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The Foibles of Bashing companies online.


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I am posting this from another list as I thought that it might be a good thing to have here too. I am not saying that any one bashes other companies.. but I thought I might post it just in case so it does not happen to us is all. To think that our freedom of speech is so fragile that it can be this infringed upon.

I am quoting his original writing from the original post too :)






>Out of lurk here (and not to be a big downer) but to

remind those of you who may not have known, or don't

remember, that there is a very real liability for

making these kinds of posts. Just google "APD lawsuit

Robert Novak" and you'll see what I mean. The lawsuit

was covered at the time by Salon.com



and Slashdot



and, although many found this an appalling intrusion

on the (albeit American) idea of free speech, it was

made clear that the law of the dollar is the law of

the land. Many defendants were forced to settle early

in the proceedings despite the fact that a defense





was established. As much as I found the whole episode

pretty distasteful, the bottom line is that you should

probably CYA. < End of post>

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This sounds like a case where the company got their panties in a tiff, or for that matter a person at that company got their panties in a tiff because they just cannot take the heat of people criticizing their company. All companies get criticized. What should make that one any different? Heck I know of people who criticize Reaper. While I do my best to counter that, I also know full well these people are entitled to their opinions too. Do I let this get my panties in a bunch? Heck no.


Great example: I run a business online. I've filled several orders for customers, so far I've gotten positive feedback on the products I sell. I got an email one day from an individual who has never ordered from me belittling me for selling the kind of products that I sell. You know what I did? I deleted the email and blocked the person's email address and continued on with checking the rest of my email. It's really that simple to deal with.


I'm of the opinion that if a company is not giving good customer service and you have had a bad experience with them, and someone asks you about that company, then you have very right to inform that person of the problem. Several people on here have spoken out about another online store dealing with gaming and how they should refrain from ordering through them. All these people are doing is stating their displeasure with a company they have done business with. They are doing what every other customer in this country does when they are displeased - they complain. We all complain in our own ways, some online on boards, some to the company itself. , and others complain to their friends.


So this guy who owns the store that got the bad postings about it to me is simply someone who cannot take the heat. He would rather give people a bit of heck than let it slide off his back and learn from the postings as to what might need improvement at his company.

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I can not agree more with this.. and that is partly why I posted this.. I just think that it is said that it happened to begin with and the defendants named in the suit, because of the plantiff's little huff, could not afford legal repisentation and had to settle. I wish that a lawyer would have stepped up and did this pro-bono instead of letting the defendants pay for this. As it clearly is an issue of free speech!

I think it is rather unfortunate to say the least that so many people were hurt by someones anger at some bad comments about the plantiffs customer service..


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The only thing I have to say is that there is a difference between voicing and opinion which should be protected by the first amendment and slander which is not.

This is quite true.

And where do people draw the line though? I think that is the problem right there is where people are drawing the line of what is or isn't slander.

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It's all in how your phrase it.


If you say 'In my opinion, I think that lstormhammer is a bloated windbag with a fellated ego the size of Missouri', then I can take offence to it, but it's still your opinion.


If you say 'lstormhammer is a bloated windbag with a fellated ego the size of Missouri', then I can do something about it.



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My favorite question when I was in the Army was, "Permission to speak freely?".


Nothing like saying, "In my opinion, [fill in the rank], [fill in the rant]" and being covered by the person giving you the go-ahead.


I think it was the Cryptonomicon (forget the author atm) who said it best: military courtesy's sole reason to exist is to allow two people who hate each other to communicate and work together.


In any case, Heisler's right I think; there are clear laws and definitions stating what is and is not slander. Whether they're always used to protect the people who need protecting (whether it's the slanderer or slanderee) is, in my opinion, one heck of a mess.

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