exaggeration. If I say someone is a rancid scumbag, nobody would think I really believed that that person was an actual used condom filled with rancid semen. Given this obvious truth, nobody would seriously think this about the target of my ire and their reputation wouldn't be ruined.

If I seriously believe somebody is a terrorist sympathizer and said so, I would be, in effect, attempting to convince others that that person is a terrorist sympathizer.

I could not then hide from the consequences of my actions by saying I wasn't serious and therefore wasn't trying to convince anyone else that the target of my ire was a terrorist sympathizer.

Finally, even if I was just talking shit, like the moronic Mark Steyn when he called a climate scientist a fraud, or when right-wing internet blowhards seek out an opponent's real identity and then call that person a pedophile, ... such accusations are more damaging that "asshole" or "bag of shit" or "rancid scum-bag" which no one would take literally.