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Defamation Must be Free!

You’ve all heard of the greater internet fuckwad theory, right? It’s an elegant equation that explains the jaw-dropping quantity of vulgar, libelous nonsense floating about on the internet. It goes like this: Today, internet fuckwads everywhere are rejoicing, as the … Read More

By / November 21, 2006

You’ve all heard of the greater internet fuckwad theory, right? It’s an elegant equation that explains the jaw-dropping quantity of vulgar, libelous nonsense floating about on the internet. It goes like this:

Today, internet fuckwads everywhere are rejoicing, as the California Supreme Court has unanimously ruled that the federal Communications Decency Act of 1996 extends broad protection to sites like Jewcy when we publish (say, in our comment sections) all the scurrilous, slanderous drivel that oozes from your head. The protection is so broad that it’s being described as “blanket immunity.”

"The prospect of blanket immunity for those who intentionally redistribute defamatory statements on the Internet has disturbing implications," Associate Justice Carol A. Corrigan wrote in the majority opinion. "Nevertheless … statutory immunity serves to protect online freedom of expression and to encourage self-regulation, as Congress intended."

Ms. Corrigan later explained that "The volume and range of Internet communications make the 'heckler's veto' a real threat," and that this threat must be preserved. “Heckler’s veto,” of course, is just legal fancytalk for “rantings of an internet fuckwad.”

Groups like American Civil Liberties Union and the Electronic Frontier Foundation are over the moon, but not everyone's happy. Whined losing attorney Christopher E. Grell,

“What you couldn't put in your print newspaper, you can put in your Internet newspaper. The notion of fact checking and verifying things doesn't apply to the Internet."

Is this guy for real? “Fact checking”? “Verifying things”? Anachronistic gobbledygook like that just makes my eyes glaze over. Barukh Hashem for the 21st century, online media, and the California Supreme Court.

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