Citizens Media – Info bloggers need to know ! 9,390,206 -Truth

August 23, 2012 at 2:07 pm 8 comments

When you publish a blog or run an “informative” website there are many pitfalls. Those of us who administrate a blog have a responsibility that no matter how controversial our thoughts, opinions and writing of situations to try to be fair, document and try and do due diligence BUT to write the TRUTH .

However life isn’t fair ( for some of us) and our anger, angst and need to reach out with our various “passions” we want to get “our story” or platform out for whatever reason. We are usually not opening up the law books, calling media attorneys as we sit typing in our pajamas :) or wondering can I take a photo of a person inside a room and publish as opposed to outside ;)

Yes, poor partying Prince Harry- and the displaying of the family jewels and now the muzzling of the UK media to stop them printing the photos ( as they were taken inside rather than out) -
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2192332/Prince-Harry-naked-Vegas-photos-How-British-media-BANNED-publishing-pictures.html
a bit ridiculous in this day and age for the Palace to muzzle or even try in the UK – It is no longer the 1930’s when Harry’s bottom ( which is rather a nice bottom(imho) is already click away all over the world in various publications and websites. Horse and barn and all that rot eh what?

Ironically enough, I would lay crumpets to crowns that those in the British Isles, who are banned from seeing Harry in the buff on the front pages of the UK press , would not have any outrage at Harry but will smile knowingly at a young man’s antics and see it as just a bit of a lark! Their outrage would probably be directed at the muzzling of the press in the UK. At least that is my opinion “Marm”


Those past readers of WoM will remember the Perez Hilton episode when he and his blog followers went after a woman in Ohio for her comments – she was outed by the blog and Perez Hilton as to her real name . Unfortunately , a woman in Lorain bore the same name, and had been part of an event posted about Lorain on the now defunct WoM blog.

The internet search of the name led the ” hue and cry of rabid commenters” to a perfectly innocent individual who had never heard of Perez Hilton. It was a very nasty experience for the Lorain woman. It took a great deal of work and contacting the site to stop the harassment.

Most bloggers are not “professional” ( at least to start with) we have sound bites of “legality ” –

freedom of speech- nothing is sacred on the internet

and we,as bloggers, can get caught up in that perceived ” blanket protection.”

Some readers when against your writings will throw out terms like slander/ defamation or even will use the threat in comments section when as the nom de plume “old ironknickers” will threaten “upyournose” with a lawsuit – good luck with that :) .

I believe the anger when people are banging away at each other with

you’re stupid, you’re a dumbass , idiot

and such comes from the fact they have a limited command of the english language – a thesaurus might come in handy on the desk :)

The fact that a Lorain blog is at the center of a controversary has highlighted the pros and cons, the responsibility of being a blogger.

This situation has caused a bit of a worrying side (locally) to the story, at least from my perspective, fear of the published content. I have had phone calls etc from other amateur local bloggers worried about what they can or can’t do – I am not an expert and I too am finding my way through the “internet”. . Has the ripple effect of this Lorain happening caused ( at least locally) the self- imposed muzzling of freedom of speech.

However bloggers , there is an excellent resource available to guide you through.
The Citizens Media Law Project
http://www.citmedialaw.org/
There are many resources and explanations on this site
for instance Ohio Law on defamation

http://www.citmedialaw.org/legal-guide/ohio-defamation-law

You can also find out more about libel and slander in Ohio here
“Understanding the difference between libel and slander”

Defamation Law: The Basics
http://injury.findlaw.com/torts-and-personal-injuries/defamation-law-the-basics.html

This blog is ranked on the global scale, behind google and face book etc, at 9,390,206 in the global community ( have a way to go before I am considered for fame and fortune) but my point is there are millions and millions of us typing away but TRUTH is still the best defence.

http://codes.ohio.gov/orc/2739

2739.02 Defenses in actions for libel or slander.

In an action for a libel or a slander, the defendant may allege and prove the truth of the matter charged as defamatory. Proof of the truth thereof shall be a complete defense. In all such actions any mitigating circumstances may be proved to reduce damages.

