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Tag: LIBEL

Julian Assange Says WikiLeaks Is More Accountable Than Most Governments, Gets a Little Sassy About It

Julian Assange thinks WikiLeaks is more accountable than any democratic government in the world. And if you dare say otherwise, you'll probably get sued. That was essentially the message that Assange conveyed over the weekend, during his first public appearance since being arrested in December, amid accusations of rape and sexual assault. Speaking to an audience at a public debate in London, As...

Students Face Expulsion For Calling Teacher Pedophile on Facebook

A 13-year old Georgia girl is facing expulsion and relocation to an "alternative school" after she called one of her teachers a pedophile on Facebook. The girl, Alejandra Sosa, and two of her classmates who commented on the post must now go before a disciplinary tribunal for what Chapel Hill Middle School calls a "level one" offense: the worst category of transgression in the student handbook. Sos...

California Law Makes Online Impersonation a Crime, Worries Political Parodists

A new California law has worried free speech advocates by criminalizing the practice of impersonating someone else online. SB 1411, introduced to the California legislature in February and recently signed into law by Governor Schwarzenegger, makes it a misdemeanor to impersonate someone without their consent "through or on an Internet Web site or by other electronic means for purposes of harming,...

Asst. Attorney General's Secret Blog Against Gay Michigan Student President

Since April of this year, a conservative government official has been anonymously targeting a man he calls a "radical homosexual activist" -- blogging about his activities, disparaging his personal life, staging demonstrations outside of his residence, and naming and criticizing his known cohorts. There's nothing shocking about that, right? What if we were to tell you that the aforementioned offi...

Angry Towing Company Sues Student for $750k Over Facebook Page

Share Social networking sites are, in most parts of the world, the modern day equivalent of town halls, where people can gather round and share opinions -- as long as those opinions don't attack T&J Towing Company. The company, based in Kalamazoo, Michigan. filed a defamation of character and libel lawsuit against a Western Michigan University student who started a Facebook group called ...

California Court Rules Cyber-Bullying Is Not Free Speech

Share Online threats of violence and acts of cyber-bullying are not protected free speech. That's according to a California appeals court that upheld a decision from a lower court, allowing a hate crimes and defamation suit (PDF) to continue. The case dates back to 2005, when a then 15-year-old student at a private high school in Los Angeles launched a personal Web page to promote his pursuit o...

Bully Web Site Lands Missouri Teen in Jail

Cyber-bullying has become a major issue around the world. Teens across the U.S. and across the pond in Europe find themselves constantly faced with this new form of harassment. But if we had to pick one place as the epicenter of this disturbing new trend it would be Missouri. The home state of Megan Meier, a girl who committed suicide just before her 14th birthday as a result of being bullied o...

Controversial Tweets Testing Limits of Free Speech

What separates Twitter from other social networking sites has always been its trademark brevity. Restricted to 140 characters, users are forced to be concise and truncate their thoughts, opinions, or news. As is often the case, though, pithiness comes at the expense of nuance, subtlety or sarcastic intonation, leaving tweets open to wide and varied interpretation. When the tweeter has some parti...

Alleged Bullies Sued Over Racist and Obscene Fake Facebook Profile

We're pretty sure that many victims of bullies would gladly go back to the good ol' days, when mocking and persecution didn't have the speed and reach the Internet affords. But bullies are quickly finding out that the Web doesn't provide as much protective anonymity as they may have thought. One of the new avenues for bullying is impersonation via social networking sites. But four teens in Cook C...

'Skanks' Blogger Sues Google for $15M for Divulging Identity

Last week, the notoriously anonymous 'Skanks in NYC' blogger was facing a potential defamation lawsuit by model Liksula Gentile Cohen, who had been negatively characterized in the blog. This week, that same blogger, who has since been identified as 27-year-old fashion student Rosemary Port, is filing a lawsuit of her own. According to ZDNet, she has decided to sue Google for revealing her ident...

Critical Tweet Lands Chicago Tenant in Libel Suit

A sarcastic and critical tweet may end up costing a Chicago woman $50,000. On May 12th, Amanda Bonnen (whose Twitter page is currently down) allegedly complained about her then-landlord, the Horizon Group Management LLC, by typing, "Who said sleeping in a moldy apartment was bad for you? Horizon realty thinks it's okay." According to the Sun Times, company representative Jeffrey Michael (whose f...

St. Louis Cardinals Manager Tony La Russa Calls Foul on Twitter

St. Louis Cardinals' manager Tony La Russa has called, "You're out!" to Twitter. According to FOX News, the future hall-of-fame baseball manager filed suit last month against the microblogging site. La Russa, who is seeking an unspecified amount in damages, claims a fake Twitter account set up in his name featured "derogatory and demeaning" comments that caused him emotional distress and injur...

Olympian Skater's Mom Sues Google Over Blogger Post

No stranger to lawsuits, Google has faced any number of accusations, from misappropriating trade secrets to invading people's privacy with its Street View application. Well, according to MediaPost.com, the litigious mother of an Olympic athlete decided to file suit against Google last week because of allegedly defamatory comments posted through Google's Blogger service. The comments, originall...

Dentist Sues Writer of Negative Online Yelp Review

Have you ever given someone or some business a bad review online? Well, you'd better keep what you write in check, or else you could end up getting sued like the California couple who bashed a dentist on Yelp. Dr. Yvonne Wong, the dentist, is going forward with a lawsuit against Tai Jing and Jia Ma for libel and emotional distress after a court ruled that she had enough grounds for a case, or, a...

Blogger Sued for Negative Book Reviews

Libel suits are notoriously tough to argue, and even more so when the target of the suit is a critic. The dictionary defines 'libel' as: A written or oral statement about another which is malicious and false and will do harm to that person or his/her reputation, by tending to bring the target into ridicule, hatred, scorn or contempt of others. Professional reviewers don't normally get targeted f...