John Gohde says Opinions Cannot Be Considered Defamatory

Wikipedia has once again made the tabloid news headlines. Not once, but twice. Wikipedia is sheepishly begging the court to drop a Defamation Lawsuit filed against it because they are not responsible for its reason for being, reports John H. Gohde.

A literary agent, Barbara Bauer, is bravely suing Wikipedia for publishing negative comments about her made back in 2006. That Wikipedian article allegedly claimed that she was the “dumbest of the twenty worst” literary agents and that Bauer had “no documented sales at all”.

While most predict that the lawsuit against Wikipedia will be dismissed, that outcome is anything but certain.

John H. Gohde Counsels

There is plenty of wriggle room to have the defamation lawsuit moved forward. It all depends upon the Judge. Perhaps, the judge has been wronged by Wikipedia in the past? Who knows? Besides, unlike most website operators Wikipedia itself is intimately involved with what its editors write. In fact, Wikipedia’s whole reason for being is to run a free encyclopedia that anyone can edit. Perhaps, just this one time, a judge would actually like to see that policy changed for the better?

It could easily be argued that Wikipedia is entirely different from WordPress, for example. While WordPress would obviously be immune from Lawsuits, Wikipedia is a totally different story in the opinion of John H. Gohde. It all depends on the Judge, and how well Bauer’s counsel responds to the motion.

John H. Gohde Gives Wikipedia Advice

It is about time that Wikipedia started to worry more about CONTENT, than PROCESS.

And, a nice bite in the arse from a victim of Wikipedia’s gross lack of responsible editorial oversight is just what it needs in order to finally face up to its responsibilities of acting like a responsible Web citizen than more like a drunken sailor trying to pick up bimbos on shore leave?

Opinions Cannot Be Considered Defamatory

John H. Gohde writes opinion pieces: Satire full of mirth and opinion for entertainment purposes only.

Quoting the enemy itself:

Opinion is a defense recognized in nearly every jurisdiction. If the allegedly defamatory assertion is an expression of opinion rather than a statement of fact, defamation claims usually cannot be brought because opinions are inherently not falsifiable.” [source]

Further “Calling people ‘dumb’ is not libelous,” according to Matt Zimmerman, who is one of Wikipedia’s lawyers.

Opinion is always being presented as opinion, rather than as a claim of fact; muses John H. Gohde.

Published in: on May 6, 2008 at 11:45 am  Comments Off on John Gohde says Opinions Cannot Be Considered Defamatory  
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