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Hate Blog

  1. Hi

    Does WordPress have a policy against dedicated hate and defamation blogs?

    Someones started a blog which is trying to bring someone down and is causing damage. The blog hasnt been logged into or updated for about 4 months either - its like theyve just gone, set up the blog because of their own personal issues and have either got bored and left it, or are doing it on purpose to bring the other down.

    Im all for freedom of speech but causing harm to someones rep without 100% concrete proof is just wrong.

  2. There's no policy against personal opinion blogs, even if the personal opinion is that you hate somebody. If the subject of the blog wants to sue the writer of the blog for defamation, that's also not a WordPress issue. WordPress is a carrier of information, not a provider, and the liability resides with the writer in this case, IF there is liability.

    "100% concrete proof" eh? Research has proven that about 85% of gossip is fact-based. True. It's generally pretty obvious when someone is spreading rumours because of an agenda, and most people bring their own set of filters to interpret information anyway. I wouldn't worry too much about a long-abandoned blog hurting someone's reputation. The writer doesn't have any authority in the minds of the readers who stumble across it; we're all well aware that there are people out there who believe the world is flat, and who blog about it constantly, but we're not about to convert to Flat Earth-ism based on a blog post.

    Do you require 100% proof before you say something positive about someone? We are all making our way in the world of information and misinformation but requiring solid proof of everything you say about anyone means that you probably won't speak much at all.

  3. yehh i can see what u mean raincoaster. but when its stuff that hurts someone and affects a lot of people including their family, its unfair really.

  4. That is why the law is in place. If the laws against defamation have been broken, the victim can take the defamer to court.

  5. I 100 % agree with ektaone. There is freedom of speech, but then there is also bullying, which is particularly evil when the Internet is used to carry it out. Bullying is not accepted in schools, neither in the workplace, and it should not be accepted on blogs either.

    A blog can be selected as "spam"... I would consider a hate-blog against a person a kind of spam.

    Of course nobody would bring a blog owner to court for writing spreading evil rumours - that is a ridiculous suggestion. It would be insane to spend a huge amount of money to bring down a blog - But it can still hurt a person and his/her family a lot to be bullied on the Internet.

  6. Per the FAQ at the head of the forums and over in the FAQ blog (I've got to go somewhere so I can't leave links. excuse me) still send in a report via feedback along with specific reasoning why you have a concern about it.

    It's really a staff call that we shouldn't be discussing here in the forums.

    Thanks by the way for not linking to the blog. :)

  7. Thanks for the replies. So how does one go about reporting the blog to staff? I can see the "report" feature in wordpress but it only seems to be for spam or for mature content..

  8. send and email to support at this domain

  9. Agreed. On the weekends, you can also send in feedback from the upper right of your dashboard.

  10. On weekend support:
    If you press the "feedback" button on the top right hand corner of your blog on weekends you will find that you cannot leave a message for staff. Instead this is what you get:

    Support Temporarily Closed
    Support is closed for the weekend. In the mean time, please feel free to browse the FAQ and the forums.

    On the issue:
    This is a censorship issue. Surely we do not desire wordpress/Automattic to become a censor. It is a common carrier just as an ISP or telephone company is a common carrier and we most certainly would not support them censoring us, now would we? http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Common_carrier

    The bottom line is: If the alleged "defamed" party or parties is not prepared to take the defamer to court then no other party or parties is in a legal position to do anything about it.

  11. This why I don't like discussing policy here in the forums.

    Friendly reminder that only employees of Automattic can offically state what is and is not policy around here. You'll note that even when I do it, I usually put a disclaimer on what I say and request a staff member to offically state what is so. Did that a couple days ago when we had that poster asking about getting data on who their visitors were and who was pulling their feeds.

    Actually it's not a censorship issue. wp.com is a private system that is open to the public and can allow or disallow anyone they so choose. It's in the ToS. If it was not so, then all those spam blogs would have been allowed.

    *chuckle* Feedback sent with a request for a staff member to verify that since it's a policy statement.

  12. @drmike
    *giggle* thanks for the correction
    and re: the spam policy verification - go for it ;)

  13. Hasn't Matt already requested that if we have an issue with the content of a blog that is NOT literally spam, we not label it as Spam? And would it not be fair to ask someone complaining that a blog is defamatory to PROVE that the statements in the blog are false? This sounds like a HUGE can of worms.

