A nice editorial, based on the FreeD appeal of the Warman ruling:
Online forums play a different role in hosting public comment, but they must share the responsibility to determine what is fair comment. It's one thing to facilitate a discussion online, but it is another when that online conversation is based on falsehoods.
Individuals and groups deserve protection from potentially hurtful and damaging comments. That is why there are libel and slander laws to provide a permanent layer of legal protection.
Online forums, just like mainstream media, have an obligation to ensure that individuals post comments that are in good taste and stay within the legal guidelines.
One of those things that really shouldn't have to be said.
By the way, has anyone else experienced the following: defamatory remarks appear anonymously in the comments section, and almost immediately their target (or the target's lawyer) arrives bearing a legal threat, raising the suspicion that the target might have posted the remark themselves.
A local politician once emailed me claiming that he suspected the Tory machine was doing this to him: posting defamatory remarks about a local Tory in on-line forums sympathetic to the politician, and then threatening the forum with libel.
I've had the same kind of material posted in my comments concerning a number of the folks I've written about (including an accusation of murder), but was able to removed them before any lawyers showed up.
Is there a name for this kind of trick?