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News & politics

Libel Laws......We should be aware

(30 Posts)
merlotgran Sun 29-Jan-17 14:00:28

www.mumsnet.com/Talk/site_stuff/2840487-Sunday-Times-story-today-about-Mumsnet-having-to-reveal-posters-names?pg=4

This is something we should also take note of on Gransnet. It's very easy to post something that can be construed as libel when actually we think we are just chatting!

Leticia Sun 29-Jan-17 16:09:54

People think they can get away with all sorts if they are anonymous- a good reminder that you can't.

POGS Sun 29-Jan-17 17:35:47

Thanks for the reminder merlot.

rosesarered Sun 29-Jan-17 17:40:39

I remember that I said this on a thread about a celebrity a year ago, ( libel laws) but nobody seemed unduly bothered ( they should be!)

TriciaF Sun 29-Jan-17 20:31:53

I always thought that it was the owners of the website who were responsible for what's printed, and risked being sued, not the individual members.

merlotgran Sun 29-Jan-17 20:44:22

If I understand it correctly, the owners of the website can ask the poster if they want their post deleted but they may insist it still stands in which case it's their responsibility.

They're not like that with us. We get zapped whether we like it or not. grin

Jane10 Sun 29-Jan-17 21:25:26

Blimey. We're all stuffed if that delightful Mr Trump ever gets round to reading GN!

Eloethan Mon 30-Jan-17 00:59:10

It's OK as long as what you say is true.

vampirequeen Mon 30-Jan-17 13:45:06

Don't worry about Donald. He would simply look the alternative facts.

If we say we hate him ....well we're women and always say the opposite of what we mean.

If we say he's a sexual predator and creep....well we're women and always say no when we mean yes i.e. say the opposite of what we mean.

If we say he's homophobic ....well we're women so how could we understand how unnatural it is for two men to enjoy sex with each other. They're obviously not 'real' men. Of course it's perfectly natural for 'real' men to enjoy watching two women have sex with each other.

If we say he's racist.....well we're women and we all fantasise about being 'taken' by some 'wild savage'.

If we say he's add anything you like...well we're women so.....

rosesarered Mon 30-Jan-17 13:49:55

Jane don't know about Donald Trump but two members on Mumsnet are in serious trouble.We have to remember these chats on here are a bit different to one we have in a coffee shop.

NanaandGrampy Mon 30-Jan-17 14:06:57

Elothan there is a limit to it even if it's true.

Opinion is not libellous ( so you may say someone is a 'loser' or 'clueless' )but even opinion must be backed up by the truth. If your opinion is not backed up by fact then it IS libellous.

What the opinion privilege doesn't protect is accusations of criminal or illegal behavior, even if they're expressed as opinions. So, if you write that your mayor is a "thief and a criminal," you're asking for trouble.

PamelaJ1 Mon 30-Jan-17 15:02:42

If we add' allegedly 'as they do in Have I got news for you does that let us off the hook? 🤔

MaizieD Mon 30-Jan-17 17:12:53

two members on Mumsnet are in serious trouble

They're certainly in line for having to pay out a lot of money if he sues them for libel. But the news story was just about the complainant going to court to get an order for Mumsnet to reveal the posters' identities. I know this happens because I was threatened with the process on Mumsnet a couple of months ago. (nothing to get excited about, ladies. I hadn't libelled anyone. I just now know what the procedure is)

What I didn't know, and what shocks me somewhat, is that Mumsnet were required by the court to hand over the posters' private messages. So, be careful; your 'private' messages aren't sad

MaizieD Mon 30-Jan-17 17:18:29

Incidentally, this is the news story:

www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-4168630/Mumsnet-ordered-hand-identities-users.html

And, from reading the Mumsnet thread about it, it looks suspiciously as though the two posters may have joined up specifically to post about the surgeon.

NanaandGrampy Mon 30-Jan-17 17:22:09

No allegedly doesn't let you off the hook Pamela smile BUT comedy and satirical humour have a longer rope before they hang themselves.

Its not considered libel if its used in either of those 2 contexts unless certain criteria are met.

Ana Mon 30-Jan-17 17:30:20

I'm pretty sure you don't have to give an address to join GN (or MN) and can supply a false 'real' name if you wish to.

The only information they have is your email address and computer id.

As for PMs, does deleting them not work?

(Not that I'm planning in libelling anyone, you understand!)

MaizieD Mon 30-Jan-17 17:46:39

Even if you delete your PMs it may be possible that they are all still on the server somewhere and can be retrieved by the site administrator. I don't know this for certain but I think it's tecnically possible.

Yes, they have your email, so they email you to tell you someone has complained about your post. I assume that they only email you if it's something potentially actionable that has been complained about.

Mair Mon 30-Jan-17 18:01:32

Those GNetters who have been bitching about Melania Trump had better look out hadnt they?

rosesarered Mon 30-Jan-17 18:05:37

Yes, her staff may be on the case as we speak ( type) ( I wish we had a smug/halo emoji)

Ana Mon 30-Jan-17 18:10:27

Yes, but my point was, MaizieD that someone may be able to get a Court order demanding that a website reveals the identity of the poster/s involved, but they only know for certain the email address (which of course could be dumped at any time) and the computer id which may be shared e.g. students.

Unless someone gives specific personal details in a PM I don't think it would be that easy to prove - especially as MN users seem to be able to change their usernames any time they want!

Iam64 Mon 30-Jan-17 18:38:00

This seems to me to be an interesting precedent. I may have misread/misunderstood but my impression is the two women joined mumsnet as a kind of "fishing" procedure to seek out others who were dissatisfied with this surgeon. Maybe they hoped a class action had more hope of success.

Being sued for libel is no joke. (not that I have been)

Ana Mon 30-Jan-17 18:41:08

They might have been better off sticking to FB.

MaizieD Mon 30-Jan-17 21:23:33

Don't they have your name as well, Ana. Don't you give it as part of the signing up process?

Though,of course, that could be equally fake.

Ana Mon 30-Jan-17 21:25:37

Yes, that's what I said in my post of 17.30.

Ankers Mon 30-Jan-17 21:30:49

Even if you delete your PMs it may be possible that they are all still on the server somewhere and can be retrieved by the site administrator. I don't know this for certain but I think it's tecnically possible.

I very much agree.

The only information they have is your email address and computer id.
But pretty sure that police can use that to have a better chance of finding someone.