Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Should 1 Anxious Liberal Be Reinstated to LiberalsONLINE.ca???

You be the judge and jury. It's only fair that it's a democratic decision. Many have questioned whether or not 1AL is even a Liberal at all. Many defend 1AL as a freedom speecher. Me? I don't know. I don't ask for the real identities of those bloggers that are on LiberalsONLINE.ca.

1AL was deemed inactive after this post. Many lawyers - I mean commentors - suggested to LiberalsONLINE.ca that the title of the post contains a certain possibility of libel. While there is a disclaimer on the aggregator itself, LiberalsONLINE.ca was not prepared to take that chance. Similarly, I am of the understanding that Progressive Bloggers were of the same opinion at their aggregator.

It's bad enough that I have to defend against my own lawsuits, but to defend one on something someone else penned is a whole other ballgame.




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14 comments:

The Mound of Sound said...

Jim, I think the specific term "money laundering" was ill-advised. There was nothing to suggest that the donations were proceeds of crime sent through the Liberal process to be laundered.

LoL, as 1AL freely acknowledges, is yours and yours alone. If you and your moderators find a post offensive, is it not open to you to simply remove it from the aggregator?

I do find much of the material written by 1AL interesting and I feel it would be unfortunate if that blogger was banned. There does, however, need to be some clear understanding between you two.

Good luck

Chrystal Ocean said...

I was shocked to see liberalsonline ban 1AL. His/her blog has quickly become one of my favourites because it's so refreshingly open. I can respect Liberals like that, not one who like to pretend all is sweetness and light or try to sweep all the party's troubles under the rug.

At any rate, the headline of the 'offending' post sent me off to check my own headlines. Cuz I figured it likely I could have offended too. Not that I give a damn if I did.

Here's one recent headline, for example: To Eliminate Homelessness, Fix the Numbers. Wouldn't "fix the numbers" suggest unethical, perhaps illegal, shenanigans? I hope so, cuz that was my intent. Others of my posts could equally come under the censor's gaze.

Scott Tribe said...

1 caveat to your blogpost Jim:

I should note that Prog BLog decided to remove 1AnxiousLiberal's blogpost, not remove his blog from the aggregator - so I took slightly different action then Liberals Online did.

Of course, if that blog continues to post stuff that may get Prog in legal jeopardy, I reserve the decision to remove that blog, but it was not kicked off over this specific individual blogpost.

James Curran said...

While something unethical could potentially become a crime, money laundering occurs as a result of a crime. I don't think Iggy has been charged with any crimes or he probably wouldn't be an MP.

Anyone spot the difference?

LeDaro said...

James, I agree with the comments above. I believe Scott's approach was the best.Just remove the post you find offensive but not remove the blogger right away.

IAL provides good information and it will be a good idea to keep him on.

Blues Clair said...

I'm one of the Absolutely voters, but I understand your position Monsieur Curran, as written in the last paragraph of this post.

Cheers.

Saskboy said...

Scott's approach seems the better of the two considering it was a first "offence", if you consider it even worthy of action. The last time a Progblogger was threatened with a libel lawsuit from a political party higher-up, they became more famous, and the party shrank from the mistake (Greens v. Buckdog)

James Curran said...

A couple of things.

First, I acknowledge your point Scott. You removed their post (cause who really knows if it's a he or she). Unfortunately, the template that LoL is mercifully running on doesn't allow us to remove a sole posting on its own. So, the alternative was to make the blog inactive. Which it remains. So that answers everyone else's question as to why the single post wasn't eliminated.

Secondly, I will email everyone that is on the LoL aggregator and the members themselves can vote. This is all under the assumption the 1AL even wants to remain.

One Member One Vote.

H/t to Sf&W for that.

Cherniak_WTF said...

Jim, it really sounds like you are remove 1al.

First you set up this poll (which clearly is in favour of his staying on the aggregator).
Now you will email other people on the aggregator...

So why even set up the poll that states:
You be the judge and jury. It's only fair that it's a democratic decision.

Maybe we should ask the Liberal party next...

LeDaro said...

James, I agree with my friend CWTF. Now that the poll is clearly in favour of IAL let him back on. I think he made also very good gesture when he did April fool thing. Unless there is something else going on between you two that I do not know I think you should put IAL back on.

Let Liblog do the fighting and bickering. I am amazed that something has not been stirred up there already.

roblaw said...

It's a curious and somewhat frightening thing. The libel case brought by Richard Warman against Paul Fromm is a frightening thing for bloggers.

While Fromm's friends, by and large, are a dispicable lot - the notion that what really amounted to pretty typical blog slamming of a public figure would result in a $30,000.00 judgement is frightening.

And when you actually review the judgment, and see just how capricious the judge was in making that decision, it makes you pause when you consider taking another shot over the bow at Ignatieff, or Harper, or, dare I say it.. Warren Kinsella (might as well start saving for my retainer right now).

I understand your point, James.. but the blog rolls are an incredible example of free speech that really was dead and dormant until the advent of blogs and the internet. Complete democracy.. anyone can post something that everyone over the world can read.

Tough balance - free speech v. freedom from law suits..

Cherniak_WTF said...

Well James? Is this thing on?

Mark Francis said...

Anything published about someone remotely negative can result in a libel suit.

Keeping that in mind, so far it appears that unless you are specifically recommending the post, you would not be held responsible for it showing up in a aggregator.

See http://section15.blogspot.com/2008/10/legal-precedent-your-blogroll-is-safer.html

though that's only in BC, and is under appeal.

Of course, that never stops someone from suing. It just stops them from winning.

Before they can tort, you are likely entitled to a notice (I can't vouch for every province, but this is certainly the case in Ontario). Obeying the notice doesn't nullify any legal claim, but it does mitigate damages. In practice, most parties don't sue if the notice is obeyed.

I'd ask the blogger to alter the title before reinstatement. It's one thing for him/her to take the risk. It's quite another to ask others to.

Demosthenes said...

I'm merely an interested party, but I think Francis has the right of it. A title change, or even a disclaimer, and then reinstatement.

After all, while 1AL seems to be somewhat critical of the current Liberal regime, that may be exactly the kind of voice necessary. I like your list precisely because it isn't a choir busily singing praises. 1AL would seem to fit nicely.