Friday, May 21, 2010

Answer to a Blogger Bully

Bloggers Have Rights
One of the more important rights is: The right to post anonymous.
  1. Bloggers are entitled to free speech. We're working to shield you from frivolous or abusive threats and lawsuits. Internet bullies shouldn't use copyright, libel, or other claims to chill your legitimate speech.
  2. Bloggers have the right to stay anonymous. We're continuing our battle to protect and preserve your constitutional right to anonymous speech online, including providing a guide to help you with strategies for keeping your identity private when you blog.
Blogger Bullies are far worse than Internet Trolls. Even though, in my book their both predators. This Report and its writer learned first-hand about how dangerous the threat these bullies can be when I wrote an objective observation last year about one of the local newspaper's so-called "opinion" columns. In this instance our blog report dealt with the Times-Standard's column by Dave Stancliff's "As It Stands." At that time I really didn't have a clue who this guy was and didn't really pay that much attention to him or his "opinions." He took the Report's observations as a personal affront and began personally attacking, provoking and vilifying everyone he thought he could get at. What he accused us of doing he continued to repeat over and over again. You can find all the proof you need of this man's state of mind and his wanton assaults in the comment section starting listed here - here - here - here. You can check the comment section for more examples that came up last year starting here - here - here - And the one that started it all: Trolls versus The Thought Police.

 The only thing that, so-far, has saved everyone from some sort of personal affront is our anonymity.

 If you blog or make comments you might seriously consider supporting Electronic Frontier Foundation.

Bloggers' Rights at EFF

Legal Guide for Bloggers

Whether you're a newly minted blogger or a relative old-timer, you've been seeing more and more stories pop up every day about getting in trouble for what they post.

Like all journalists and publishers, sometimes publish information that other people don't want published. You might, for example, publish something that someone considers defamatory, republish an AP news story that's under copyright, or write a lengthy piece detailing the alleged crimes of a candidate for public office.

The difference between you and the reporter at your local newspaper is that in many cases, you may not have the benefit of training or resources to help you determine whether what you're doing is legal. And on top of that, sometimes knowing the law doesn't help - in many cases it was written for traditional journalists, and the courts haven't yet decided how it applies to.

But here's the important part: None of this should stop you from blogging. Freedom of speech is the foundation of a functioning democracy, and Internet bullies shouldn't use the law to stifle legitimate free expression. That's why EFF created this guide, compiling a number of FAQs designed to help you understand your rights and, if necessary, defend your freedom.

To be clear, this guide isn't a substitute for, nor does it constitute, legal advice. Only an attorney who knows the details of your particular situation can provide the kind of advice you need if you're being threatened with a lawsuit. The goal here is to give you a basic to the legal issues you may confront as a blogger, to let you know you have rights, and to encourage you to blog freely with the knowledge that your legitimate speech is protected.

Please note that this guide applies to people living in the US. We don't have the expertise or resources to speak to other countries' legal traditions, but we'd like to work with those who do. If you know of a similar guide for your own jurisdiction or feel inspired to research and write one, please let us know. We can link to it here.

Judge Shields Identity of Online Critic Facing Baseless Lawsuit -- makes you wonder how this fits in with this local lawsuit and settlement reported in the newspaper here and here.
Why join the fight? Because the Thought Police never sleep.

Some important links:


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