Tag Archives: defamation

‘I’m a believer’: Psychic Sally isn’t in it for the money

[SL: This is my first column for British magazine ‘The Skeptic’; I share ‘Skeptic in the Courtroom’ column-writing duties with Manchester barrister Geoff Whelan, which means my duties aren’t too onerous (two or three times a year) and, I figure, once the magazine has been on the newstands for several months, I’m probably pretty safe […]

‘Manners cost nothing’

…My mother used to say, when she reminded my siblings and me to keep still tongues in our heads. As a general rule, it is a bit discomforting to reach one’s mid-thirties and discover that one’s dear old ma was right more often than not, but there it is. I’ve been put in mind of […]

The Streisand Effect

In the light of the recent hoo-hah discussed by SL here involving Melinda Tankard-Reist suing blogger Jennifer Wilson for defamation I thought I might revisit the notion of the Streisand effect, because as Russell Blackford has commented, we may be seeing an instance of it unfolding before our eyes. The term Streisand effect was coined after […]

A Girl Named Sue (with apologies to Johnny Cash)

There’s nothing quite like getting up first thing in the morning to discover service documents sitting in your hallway (or, if you’re in Australia or the US, poking out of your mailbox). This is what has happened to Australian political and skeptical blogger Jennifer Wilson (her blog is ‘No Place for Sheep’) yesterday. I have […]

More on defamation, blogging and anonymity

In the Liskula Cohen “NYC skank” case, Cohen successfully sued Blogger to get them to disclose the identity of an anonymous blogger who had defamed her by calling her (inter alia) “skankiest in NYC”. Now we’ve apparently had a similar case in Australia. Self-help guru Jamie McIntyre launched the action in September this year after […]

‘This is a sad day for adequate research’

In the thread to Legal Eagle’s excellent casenote on Bromberg J’s ruling in the Andrew Bolt matter, I promised that I would point out why I think the plaintiffs (or, at least those with the strongest cases, and particularly Anita Heiss) should have brought their claims in defamation, not under the Racial Discrimination Act 1975 […]

A more detailed analysis of the Bolt case

Background to the case The background to the case is that journalist Andrew Bolt wrote a series of newspaper articles and blog posts which were critical of the plaintiffs, who were all individuals who identified as Aboriginal, but who had pale skin and did not look like stereotypical Aboriginal people. He was critical of the […]

Roman à clef, not quite

One way–in days gone by, when the West at least was less free–for authors to satirize the Great and the Good was for them to employ the roman à clef, or ‘novel with a key’. The actual phrase was coined by leading French author Madeleine de Scudéry, who used the technique to do just that: […]

Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned – Sexting and the St Kilda football team

Sorry I haven’t been about much. It’s been nuts, literally. But I thought I’d write about the furore which has arisen in Melbourne after a 17-year-old girl posted photos of nude AFL players from St Kilda football club in retaliation for alleged ill treatment at the hands of various players. The Age reported yesterday: St […]

Defamation and the Net – beware anonymous defamatory comments…

The Montreal Gazette reports that ?mainstream media outlets are increasingly cracking down on anonymous commenters on their site: ?This month, Thomson Reuters, one of the largest media companies in the world, announced it would no longer allow anonymous comments on its website, citing the comments’ “repetition, taste, legal risk or political bias”. The shift away […]