GoogleIt Mail IT Print IT PermaLinkIs There Such A Thing As A Class Action Libel Suit?
05:31:32 PM
Written By : Richard SchwartzCategory : Domino Community
Location : Nashua, NH

In the Forbes article we've all been talking about lately, Dr. Radicati alleges the following:

She says her firm, the Radicati Group in Palo Alto, Calif., was deluged with obscene phone calls and e-mails, a common element when blogs go negative. "They were trying to disable my business," she says. "It was obscene, vile, abusive, offensive stuff. These are a bunch of sickos."

I want to call Dr. Radicati out on the alleged obscene, vile and offensive part. Name some names. Show the emails. If anyone did get obscene or abusive, and I mean objectively so (to the extent that objective standards for obscenity and abusiveness exist), I want to know about it because I don't think the Domino blogging community will stand for it. I certainly won't. Vile and offensive... well, that's a little more difficult to say, because I think those words are inherently subjective, but I think we all know bad behavior when we see it. Even with the proven misconduct of a Radicati employee, I see no reason for obscene or abusive reaction, or any other bad behavior. We certainly should be better than that, and as far as I know... we are.

So let's see the evidence, Dr. Radicati. If you're going to call us "sickos" in print, in a nationally distributed business magazine, I want to see the goods that support the charge. Deluged with calls and emails? How many makes a deluge? What's the number? How many were obscene, abusive, vile and offensive? And who were the offenders? What are your standards for defining "obscene", "vile", "abusive" and "offensive", and where's the evidence? If you haven't got any specifics, that means that Mr. Lyons printed what amounts to an unsubstantiated claim. I have no idea whether libel can apply to such a case, or whether the fault would lie with Dr. Radicati, with Mr. Lyons, with Forbes Magazine, or any combination of them jointly, but given Mr. Lyons' printed recommendations about taking legal action to defend against attacking bloggers, I see no reason why we shouldn't investigate legal options for defense against attacking analysts and journalists. I doubt it would take more than a few minutes searching through the blogosphere to find an attorney willing to give an opinion on the matter.

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Comments :v

1. Whimsical Monkey10/29/2005 11:08:57 AM

I suspect that anyone in the public eye is going to attract those fringe elements that send potty-mouthed emails. I doubt it is true, or maybe just exaggerated. But the article suggested that the bloggers were behind an attack on the Sys-con web site that cost them $200k in advertising. Did they file a police report? Is it being investigated? I bet not. If they did, someone would actually look into these charges and find that they are purely fabricated. Responsible journalists (or bloggers) just don't pick and choose unsubstantiated claims to include as "evidence" to support their view.

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