Thursday, September 10, 2009

Free Speech or Defamation of Character?

Did you hear about the “Skanks of New York” blog that was allegedly defaming a former model? From what I hear, a judge ordered Google to give out the identity of the blogger (because the blog was anonymous) who was writing these horrible things about the former model, and now that blogger is suing Google because she claims that it was Google’s right to protect her identity.

It’s funny that this came out because I’ve been dealing with an issue similar to this over the past month or so. See, I read this blog about a sick baby. And you all know that any baby melts my heart, let alone a sick one. I prayed and worried about this sick child…I was really torn up when things weren’t looking great for this poor child. Seriously, ask John…my stomach was in knots and I was not feeling well for a few days. And then magically, this sick baby is well again. Not perfect mind you, he still has his condition, but he was “miraculously” back to playing with his siblings just days after “being on his death bed.”

Now, I’m a VERY skeptical person…about EVERYTHING. I feel bad most times because you could tell me that your mom gave you money and I would immediately start thinking things like “what does she want in return?” “Did you beg her for the money?” “people don’t usually just give money away.” See? Sometimes it’s a bad thing, but I honestly believe most of the time it’s a good thing…it keeps me from being scammed or taken advantage of. But sometimes my radar goes down and my emotions take over. So when the little baby was all better again, I started to question things…and apparently I wasn’t the only one…

This blog that I read also has a whole community where all of her followers talk. I started reading through some of the posts and realized there were a bunch of people that were talking about inconsistencies in this lady’s story, and they talked about the “other blog” where they could freely discuss this because the moderators were shutting the threads down. So I did some investigating and found the “other blog.”

Let me tell you…these people hate the lady with a passion! I never comment, I just read, and gather information, and then do some research of my own. And let me tell you, I feel duped! I feel like I was sucked in and fooled and I don’t like that feeling whatsoever.

Anyway, back to the whole “anonymous” thing…some of the lady supporters have also found this blog and have posted numerous times that people should be careful about what they say…they could be found out and sued for spreading lies. Of course all the people on this “other blog” claim nothing is a lie and the lady has brought it upon herself by telling different “stories.” And let me point out that this lady is very popular, so she’s kind of in the same situation as Kate Gosselin…all her dirty laundry is being aired because she is somewhat of a “celebrity.” Now, I don’t comment not because I’m scared of possibly being sued. I don’t comment because, while I agree with a lot that is said on this blog, I really don’t want to be associated with the nastiness. I’m not a mean person in real life, and I have no desire to be mean online whatsoever. But a lot of what these people are saying is true, fact-wise…I’ve researched it myself. And I want to know the truth so I can stop feeling duped.

So what do you think? Do you think that people should always be allowed to be anonymous and say whatever they want? Or do you think that no one should be allowed to cower behind a blog and say mean things just because they can? I’m not sure how I feel…but I know one thing…I’m glad that I’m finding out the truth about things so that I can make informed decisions and not feel like I’ve been taken for a ride.


Sherry said...

Um yeah, that's a toughie for sure. People have blogs to just "air things out" I think, and truthfully I don't read any blog that has anonymous on it. Actually I only read like 3 blogs now, and one of them being yours, yeah I don't believe you are scamming anyone!!!
My opinion is you have to sort of read "between the lines" of the anonymous blogs. Is there a hidden agenda? a hidden message? a plea for money? or is it just some unhappy person trying to vent and get sympathy. That right there has to be on your very own "gut instinct" once you do start reading them.
So yeah not a good answer for you huh? Sorry but that's me!!! :)

Amy W said...

Wow, I hadn't heard about this. And you so have to let me in on the blog you were reading.

I hate it when I read blogs about how poor they are, how their kids don't get new clothes, yet they just went out and got a new iPhone. KILLS ME.

Christy said...

Ug, that sure sucks!

It is sad the way people you being 'Anonymous' to hide while throwing stones at people. It does nothing more than infuriate me, but maybe I sort of still have the whole 'if you don't have anything nice to day, then you don't say anything at all' ingrained in me from my childhood.

The thing that scares me still sometimes how anonymous the entire computer world is. I mean you can create whatever you want to create. What do you really believe? Is that too skeptical of me? Maybe, I guess you just have to really go with your gut at times.