Wednesday, October 11, 2006
A Florida jury has issued a huge award in a defamation case involving the internet. I don't know all the facts of the case, but on the face of it, this is an awful decision. This strikes directly at free speech. Everyone knows that the internet, for the most part, is not the font of all truth and wisdom, but rather a great clearinghouse for the opinions of the world. If you disagree with someone, it's incredibly easy to put forward an opposing view. While defamation is cause for legal action, the bar for proving malice and damage is set very high in the United States. Just because we don't agree with what someone said doesn't mean we have the right to silence them. This needs to be challenged in a higher court.