You are correct that people can be and have been held legally liable for defamatory statements made on Websites, but I don’t believe anything in this thread comes anywhere close to being a problem in that regard. Defamation requires an intentionally false statement of material facts (not opinion and not trivial facts), which is uttered for the purpose of causing harm to another and it actually does cause harm. The speaker of the statement has to come across as credible, believable and possessing knowledge of the facts, and the victim must prove actual monetary damages caused by people believing the intentional false statements.
This thread is obviously just a bunch of people, most of whom don’t know shit, shooting the bull, giving their opinions. The only potential for liability in my opinion would be if Michel’s factual account was completely false, he knew it was false, he made it for the purpose of causing harm to Ryan, and Ryan suffered actual quantifiable harm as result of that statement. Seems so remote as to be not a problem, in my opinion.
I don’t think so. People are entitled to express their opinions. The prosecutor won’t file charges against Ryan unless they’ve got lots of real evidence – not a bunch of chatroom gossip that isn’t even admissible in court. The only person who could conceivably have any motive to sue forumosans for intentionally false statements would be Ryan and he’s obviously in such deep shit that the last thing on his mind would be to waste his time, money and energy filing a meritless lawsuit against a bunch of kindergarten teachers from forumosa.[/quote]
Thanks MT. That cleared up a few things for a lot of us here I’m sure, and in a pleasntly readable style as well. Very nice.