Originally Posted by 'trane
just out of curiosity, why is it that the internet should be different than 'real life'? why is it that, just because you have supposed anonymity, you should be able to do things, like slander, that you wouldn't be allowed to do in person?
i don't really get why people think the web should be some sort of place where law has no relevance. it's still slander, and the anonymity makes it all the more dangerous. i'd rather see law apply than have some place where people can hide behind a veil of facelessness and throw barbs at whomever they please. slander is slander.
I think the reason why I feel that it is different is that using the internet is generally a choice.
Sure you might have to use the internet for your job but in terms of using it for a social aspect, that is your own risk.
Yes, slander is still slander, and if it passes the legal definition of slander then restitution is in order.
Slander is very difficult to prove anyways because actual harm is difficult to measure. If I call you a lying scumbag in the context of an argument but an unlimited number of people can read it, is it now slander instead of just something said in a heated exchange?
Message boards like this could have people dragged out for slander. We don't need things like that tying up court time. It's a massive waste of resources!
The site hosting the material should be considered responsible for that content. It is very easy to sue them, why do the people involved have to be known? If the site wants to turn around and sue the users they can very easily do so, or attempt to, as they have access to the users IP's or personal data. If they don't have the personal data, they are SOL.
We need to encourage proper agreements with the hosts and the end user. This can be accomplished by holding the host accountable for the data stored on their sites. This should be where the government/law energy is focussed.
You also get into issues with what laws apply where in terms of internet use. I can set up a site in Nigeria that slanders someone, under what Nigerian law will you sue me?
I am for control, but these sites on the internet, in many ways constitute their own communities. Why should the rules of one country govern them when the users are international?
Within your own community, come your own laws. Sites should govern themselves as such but will answer to the host country's laws in dispute. The site, not the user.
Next thing you know I'll get called in as a fucking witness to "internet slander" because my IP was logged into the chat room at the time.