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Thread: Politics.ie Case - Lessons for Internet Forums

  1. #16
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    Default Re: Politics.ie Case - Lessons for Internet Forums

    Quote Originally Posted by Lifeisagame View Post
    With due respect, CF has made you aware of the dangers of stupid unfounded Posting, if you wish to take issue with any aspect of the case then I would suggest you contact your own Legal team. Or just use bloddy common sense and read what you were advised.
    That's very firm LiaG, and excellent advice, whoever you are giving it to.
    “ We cannot withdraw our cards from the game. Were we as silent and mute as stones, our very passivity would be an act. ”
    — Jean-Paul Sartre

  2. #17
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    Default Re: Politics.ie Case - Lessons for Internet Forums

    I see that the story made a couple of inches on page 10 of Saturday's Examiner complete with photo of Darragh O'Se, Mike Daly and John Galvin. Can't find it on the web version though.

  3. #18
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    Default Re: Politics.ie Case - Lessons for Internet Forums

    Quote Originally Posted by malbekh View Post
    I think the settlement of the case was a win/win solution for both sides. In my opinion, it highlights the risk in blogging compared to utilising a site like P.W or P.ie.

    I'm sure you're all familiar with the blogger who made allegations concerning the acquisition of the State of a cache of papers from James Joyce. In spite of a subsequent fulsome apology on the blog, he was taken to court by both parties and settled for €100,000, mainly due to the costs of the case proceeding in the Hugh Court, which would have been a multiple thereof.

    Without commenting on this particular case, the fact that it was heard in the circuit court and a settlement was reached, provides a good template for similar future actions.

    I would advocate that sites such as this provide a good sounding board for posters before they publish same on their own blogs. It provides an additional comfort area where errors can be corrected or subjected to scrutiny.

    Let me be clear - Under no circumstances am I suggesting that you use this site or P.ie as a conduit for malicious accusations or 'opinion pieces'. The issue with KN - a poster of the highest repute - shows how all of us can be duped into making a 'factual' post based on sources we normally trust.

    Thank you CF for posting this thread as a talking piece.
    Good post.

    I am glad that this thing did not go too far. It is important that people who set up or own these type of sites are not hounded out personally. It is also important that people that are wronged can challenge what is on the sites. It is good that a level can be found in which these types of sites can operate within the law while still providing the useful service they do without damaging people in the process.

    I was worried that such sites would shut completely over legal concerns, but perhaps a happy medium can be found. DC gives a good explanation of where this medium might be on on P.ie in my opinion.

    It is clearly important that untrue information or legally compromising information is removed ASAP from any site, so we should all be on the watch out for anything that needs taking down and report it to CF. Better to take it down in error than leave it up in error. There really is not room for messers or baiters in these forums.
    Mr Lenihan said the guarantee was “the cheapest bailout” compared with bank rescues in other countries, including the UK and the US, where “billions and billions of taxpayers’ money are being poured into financial institutions” - October 24 2008

  4. #19
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    Default Re: Politics.ie Case - Lessons for Internet Forums

    I would agree with some of what Malbekh said, but not with this - with which I strongly disagree -

    I would advocate that sites such as this provide a good sounding board for posters before they publish same on their own blogs. It provides an additional comfort area where errors can be corrected or subjected to scrutiny.
    If Malbekh would like to set up a forum site and run it on that basis, good luck to him. I can assure you that there is no "comfort area" in dealing with the backwash from posts that contain unsubstantiated and potentially damaging material.

    I've no intention of allowing this forum to be used as some kind of filter system for iffy posts. Bloggers, and forum posters here should scrutinise their own contributions before they post, as they are responsible for them, no matter where they publish them.

    I do indeed hope that the Court settlement is the end of the matter, but I don't know whether or not the poster in this case, or any other cases, will be pursued.

    I don't think there should be any panic over this issue. Political World in the main doesn't deal in gossip about individuals, and is focused on general political, economic and environmental debate. The posts that tend to be dangerous in forums are those that attempt to "finger" named individuals for purposes of making a scandal. I don't think that is what people want this site to be about and its certainly not my idea of what this forum should become.

    If you want to make a scandal about an individual, unless its a thoroughly political scandal important to the future of the country, then please take it elsewhere. If anyone wants to post something, and they aren't sure if it is O.K. or not, please pm it to me first and ask for my advice on it. I'll be happy to help.

    So, back to business....
    “ We cannot withdraw our cards from the game. Were we as silent and mute as stones, our very passivity would be an act. ”
    — Jean-Paul Sartre

  5. #20
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    Default Re: Politics.ie Case - Lessons for Internet Forums

    Quote Originally Posted by C Flower View Post
    http://www.irishtimes.com/newspaper/...269036294.html

    We haven't carried any threads about the recent case between Politics.ie and Michael Daly while that case was in Court.

    Now that the case has been settled, there are useful lessons and reminders for forum users to be had from the results.

    The case has been settled with acknowledgement from either side that the other party is of good repute.

    It was accepted that the posting complained of was not made by David Cochrane as had been alleged. It was also acknowledged that the Site Owner, David Cochrane, removed the postings. It was acknowledged by David Cochrane that the posting/s was/were untrue.





    A key aspect of this case is that it appears to have been that on this occasion it was accepted that the site does not pre-moderate posts and that the responsibility for each post lies with its author of the post.

    Everyone posting on this or any other blog or website should be aware that every individual, whether we are opposed to their politics or not, is entitled to their good name unless allegations to the contrary are proven.

    On no account should anyone hide behind anonymity to trash anyone else's reputation.

    Posters should also be aware that libels or possible libels made by others should never be quoted/repeated in their posts.

