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  • Libel, slander, myspace Arizona

    Recently a person on myspace posted a blog saying:

    This just in from another mole. Russ (AKA Ravnostic) is a sexual predator who can be found on the Sex Offender website. Go check it out! http://az.gov/webapp/offender/main.do

    My full name is [deleted]. No such record exists. The post has been deleted, but was up for 12 hours. I've contacted the county Internet crime division, and notified myspace. I cannot see the whole post as it is now deleted.

    Do I have a case here, and can anyone tell me what the law can do for this person's libel? They were from a profile that has been harassing a number of prominant myspace bloggers. They picked the wrong one with me, and I wish to prosecute.
    Last edited by ravnostic; 12-14-2009, 11:00 AM. Reason: deleting my full name as I don't wish this to be online.

  • #2
    I feel you have a case for charachter defamation/ slander. Any person who willingly states false & misleading information in a deliberate attempt to Slander, Harass, Threaten, and possibly inflict harm on another person can be sued in civil court. Many people are under the "False Impression" that because cyber/ internet laws are not all that clear in most states, this gives them freedom of speech on the internet to speak their mind weather it is true or false. Adapting the mind set that, because they are doing it "Anonmyously" so to speak, they will get away with the slander. Not True.

    Each case is different, no case is cut and dry. Litigation is very expensive and there are no promises in the end. Cases can be won, however you must consider weather or not you feel it is worthwile to pursue. Although, they have qualified lawyers to handle such cases, most if not all will require a hefty retainer upfront before any work is done. These cases are difficult. Unless you are very wealthy or some type of celebrity who's status within the community has been tarnished, I would probably not pursue this any further. Yes, there is a 50/50 chance of winning, but what would you win?? You may prove a point and send a strong message to the person whom offended you, but at what price?? (ex: financial, psychological strain, possibly destroying the other person financially??). I do agree though, that the person who caused the slander should be made aware and made to understand the seriousness of the act.. Most people unless they are brain dead, should take the warning seriously and I can bet they will never do it again...

    Just follow the mind set- The Internet is a useful and powerful tool! Just don't abuse it!!
    Last edited by sampa; 11-14-2006, 07:54 AM. Reason: additional info

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    • #3
      Thanks

      Thanks for that information, I appreciate it.

      Comment


      • #4
        Please post back as to whether you were able to get an attorney to take your case. I suspect not for the following reasons: While the statements made against you were false (I am assuming you are not a sexual preditor), they were readily removed from the website (within 12 hours by your own account). More problematic, however, is the fact that it will be hard (if not impossible) to prove that your "reputation," "standing in the community," "ability to earn a living," etc. have been compromised.
        Barry S. Phillips, CPA
        www.BarryPhillips.com

        IRS Circular 230 Disclosure: This response is intended to provide general information and written for educational purposes only. It does not establish a client relationship. This communication is not intended to be used, and cannot be used, for the purpose of (i) avoiding tax-related penalties under the Internal Revenue Code or (ii) promoting, marketing or recommending to any party any matters addressed herein.

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        • #5
          Obtaining an attorney

          I spoke with a family member in law school who suggested much the same. It's likely that in light of this, I probably wouldn't pursue a lawsuit.

          However, is it still within my rights to obtain the information regarding who posted the blog regardless? (via IP address, etc, which myspace does track) Given the gravity of what she wrote (which indeed is not true), I would hope I would have a right to obtain information on the identity of who posted it, if only to protect myself should they live in my community.

          The same person went after a number of popular bloggers (who rank in the top 100 blogs, of some 28K) who have ties to one blogger in particular, whose profile she copied to precision and posted as though he/she were that blogger.

          Using an auto-refresher, the posing blogger had managed to create top 20-ranked blogs defaming a number of others (though not as he/she did meviewings), and it was probably coincidence that his/her profile was deleted by myspace the same day the blog about me was posted. Had these others not complained, it's likely he/she would have continued.

          That sort of behavior from him/her makes me wonder if the person isn't mental unstable, and thus, it would cause me to worry if they lived anywhere in my region of the country.

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          • #6
            ravonistic,

            I am in total agreement with you on this one. Any person who would write such false and potentially damaging comments about another is not only Mentally unstable but Cruel also. We are talking about another human being's reputation here. I agree that if this person continues this "Internet" abuse and pattern of behavior they will certainly need "Legal Help" without a doubt. For now, maybe the best thing for them is "Psychological and "Spiritual help". For now, I would wait and see if any other instances occur involving this person and take it from there.

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            • #7
              Even if the remarks were deleted/removed, it is still serious in nature. The simple fact that someone would post such sick and false lies would be of concern to me. It is not as difficult as some think to discover the identity of anonmyous web posters. In many instances, a court subpoena can be issued without the poster ever being notified until after the fact. Even if Ip addresses are faked to hide identity, there are other ways to trace the posts to the original poster. Sometimes ISP's will revel identities under certain circumstances without a court order.

              The Internet is a useful tool when used correctly. When misused it can cause a host of problems. Although, I believe in free speech, I do not believe in those who feel they have a right to speak what they feel even if it is defamatory and false. I must say I am against everything the EFF (electronic frontier foundation) stands for. In some cases, surveillance, and phone tapping is necessary etc. As far as computer/electronic freedom is concerned. Even that must have limits also. I do not support the notion that an individual has the right to use their employers computer for their own personal use and then claim that the employer has no right to monitor their activities.

              I feel when states enact more substantial internet/cyber laws, we will probably see an increase in defamation/slander and other internet related law suits being initiated.

              Comment


              • #8
                helpinghand: It is not as difficult as some think to discover the identity of anonmyous web posters

                It's not as easy as you may think either http://www.freeadvice.com/iaal/.
                Barry S. Phillips, CPA
                www.BarryPhillips.com

                IRS Circular 230 Disclosure: This response is intended to provide general information and written for educational purposes only. It does not establish a client relationship. This communication is not intended to be used, and cannot be used, for the purpose of (i) avoiding tax-related penalties under the Internal Revenue Code or (ii) promoting, marketing or recommending to any party any matters addressed herein.

                Comment


                • #9
                  New issue: constructive dismissal, ARS 23-1502

                  sorry, misposted, question is here:

                  http://www.laborlawtalk.com/showthre...22#post1087522
                  Last edited by ravnostic; 12-01-2009, 10:53 AM. Reason: posted incorrectly

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                  • #10
                    While it may be difficult to get an attorney to take your case, the libel is pretty defamatory and I believe you'd possibly have a case. Though it does seem pretty muddy.

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                    • #11
                      AmandaStrange, please do not reply to old threads - the original poster I'm sure has resolved their situation by now since they started this thread in 2006.

                      Thanks.
                      Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around. Leo Buscaglia

                      Live in peace with animals. Animals bring love to our hearts and warmth to our souls.

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