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Offline toucan

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freedom of speech/offending people/defamation
« on: February 01, 2006, 09:37:30 am »
the closing down of barkSA's forum raises an interesting question about what we can and can't say about other people.

if i call you an idiot, maybe you'll be offended and get all upset and want to moer me. can you sue me for defamation?

slating a bike shop for bad service (or any business) is not a bad thing IMHO. the business involved will know that something is wrong with there service/product and hopefully correct it. if nothing is wrong then they know the person is speaking crap and can offer to prove in real life. is suing the person the right way to go?

the internet as a medium can easily be used to propogate any information to a wide audience. the information does not even have to be correct/true/proven. should it be policed to weed out the lies?
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Offline KiLRoy

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freedom of speech/offending people/defamation
« Reply #1 on: February 01, 2006, 09:50:33 am »
Anyone with a legal opinion regarding giving positive or negative feedback of vendors/business.  I'm for it - but would like to form a legal opinion first.  The idea is basically to provide a forum for people to give opinions - pos or neg.  Eg if someone moan on this forum about a bad experience he had with a business, others can differ from him regarding their own experiences

Donno
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Offline JourneyMan

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freedom of speech/offending people/defamation
« Reply #2 on: February 01, 2006, 10:01:49 am »
Quote
Right. As one of the mods (no, I am not that modern), I think you should be banned for your elitist BULLSHOOT.

 "Fingering Smiley"


Yeah. I'm gonna sue Lito. Just seem not to be able to find "Lito" in the white pages and my opspoorders also seems to have a problem of finding him. :lol:

I think the first week of this forum has shown what it can be. There was no personal attacks towards anyone and the shite given was done in good spirit. If kept like that, there should not be a problem.

The biggest concern would be people slating a business without proper proof. But then again, I think part of a bike related forum is to make other member's aware of "bad service/products" out there. I mean, we pay a lot for our bikes, additional goodies and services. We are entitled to know of the sharks out there trying to make a quick buck at our expense. (No reference to you Shark.za :wink: )
 
I think none of us wants this great forum idea to be downgraded to the same extent as what happened at barksa. It is our own responsibility to make sure that it does not happen.

Owners/Admin/Moderators of this forum also have other repsonsibilities and are doing this out of their love for biking and in particular DS biking, so it is only fair to them that we all act responsibly.

If not, ban them outright I say.

My 1c.
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Oppad

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Re: freedom of speech/offending people/defamation
« Reply #3 on: February 01, 2006, 10:04:50 am »
Quote from: "toucan"
the closing down of barkSA's forum raises an interesting question about what we can and can't say about other people.


I'm no expert and definitely not a lawyer but have been involved in the media on and off for more than 20 years now, and perhaps have some idea of libel and what can be said in public.

One of the guidelines is whether information is in the public interest or not. The easy answer is that the naming and shaming of a reputedly crooked dealer is in the public interest as people need to be warned against him/her.

However, it is still a moer of a dangerous area. If the case goes to court you will have to prove with witnesses and what not that your experience was not a once off and that he is in fact a deurtrapte and deliberately scheming and conniving skelm. Now it can get expensive and as a lot of these skelm guys know this, they will usually call your bluff by threatening with a lawsuit.  Of course you can call their bluff in return but this is usually more succesful if you have other parties backing your case. I can understand Simon's problem. Some of those dealers allegedly defamed may be proven crooked in the end but it remains an expensive and time consuming exercise.

Same thing with people who are publicly accused of wrongdoing i.e charged in a court of law. This person IS NOT GUILTY until found guilty. If you state his/her guilt as a fact beforehand you're on thin ice. Even if you are convinced of this person's guilt he may still be found not guilty for silly technical reasons or lack of evidence. Then you're in the shit. Related to this is the sub judice rule, but lawyers nowadays regard it as outdated and it's not such an issue anymore.

What is becoming more important in law is the issue of privacy. After a free-for-all period courts are now getting serious about protecting individuals privacy. This is a grey area as it is not necessarily in the public's interest to know that a well-known guy is a wife beater (it may be if he is president of the national don't hit your wife league and getting public funding.)

Libel as far a bikers are concerned is easy. If you feel you have been defamed you have to prove in court that you had a good reputation beforehand and it was damaged by people spreading shit. Now I don't think any of you biker scum stand a chance.

My 2c worth, maybe a real lawyer can say more.
 

Offline Welsh

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Re: freedom of speech/offending people/defamation
« Reply #4 on: February 01, 2006, 10:40:20 am »
Quote from: "toucan"
the closing down of barkSA's forum raises an interesting question about what we can and can't say about other people.

if i call you an idiot, maybe you'll be offended and get all upset and want to moer me. can you sue me for defamation?

slating a bike shop for bad service (or any business) is not a bad thing IMHO. the business involved will know that something is wrong with there service/product and hopefully correct it. if nothing is wrong then they know the person is speaking crap and can offer to prove in real life. is suing the person the right way to go?

the internet as a medium can easily be used to propogate any information to a wide audience. the information does not even have to be correct/true/proven. should it be policed to weed out the lies?


Toucan, if the offending article is the one I think it is, it was an open statement that a bike was sold, delivered with only one key, stolen and reappeared on the same named dealers floor.

1. Pretty stupid dealer to do that if true.
2. I think you could sue for defamation, loss of earnings etc.

But it does seem just too stupid, and would explain the lawyers letters.

Thtas why moderators are essential.

Welshie
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Offline accton

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freedom of speech/offending people/defamation
« Reply #5 on: February 01, 2006, 10:44:57 am »
I was burned by someone on the forum that sent a post I placed about bad service to the business, but edited the layout so it will look like a e-mail I sent to BikeSA to be published in the mag
hat you believe will depend very much on what you are.
 