Effective Date: 10-01-1953

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Entry filed under: a Cow -elle opinion, Blogging, blogs, Brit take. Tags: , .

Birthday- Chris Ritchey- and the Chris -Miss present Gridlocked and the writing stop sign!

8 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Brian  |  August 23, 2012 at 10:19 pm

    I have read the recent happens about Loraindirt.com and find the situation a little amusing, and somewhat discouraging at the same time.

    I saw the posting about Andrew and his remark, but I guess the commenting got out of hand and I am uncertain about the exchange of words afterwards because I didn’t see the offending comments. I did however read the comments that were posted in the papers and felt that some folks get “overly excited” and “give immence importance” to what they read, or others comments.

    Most “news” that we get today is washed down bare bones no effort paraphrasing of police reports or political events. I guess much of this can be attributed to the explosion of the internet and advertising dollars that once went to local papers from local businesses don’t fit the marketing programs that they did even ten years ago. Young reporters today just can’t live on the salary that the smaller market papers pay, with a few exceptions.

    With that being said, there is however an area of concern that I have about the people that leave comments at the local newspapers sites and also many of the blogs under a namedeplume. People who would never talk to another person personally face to face are like folks that drink at a bar and get “beer balls” because they can post anomosiously.

    I comment occasionally on Loraincounty.com, and here at this site, and while my name isn’t completely disclosed every time I comment, most folks know who I am. That being so, I am less inclined to make childish or crude comments about the discussion or other commentors.

  • 2. Loraine Ritchey  |  August 23, 2012 at 10:51 pm

    precisely Brian which is why I appreciate the folks that comment here ……. it is sad because I believe the unwanted ripple effect of this situation will stop some disemination of information that would be blog appropriate rather than main stream media – blogs can go into more depth of a situation cover events etc. that main stream media would not find profitable because for the most part we are not the professionals and therefore do not have access to the support of legal teams .

    No one ( at least any blogger ( meaning those that administrate a blog) wants to be involved in lawsuits it is a scary thing because anyone can file a lawsuit if they have the money and having had to “prove innocence ” a few years ago because a lady that was suffering from dimentia was making accusations – cost me for attorney’s etc the whole nine yards…… I wrote the article J’accuse which appeared on the old WoM . of what thatg felt like … I know the feeling …. of false accusations and the cost of such.

    I truly believe we as a society have lost the art of debate and differing opinions…but also there is a fear element to all of this too…..

  • 3. Brian  |  August 24, 2012 at 11:59 am

    I believe the behavior of childish remarks and insults are very High Schoolish. I also believe that while many folks consider themselves real democrats here, there just isn’t any way that any one person or one party can support everything that they say they do. I regretfully feel that the democratic party in our city is more like a high school popularity contest and who gets invited to sit at their table.

    The folks that commented in the newspaper comment section about Loraindirt.com were hardly “nice” to each other and I assume that the comments on the other site were also equally offensive. Many of the comments were more about putting others down and standing behind others. I guess that many folks believe that when it comes to decisions in life that you are only allowed to stand in one line and don’t you dare think otherwise. You may get kicked out of the line and sent to the back, or you could just get kicked out of the line all together.

    I read about Councilman Flores getting booted from a position within the democratic party that has some sort of “power”, http://chronicle.northcoastnow.com/2012/08/24/dems-boot-councilman-from-meeting-over-tea-party-list/ , and I was thinking to myself what a fucked up place getting involved in anything in this city has become. I am a democrat and don’t have any inclinations of changing my beliefs any time, but after reading that there are spies within the party and there are turncoats amongst us, I wonder to myself how anything positive can get done in our city.

