kristy johnston and her remarks Message Board

  • View author's info Author posted on Oct 02, 2005 19:16

    kristy - i am highly annoyed to say the least at your comments about Mel.Many people on here joke and jest with each other- but u have crossed the line. A. you either have the proof i asked you to forward or B. you are simply a dopey chick.. im going with B.
    Kristy if u can read which i think u can --- read on..remove the posts that u posted...
    On the Internet, where abnormal behavior is the status quo, tempers
    can flare in the heat of debate and word wars can last for days or
    even weeks. It's not uncommon for users to ridicule, harass or insult
    those who disagree with them.

    But if you damage someone's reputation by trying to embarrass them in
    a public forum, you could be sued for libel or defamation. After all,
    there's no reason to assume that the messages you send through
    cyberspace are immune from lawsuits.

    "The Internet culture right now is for users to refute speech with
    speech," says Dave Marburger, the attorney who represented Brock Meeks
    in one of the first defamation lawsuits in the United States involving
    the Internet. "But as the Internet culture gets more diverse, users
    will start refuting speech with lawsuits."

    There have only been a handful of libel and defamation lawsuits filed
    involving the Internet so far, but as the Net grows, the number of
    lawsuits will probably increase. If the few court battles that have
    been decided involving libel and defamation on the Net are any
    indication of how the law will be applied to the Internet in the
    future, it's worth your time to learn what's libelous or defamatory on
    the Internet and what's not.

    Other users have the right to sue you for defamation if they can prove
    you damaged their reputation or good name with false information. You
    can be sued for libel if another user can prove you have distributed
    defamatory statements about them in a public area -- such as a news
    group or mailing list.

    In April of 1993 Gil Hardwick, an anthropologist in Australia, was
    ordered by the Australian Supreme Court to pay David Rindos $40,000 in
    damages because he defamed Rindos on an international mailing list.

    After Rindos lost his job at the University of West Australia,
    Hardwick posted a message on an international disscussion group that
    suggested Rindos was fired because he was a bully and had sexually
    molested a local boy.

    Rindos filed a defamation lawsuit against Hardwick because he felt the
    message had hurt his chances of finding a new job. In a letter to
    Rindos's attorney, Hardwick wrote "Let this matter be expedited and
    done with....I can do nothing to prevent it, lacking any resources
    whatsoever to defend myself." Like most people, Hardwick didn't have
    the money to hire a lawyer or finance an expensive legal battle.

    "He (Rindos) suffered a great deal of personal hurt because of the
    message," said Supreme Court Justice David Ipp in the West Australian.
    "The damages award must compensate him and vindicate his reputation to
    the public."

    The Internet is an informal forum and people often write personal things
    about other users, but you can be held accountable in court for making
    libelous or defamatory remarks in public forums just like Hardwick was.

    "We know that as the Internet grows, there will be more and more
    lawsuits involving libel and defamation," says attorney David H.
    Donaldson, editor of Legal Bytes, an electronic magazine that
    discusses legal issues involving computers and networking. "The only
    question is if the number of cases will grow steadily or if there will be
    an explosion of lawsuits all at once."

    Anybody can sue you for libel or defamation if they think you damaged
    their reputation, but if you can prove what you say is true, chances are
    that you won't end up in court.

    "Make it clear when you are stating your opinion," says Donaldson,
    "Always state the facts that your opinions are based on just to be safe.
    You probably won't lose a libel or defamation lawsuit if you can back up
    what you write with solid facts."

    For example, Brock Meeks, a full-time journalist who also distributes his
    own electronic magazine, avoided losing a defamation lawsuit largely
    because he could prove an article that he sent over the Net was true.

    Meeks was sued by Suarez Corporation Industries in April of 1994 for
    writing an investigative story about the company and its services in his
    electronic newsletter -- the CyberWire Dispatch. Meeks had no libel
    insurance, no publishing company backing him up and a lot of legal
    fees to cover. (His lawyer charged him $200 an hour.) The only thing
    Meeks had was his house -- and he didn't want to sell it to pay off a

    Meeks defended his article in numerous posts on the Net, "All of my
    facts were rock solid. Although the article was delivered with a fair
    amount of attitude, I don't believe that I'm in dangerous waters," he

    Benjamin Suarez, owner of Suarez Corp., filed the suit because he felt
    that Meeks had damaged his reputation and hurt his business by
    saying he was "infamous for his questionable direct marketing scams,"
    and saying "he (Suarez) has a mean streak." To back up his opinion,
    Meeks cited accusations made by the Washington state attorney
    general's office concerning Suarez's direct marketing practices.

    In August of 1994 Suarez Corp. made Meeks an offer he couldn't
    refuse. They agreed to settle the case for $64 -- to cover
    administrative court costs. The company refused to comment on why
    they agreed to settle the lawsuit.

    If the case had gone to trial, Meeks's lawyer thinks Meeks would have
    been able to win anyway. "The defendants in libel or defamation suits
    involving the Internet have enhanced First Amendment rights," says
    Marburger. "The plaintiff has to prove actual malice. In other words,
    the plaintiff has to show that the defendant made false statements or
    was negligent." Marburger's only regret is that they didn't get to set
    that precedent in court.

    Although the Meeks case doesn't really mean anything in the law
    books, it does show that if you're responsible and can prove what you
    write on the Net is true, people will be less likely to take you to court. If
    you just make something up and your sources aren't reliable, you could
    lose big like Hardwick did.