    Our Terms and Conditions require that you take responsibility for your posts. Like all forums, PW.org would have to comply, in the event of a Court Order seeking user details.

    In the event of anyone seeing a post or thread which you think may be untrue and injurious to someone's reputation, please advise me or a moderator immediately.

    I would appreciate it if no-one repeats any of the original discussion complained of, as any such posts will be deleted and there may be penalties attached.

    Internet Forums are a valuable platform for political and social debate: like everything else, use them responsibly


    Thanks!
    So no Dail privilleges here so
    I'm supporting #heyday call for an Irish General election
    (We stil need one, where the majority wake up and vote in people who want to fix the problem, not their own problems)


    Nothing Happens, when WE do Nothing !!!!

    http://www.facebook.com/generalelection
    We need change, any change is a start !!!

  6. #21
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    Default Re: Politics.ie Case - Lessons for Internet Forums

    Quote Originally Posted by ThomasB View Post
    So no Dail privilleges here so
    Not unless you're secretly a TD, posting from your Dail office
    “ We cannot withdraw our cards from the game. Were we as silent and mute as stones, our very passivity would be an act. ”
    — Jean-Paul Sartre

  7. #22
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    Default Re: Politics.ie Case - Lessons for Internet Forums

    the guy who was sued over the james joyce papers used published material for most of his blog it seemed when you joined up the sources it could be read as making an accusation even though it may not have been intentional

  8. #23
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    Default Re: Politics.ie Case - Lessons for Internet Forums

    Quote Originally Posted by charley View Post
    the guy who was sued over the james joyce papers used published material for most of his blog it seemed when you joined up the sources it could be read as making an accusation even though it may not have been intentional
    Got a link ? I remember reading that and thinking it was extremely harsh.
    “ We cannot withdraw our cards from the game. Were we as silent and mute as stones, our very passivity would be an act. ”
    — Jean-Paul Sartre

  9. #24
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    Default Re: Politics.ie Case - Lessons for Internet Forums


  10. #25
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    Default Re: Politics.ie Case - Lessons for Internet Forums

    Thanks v. much. More or less as I remembered it.
    “ We cannot withdraw our cards from the game. Were we as silent and mute as stones, our very passivity would be an act. ”
    — Jean-Paul Sartre

  11. #26
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    Default Re: Politics.ie Case - Lessons for Internet Forums


  12. #27
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    Default Re: Politics.ie Case - Lessons for Internet Forums

    Quote Originally Posted by Rich View Post
    People should also remember that there is not really any such thing as anonymity on the internet. It is my view that posters should work on the basis that they can and will be identified, because unless you are very clever, and never make mistakes, then you usually can.

    As the saying goes, with great power comes great responsibility.

    And you definitely shouldn't expect the owner of any website to hide your identity while you go off and make stupid or untrue statements. I am 99.99% sure that neither DC nor CF are making much, if anything, from their work on their respective sites. The idea that either of them should end up in court over it is reprehensible. Court is not cheep.
    Quote Originally Posted by C. Flower View Post
    Thanks.

    My observation about the Irish Courts is they are not over-obsessed with case law. It's worth looking at, but its not to be absolutely relied on.

    This is a useful precedent, as far as it goes, as it does put some weight on prompt take-down of a dodgy post. However, it is far from clear what if any the consequences of this case might be for the person who made the original posting.

    On the idea of using forums as a sounding board for potentially dodgy posts, I think I might consider that a banning offence .

    My advice would be to check your facts and if you can't substantiate something, don't post it.
    Quote Originally Posted by johnfás View Post
    A few observations...

    1. I'd disagree with the statement above on case law, the courts are pretty obsessed with precedent from the superior courts (high court and supreme court). That is the basis of our common law system. Where outcomes differ it tends to be because they can be distinguished from what looks like a similar case based on differing facts. Naturally where a new piece of legislation has been enacted it takes a while before the superior courts give us an idea of their approach to the interpretation of that statute.

    2. Very few cases make it to court anyway. Over 90% of cases initiated in all courts from the circuit court and above are settled, like this instance, outside of court. Going to court is, in most instances, a powerful bargaining chip rather than actually wanting to go to court - most parties don't - because outcomes in court rooms are uncertain.

    3. It doesn't really provide a template for anything. As I said, it is following a template already established - namely that cases settle. I have been involved in about 15 defamation cases, none of them ever had a judgment.

    4. The reason the Circuit Court will increasingly become a venue for defamation hearings is that under the new Defamation Act we raised the jurisdiction of the court. It can now grant awards of up to 50,000 in respect of a defamation case, an increase from the previous limit of 38,000. This makes it a more attractive venue for claimants than it used to be.

    5. On the issue of apologies above - they are unfortunately for those who commit defamation - no defence in a libel action. Prior to the new Act issuing an apology was actually an admission of liability, this is no longer the case under the new Act. That said, even where one apologises they may still be sued. However, it can mitigate the damages which are payable by the defendant if the matter is resolved in court.

    It isn't that interesting a case from a legal point of view. However, it is useful as a reminder that what you post online is not posted in some sort of self contained vortex, that you are liable for everything you write here and that you should consider your actions in that light.
    Quote Originally Posted by C. Flower View Post
    Useful post, johnfás, and one that doesn't alter my advice, which is to post within rules of this place and not post allegations that you can't prove to be true.
    Quote Originally Posted by Lapsedmethodist View Post
    I thought that an allegation was an allegation and existed in a place somewhere between lie and fact ? Allegedly.
    Re allegations:
    Not so.
    And adding "Only saying" after an allegation is not a defence

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