Offline wino

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freedom of speech/offending people/defamation
« Reply #6 on: February 01, 2006, 11:15:13 am »
 

Offline LiveInTheOutdoors

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freedom of speech/offending people/defamation
« Reply #7 on: February 01, 2006, 12:27:18 pm »
mate, I am thrilled that I didnt become a lawyer... good reason with that link!

However, I will for sure take the time to read through that thing over time, I think its NB as one of the mods around here.

Dont want no funny bizness, BUT, I dont want to be emasculated in what we say if we want to call a spade a spade.
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Offline KiLRoy

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freedom of speech/offending people/defamation
« Reply #8 on: February 01, 2006, 12:37:57 pm »
Excuse my naivety, but if I had bad service from eg dealer and I tell the forum exactly what happened with my, WITHOUT generalising and without making the dealership as a whole bad, just sharing my experience - can that be considered defamatory?

I'm just think practically - ito what we can provide for members as guidelines.

Cheers
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Offline funacide

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freedom of speech/offending people/defamation
« Reply #9 on: February 01, 2006, 12:57:44 pm »
There is alrteady a disclaimer that gets accepted by the person when the register, it is as follows:

While the administrators and moderators of this forum will attempt to remove or edit any generally objectionable material as quickly as possible, it is impossible to review every message. Therefore you acknowledge that all posts made to these forums express the views and opinions of the author and not the administrators, moderators or webmaster (except for posts by these people) and hence will not be held liable.

You agree not to post any abusive, obscene, vulgar, slanderous, hateful, threatening, sexually-oriented or any other material that may violate any applicable laws. Doing so may lead to you being immediately and permanently banned (and your service provider being informed). The IP address of all posts is recorded to aid in enforcing these conditions. You agree that the webmaster, administrator and moderators of this forum have the right to remove, edit, move or close any topic at any time should they see fit. As a user you agree to any information you have entered above being stored in a database. While this information will not be disclosed to any third party without your consent the webmaster, administrator and moderators cannot be held responsible for any hacking attempt that may lead to the data being compromised.

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shark_za

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freedom of speech/offending people/defamation
« Reply #10 on: February 01, 2006, 01:45:51 pm »
Then you have to make all forums only viewable by registered users.
 

Offline wino

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freedom of speech/offending people/defamation
« Reply #11 on: February 01, 2006, 01:54:28 pm »
then maybe it is a good idea to stop a 'guest' from posting
 

shark_za

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freedom of speech/offending people/defamation
« Reply #12 on: February 01, 2006, 01:56:21 pm »
Not a bad idea, at least force people to register, even if we dont monitor and strictly control that process.
 

Offline toucan

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« Reply #13 on: February 01, 2006, 02:04:22 pm »
Quote from: "funacide"
There is alrteady a disclaimer that gets accepted by the person when the register, it is as follows:

While the administrators ...
You agree to post abusive, obscene, vulgar, sexually-oriented or any other material that may violate any applicable laws. Doing so may lead to you being immediately and permanently praised...


fixed to reflect reality.
 :lol:  :lol:  :lol:  :lol:  :lol:  :lol:


i have never actually read the disclaimer. :roll:  :roll:
i'm not a complete idiot. some parts are missing.
 

Offline Welsh

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freedom of speech/offending people/defamation
« Reply #14 on: February 01, 2006, 02:50:34 pm »
Quote from: "toucan"
Quote from: "funacide"
There is alrteady a disclaimer that gets accepted by the person when the register, it is as follows:

While the administrators ...
You agree to post abusive, obscene, vulgar, sexually-oriented or any other material that may violate any applicable laws. Doing so may lead to you being immediately and permanently praised...


fixed to reflect reality.
 :lol:  :lol:  :lol:  :lol:  :lol:  :lol:


i have never actually read the disclaimer. :roll:  :roll:


In view of this undue stress I NEED A GUINNESS, oh no I am illegaly advertising.

B& Q if you are in the area Twincan

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Offline Lootch67

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freedom of speech/offending people/defamation
« Reply #15 on: February 01, 2006, 02:50:36 pm »
I agree with the "Get rid of the Guest" comment. If it's too much hassle to register (which it certainly isn't) then you can't have the luxury of joining in the discussion.
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Offline toucan

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freedom of speech/offending people/defamation
« Reply #16 on: February 01, 2006, 03:06:06 pm »
Quote from: "Welshman"


B& Q if you are in the area Twincan

Welshie


i'd love to but i have work to do, and visit the folks.
i'm not a complete idiot. some parts are missing.
 

Offline Welsh

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freedom of speech/offending people/defamation
« Reply #17 on: February 01, 2006, 03:29:04 pm »
Quote from: "toucan"
Quote from: "Welshman"


B& Q if you are in the area Twincan

Welshie


i'd love to but i have work to do, and visit the folks.


Return, the GUZZI?
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Offline toucan

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freedom of speech/offending people/defamation
« Reply #18 on: February 01, 2006, 03:38:02 pm »
Quote from: "Welshman"


Return, the GUZZI?


nah, not yet. i should also wash it sometime.
i'm not a complete idiot. some parts are missing.
 

Offline Welsh

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freedom of speech/offending people/defamation
« Reply #19 on: February 01, 2006, 03:41:24 pm »
Quote from: "Lootch67"
I agree with the "Get rid of the Guest" comment. If it's too much hassle to register (which it certainly isn't) then you can't have the luxury of joining in the discussion.


I knew I had the correct response, love your Avatar so here we go.





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Welshie
If I had a dollar for every girl that found me unattractive, they'd eventually find me attractive.