Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Mudslinging Bloggers Take Over?

The Daily Advertiser has a commentary which reads "Internet is ideal for mudslinging"... ya think?
"The fact that laws against libel and slander are not applicable in cyberspace is disquieting, to say the least." laments the commentary.

A similar concern was echoed to me Monday from a central Louisiana politician clearly taken off balance by the huge amount of negative information posted on local blogs about him. This person is determined to find out who is on the attack, and claims to already have an attorney looking into who is posting and organizing this smear campaign.

But the hard truth of the matter is the web will play an even bigger part in political circles than ever before and if you are serving , running for or even considering public office you better learn the web and it's players. There is little a politician can do to combat the attacks except perhaps build a better website in rebuttal. See jindalisbad vs jindaisgood as an example of a counter attack.

The Advertiser commentary wants a non-profit for the Internet to help us navigate the web and separate fact from fiction. What do you think? Is the web the new safe haven for mudslinging and misinformation?

8 comments:

Greg Aymond said...

This story in incorrect, in its assertation that libel and slander laws do not apply to the internet. The problem is that, with anonymous posters, it is difficult to find out who to sue.
Federal law gives immunity to a blog owner, against lawsuits over posts that he or she did not write themselves, and were posted by others.. Also, a civil subpoena sent to the blog company must be honored to turn over the ISP address of the poster. Then a similar subpoena can be served upon the ISP provider to to give you then name and address of the account holder.
So, if you have the time and funds to do it, a defamatory poster on a blog can still be sued in Louisiana.

Anonymous said...

on top of that, public officials have a more difficult time proving defamation b/c they can be lampooned.

Anonymous said...

one more question: Is this local politician one of those Mr. Aymond has filed an ethics complaint against?

Anonymous said...

Public figures do have the additionally burden of proving malice, in a slander or defamation suit. However, that burden of proff is not impossible in all cases.

Anonymous said...

I'd like to see someone go up against the malicious racist content that is sometimes allowed on Cenla Antics. I don't have a problem with people giving public officials nicknames, raising questions about their businesses, or even posing theories about inside deals. All the racist stuff, however, is malicious.

confused said...

I thought that your purpose in establishing this blog was to open up communication lines from us folks that knew stuff but are not in a position to take on the establishment. If you don't want us to say anything that might be considered negative, you need to say so. But Lamar already has an issue-free controversy-less blog.

Blogger said...

Why are you confused? Yes, I am always interested in your ideas on taking on the establishment, but like any other medium the issue of how that is done (blogs, email, written communication) is of interest as well. My apologies if I am off point. This is quite simply still a work in progress. And to answer above, no Mr. Aymond was not the person I spoke with.

Blogger said...

Oops..I meant to say Mr. Aymond may have filed an ethics violation against this politican, but I did not get his permission to talk about who he was so I will not reveal his identity. This is really not a big deal. Am I to believe that "we saw that" and the rest of the blog community thinks my comments were a threat passed on to slap down a revolt online? Heck no if anything I felt the comment made by this politician was aimed at this blog as well.