Wednesday, March 26, 2008

An addendum to Thursday's editorial

Our Voltairian stance on's right to exist notwithstanding, I personally feel that there are real arguments for seriously restricting a site like that.

Newspapers are guilty of libel if they publish libelous statements, period. Pretend for a moment that a major public figure was quoted in the Daily Iowan saying that "person x has sexually transmitted diseases because he or she is such a slut." (This hypothetical libeler is no sexist.) Assuming that this is untrue, person x can sue the DI for libel and win handily, even though nobody at the DI libeled person x. The DI published it and is therefore responsible. End of discussion.

Now, that said, it's pretty hard to win a libel case in this country -- especially against a newspaper -- because there are very strict standards that have to be met for something to be libel. Generally, unless whoever published it was breathtakingly careless or actively malicious, there's not much to be done.

To my mind, juicycampus is a fusion of those things. Their whole business plan is centered on publishing scurrilous crap. They encourage and promote it. The First Amendment was in no way created to protect harmful, malicious bilge like this. Please, stay free of this pestilence.

No comments: