From: Lillian Komlossy <Lillian(_at_)dmnews(_dot_)com>
Just when we thought it could not get more - well.. "complicated", someone
sent me this article:
If there is any truth in this and it continues like this I wonder how many
people will stay connected to the 'Net".
There's no news there, nor any relevance to this mailing list.
No one with common senses expects to be both publicly visible and
anonymous "on the 'Net" or anywhere. The saying "on the Internet no
one can tell if you're a dog" has always applied only to people lacking
modest clues about how things work or the motivation to use them.
The major irony of that "no one can tell" saying is that it applies at
least as much to the more than skin deep natures of old media reporters
and chatty heads.
Why should "the 'Net" be different from other media? If you say unkind
things about someone or something, it's always wise to have empty or very
deep pockets, or proof that what you say is the truth. It's been half a
dozen years since someone in the U.K. won a defamation case about pointed
words in netnews. If non-U.S. (e.g. U.K.) legal rules that value truth
less than hurt feelings or reputations don't apply in your jurisdiction,
what's your worry? The biggest danger in your words remains the harm they
can do to your own reputation.
Etoys.com vs etoy.com and many other cases have demonstrated the
fundamental weakness of aggressive consumer goods vendors' efforts
to right offenses against what they think are their good names.
As other media (e.g. the "Wall Street Journal") have long reported,
smart users of the monitoring described in that article cause the
"anti-corporate activist" to disappear or switch sides, usually with a
bribe such as fixing whatever originally angered the "activist."
Vernon Schryver vjs(_at_)rhyolite(_dot_)com