    I spent 15 months in PanMunJom Korea in the center of the Demilitarized Zone when I was in the service. Our base was subjected to North Korean propaganda almost nonstop from radio transmissions, tv, and blaring loud speakers ALL NIGHT LONG…

  • 4. aka/mozart  |  August 24, 2012 at 12:42 pm

    omg…a spy…i really can’t stop laughing at such a statement…ouuuuu…he has been discovered at the fair…quick.. quick…get your camera…there he is..did ya get the shot of his signature?…thank goodness for camera cell phones…one more notch for the party…hail…hail…hail..the gangs all here!…that of course in “my” mind how the event played out…LOL…:)

  • 5. Loraine Ritchey  |  August 24, 2012 at 12:50 pm

    Yes I read the artcile in the Chronicle this morning as an INDEPENDENT who is not up on what party politics is all about not having immersed myself in it-

    Thayer sent The Chronicle-Telegram a photo of Flores’ signature that he said he took at the fair on Wednesday. Thayer said the signature is part of a pattern of disloyalty by Flores and he wouldn’t have raised the issue if it were an isolated incident.

    Thayer said he believes Flores may be spying on Democrats for Republicans.

    I have to say the visual conjured up of a chap following someone to a booth at the fair (oops mind the cow poop) and then taking snapshots of signatures at a sign up for information at a booth… and accusations of “spying for the republicans”- republicans how much are you paying I could use some extra cash??? ( said tongue in cheek)

    was absolutely comic relief.errrrr the republicans and the democrats for that matter have all their “promotions ” of self all over the airwaves, internet and tv—- Is there a secret game plan we don’t know about- Have the Democrats in Lorain some secret weapon they will roll out from party head quarters —- oh the mind boggles …

    A bit like the Akin guy and “legitimate rape “and a woman’s body able to recognize that particular form of rape from an illegimate rape???? and kick in automatic contraception. who are these people that run for office and are making decisions ewwwwwwwww

    Loraingate???? I believe they are intellectually challenged- did not Mr. Thayer ( who ever he may be even take into consideration how this would be perceived by the non partisan voter? Good job I vote for the person and not the party ….

  • 6. aka/mozart  |  August 24, 2012 at 1:24 pm

    Likewise Loraine!….( i knew i shouldn’t have lent Dennis my black trench coat)…get’s in trouble every time…sorry..i just cant get my mind around this…it is just one big cartoon…bob lynch…do your magic!

  • 7. Brian  |  August 24, 2012 at 9:30 pm

    The sad part about all of this is that someone, somewhere out there completely agrees with the childish behaviors that are going on and think that everyone else is an idiot for possibly seeing otherwise.

    The other day when reading the comments in the papers it was mentioned by one of the commentors that the presidents real name is Barry and that he has had several social security numbers and some other crap. OMG I guess it must be true because I read it on the internet!!!!

    I would tend to believe from the comments that the person who made those comments also is an alien from Mars, eats fart juice for breakfast, and doesn’t believe in taking baths. Where in the hell are some folks minds that they believe such garbage?

    So, as our city is faced with some very troublesome “obsticles”, the politicos are wasting their brain waves trying to uninvite folks from the big kids table instead of trying to get more folks to sit down and discuss real solutions.

    Think of this for a second. If the democrats and republicans are so infused with fighting amongst themselves, how the hell has the United States ever won a single war? I’ll tell ya why, because a soldier serves the public at large regardless of which party is in office and the country is put over any political beliefs so that we have the rights to play our childish little games.

  • 8. aka/mozart  |  August 25, 2012 at 12:11 pm

    this was a comment on ct posting..i copied and pasted as i thought it was ineresting….reads as follows..

    .Chris Goran
    “Isn’t that the pot calling the kettle black? When I arrived at our Fair booth Thursday morning, a neighboring vendor ale
    rted me to the following incident. They said that someone with a camera came to our front counter (Hey, was that you, Joe?) at our booth Thursday morning, which was COMPLETELY COVERED with a red cloth, lifted the cover and proceeded to take pictures of our counter. I guess in the liberal world, that doesn’t constitute “spying”. What a bunch of hypocrites some of these progressive Democrats are… How sad that attempting to simply” be informed’ of Lorain County constituents is wrong, and any attempt to do so openly and without subterfuge is considered damaging and objectionable behavior. The Lorain County 912 Tea Party keeps no secrets, but gee, I didn’t think we had to protect our info and email sign up sheets under lock and key for fear of reprisals from these shysters.”

    She has since friend requested me on facebook….i hear her story has been confirmed…and i too will ask her directly.

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