    Also, it costs less than two hundred dollars to file a lawsuit. And people DO fight and win defamation suits, even when it's about a blog. What you really want is not the money, presumably, but the blog to be taken down. No need for this to cost millions on either side.

  14. Supports closed for yet another day :(

  15. ektaone, send in an email to support at this domain. The inbox is monitored although it still may not be looked into until Monday.

    Spam blogs are the only blogs that should be labeled as such. If anything, I would send in a mature report on it. Either that or the feedback.

  16. Thanks Dr. Mike - There is hope yet :)

    I have emailed support(at)wordpress.com and I will pray they respond in kind

  17. Hi

    Its been 6 months since i approached WordPress about this. I cant seem to get anything done.

    This is really malicious harrassment and if stuff like this isnt against WordPress policy, it should definitely be added. Someone has just created this damaging site which effects peoples livelihoods, and disappeared. The blog hasnt been updated since Sept 2006 (9 months) and i am not rich enough to start a lawsuit. Surely there must be something that can be done here? :'-(

  18. You can file a lawsuit for $130 yourself if you are unable to find an advocate to take on the case pro bono. All you really need is a lawyer to write a letter to WordPress, as the web host of the offending material. You don't need to actually launch a suit unless that fails and you decide to take that course of action.

  19. We can't help you here in the forums. Only ones who can is staff.

    Sorry.

  20. Thanks Raincoaster

    Do you mean that the best thing to do first is to get a lawyer to write up an "official" letter to wordpress, who then may or may not remove dependant on the situation?

    Im in the UK and assume i can get it done here too. Any indication as to whether it might be enough to convince wordpress to have some compassion regarding this? :$

  21. Yes, that's exactly what I mean. I don't know about WordPress, but it works more often than it doesn't work. They can, after all, simply suspend the page or move it to Drafts while the dispute goes on.

    Libel laws in the UK are much more predatory than in the US, and you can sue in the UK for offences which actually occurred in other countries. That puts you in a strong position.

  22. Thanks - i will take that into account and see how it goes :-)

  23. On a point of law - to be exact you may not sue in the UK for offences which take place in other countries.
    You may sue where the publication (ie the readership) is in the UK regardless of origin. However I might add that what might be very unfairly described as minor libels, with private citizens, limited publication and no proof of loss are increasingly being suppressed in the jurisdiction. In Jameel a number of immensely damaging allegations were published on the net and the case was struck out as an abuse of process - upheld on appeal. Do not get me started............

  24. Vanity Fair vs Roman Polanski?

  25. *throws in 2p*

    ektaone if your not the person involved why get bothered over it? You said it yourself you reported it to the staff, they looked and decided not to action on it (simply by the fact its still there).

    I'd assume you've already informed the person it involves, and if you havent you should of. It's upto them to take legal action. Whether your a friend of the person, or just a bystander, you can not take legal action on thier behalf, they have to do it themselves. And frankly if they cant be bothered to do anything about it, then you should let the matter drop.

    I've been a victim of similar stuff over the past 5 years, as a member of one of the UK's only officially recognised pagan temples im frequently featured on christian sites as a focal point of hate. I could sue, but frankly i dont see the point, for every site you take down another can be put up. One site actually did a full defamation of character that included both racist and sexist comments. Was i offended and hurt over it, sure i was, and i even consulted a lawyer. His reply was that he'd be happy to sue. Problem was that as soon as its down it'll most likely reappear elsewhere and i'd have to start all over again. I could apply to have a restraining order, but at the time it was a cost i couldnt afford, and again i didnt see the point.

    Finally, its been up for 9months with no activity, just let the matter drop. Keep dragging it out over and over only publicises the matter more. If the person its aimed at isnt going to sue, just drop it and let it die. It's not worth the ulcer.

  26. Good advice. Actually, it just occurred to me that at nine months without an Update, Technorati will have essentially written them off. Yes, the content will still exist, but it becomes more and more obscure as time passes. And of course the best remedy for someone saying bad things about you is more people saying good things about you.

  27. In Polanski a limited readership of the article was found to exist in the UK. The issue in that case was different. The issue was whether it was proper for a fugitive from US justice to seek a remedy in our courts, and to give evidence by video link from Paris for the purpose of avoiding arrest and deportation from the UK.

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