Friday, August 21, 2009

So sue me ....

From the anonoblogger chronicles via JustOneMinute ....
... a Canadian model wanted to sue for defamation an anonymous blogger who called her a "skank" - and she won the right to learn the identity of her accuser.

If calling someone a
racist or a moonbat is defamatory, there are a lot of heroic yet anonymous (or pseudonymous) bloggers who might be unveiled.
This is similar to a weird case of "separation of Church and City Police Powers" in Byron's neck of the woods where the case is often not what is being said, but that the sayer is an anonoblogger.

I don't think anyone in the USA is going to be punished for speaking - but you can be dragged into court and that can cost a lot of $$$$$. In the Jax case the anonoblogger was outed - but not charged. It looks like the same will happen above. If we reach the point where you can observe and deduct - but cannot say, then we don't have a First Amendment. A lot of people forget that the 1st is there so others can say things that you don't like. You may think you look sexy - someone else may think you look like a streetwalker. You may think you will personally make all past wrongs right - others may think you are doing nothing but perpetuating racism.

You counter speech with more speech - not a ball gag. In my area, I think that is well understood.

Awhile ago I received an email from a trusted and long-time reader who happened to be part of a conversation with a senior Flag Officer who I recently described as supporting a racist policy. He was not pleased, and in many ways thought that I was way out of line - but he stated something to the effect of "I will not interfere with his right to free speech."

Of course, if I said what I said under my actual name while on active duty, then I would put my boss in a very uncomfortable position when the call came in - and I would unquestionably have some difficulty when orders/FITREP time came around. That is just the way things work.

I guess in the anonoblogger world, the key is twofold:
  • First, only be anon if you have no other choice, but be ready to defend your statements as yourself.
  • Second, look at your reasons for being anon. Are they still valid? Do you really have to stay anon? If you are no longer anon, then you take away a huge power others can have over you by threatening the anon nature you have become comfortable with. You can be out without having a bold-faced "I am Barney Greenwald!" on the top of every post. I think Lex, John, and Greyhawk do that quite well.

Oh, to follow Vinnie's lead; outing anonobloggers is only for racist, moonbat skanks.
UPDATE:Skippy, here are the pics. One is the racist, moonbat, skank - and the other is who we, or at least you, should get behind in her hour of need.

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