    "You have to follow the same rules that journalists do if your going to
    write and distribute controversial material about other people," says

    The increasingly common phenomenon of online forums creates the
    possibility for you to reach large audiences, but it also creates the
    ability for you to commit defamation or libel -- something that an
    ordinary citizen didn't have to worry about in the past. Before the
    growth of online communication, people who didn't work in the media
    usually didn't have to worry about libel or defamation. "Libel laws apply
    to the Internet the same way they do to newspapers and TV stations,"
    explains former Federal Communications Commissioner Nicholas
    Johnson, a professor at the Iowa University school of law. "The same
    technology that gives you the power to share your opinion with
    thousands of people also qualifies you to be a defendant in a lawsuit."

    Like a newspaper or TV station, you are responsible for making sure
    the material you distribute -- or broadcast -- over the Internet is not
    libelous or defamatory. Lani Teshia-Miller never meant to defame
    anyone, but when she took over the distribution of a tattoo FAQ she
    almost ended up in court. The rec.arts.bodyart FAQ she inherited
    contained a lot of generalizations based on contributions from
    unattributed sources. Although she listed her name on the FAQ, she
    didn't edit out several defamatory statements. One review of a San
    Francisco tattoo artist in the FAQ said, "He's getting old and having
    problems with his eyesight. His quality is really bad and he hurts

    After the artist hired a lawyer and threatened to sue, Teshia- Miller
    changed the FAQ's wording to reflect a more factually-based and
    less-hysterical view. The review now says, "His eyesight is not what it
    used to be."

    After the FAQ was changed and Teshia-Miller apologized, the artist
    dropped the lawsuit. "It turned out to be a good experience for me,"
    said Teshia- Miller. "I'm a lot more careful about what I allow on the
    artist list, and I now have a very long disclaimer at the beginning of the

    Every person you write something negative about won't sue you for
    defamation or libel, they might flame you or just try to set the record
    straight by replying to the message. But if you post false information
    about another user and disgrace them in public, they have the right to
    take you to court -- and they could win a big settlement if they can
    prove you were negligent.

    Medphone, a Fortune 500 company that manufactures medical
    instruments, has filed a $200 million lawsuit against Prodigy user Peter
    DeNigis. Medphone filed a "systematic program for defamation and
    trade disparagement" lawsuit against DeNigis after a stockholder
    reported that he was making several negative posts about Medphone a
    day on Prodigy's Money Talk Forum. DeNigis, a former Medphone
    stockholder, lost more than $9,000 last year by selling off his
    investment in the company. In one post DeNigis wrote, "My research
    indicated the company is really having a difficult time. No case, no
    sales, no profits and terrible management. This company appears to be
    a fraud. Probably will cease operations soon."

    Although the accusation that Medphone is a "fraud" is very serious --
    and potentially defamatory -- DeNigis might be able to win the lawsuit if
    he can prove what he wrote is...
  • 9Comments

  • View author's info posted on Oct 27, 2005 07:59

    Whoaowh!...this is the type of info i was searching for quite a while! Thank you NYCHCK!!!
    Whoaowh!...this is the type of info i was searching for quite a while! Thank you NYCHCK!!!
  • View author's info posted on Oct 04, 2005 20:59

    lol did no one get that - u know me saying im african american -- jersey girl im sure u did lol
  • View author's info posted on Oct 03, 2005 17:41

    blackbeautyviolet write:
    Oh Yay!! The white girl NYCHICK learned how to copy and paste. Get a life and grow up!! And quit harrassing people online. It's obvious you have mental problems by the way you make your screenname in all capitals letters and you post fake pictures of girls on your profile. NYCHICK is starving for attention.

  • View author's info posted on Oct 03, 2005 13:30

    Totally sick of that person to do such a thing, especially to Mel!!!!
  • View author's info posted on Oct 03, 2005 08:09

    ScrippsRanchMel write:
    As you can see, I am today's target of some trolls.

    Ms. Kristy Johnson,

    I do not appreciate your lies about me. I have already contacted MM customer service to have you removed.

    Let me present this offer to you. I am willing to meet you in a San Diego court room. You will have the opportunity to see my city and experience a slander lawsuit. Are you game?


    mel it is libel.. and mm claims they have no kristy johnson however mel you can in fact have the address of this person and their name court ordered from MM .. and who the heck is this black chick who says shes white?
  • View author's info posted on Oct 03, 2005 08:07

    blackbeautyviolet write:
    Oh Yay!! The white girl NYCHICK learned how to copy and paste. Get a life and grow up!! And quit harrassing people online. It's obvious you have mental problems by the way you make your screenname in all capitals letters and you post fake pictures of girls on your profile. NYCHICK is starving for attention.

    hang on now u your profile says you are not african american yet u sorta look it.. I am African american and my pictures are not fake. yes i am starving for attention which is why i use caps.. what a smart white chick u are
  • View author's info posted on Oct 03, 2005 05:28

    blackbeautyvelvet... are you from another planet? Maybe you were kicked out of it and landed here. You sure won't make any friends here if you start attacking everyone. This is the second post I see of you and the second one that is arrogant.

    Great info, NYC. Thanks.
  • View author's info posted on Oct 03, 2005 03:34

    NY great post..
  • View author's info posted on Oct 02, 2005 19:14

    such as Prodigy, America Online and Compuserve are
    responsible for defamatory remarks broadcast over their services, but
    there is no legal ambiguity about whether individual users can be sued
    for making defamatory or libelous statements. Individual users are
    responsible for making sure the information they distribute is not
    libelous or defamatory.

    The Internet has made world wide, instantaneous communication easy.
    The average user now has the power to be heard by hundreds or even
    thousands of other users, but in terms of libel and defamation, the Net
    is not a new world of freedom. The reality is that libel and defamation
    laws are enforceable in the virtual world just like they are in the real
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