Facebook defamation lawsuit should serve as a warning to others

Facebook defamation lawsuit should serve as a warning to others

Dayvyne Dial of Asheville, North Carolina, recently won a $500K lawsuit settlement after someone made disparaging remarks about her on Facebook. It really doesn’t matter what caused the feud, however, a woman by the name of Jacquelyne Hammond allegedly posted the following about Ms. Dial on Facebook…

“I didn’t get drunk and kill my kid.”

In 1976, Ms. Dial’s 11-year-old son died in an unfortunate gun accident.

Ms. Dial had this to say about the outcome of the settlement…

“I think the warning was out there to other people who have been victim to these cyber stonings,” she said, “that if it’s not true, you may not be able to get away with it.”

So before you go making unsubstantiated posts on Facebook calling someone a child rapist or a child abuser, ask yourself if it’s really worth having to shell out 500 grand.

Two different advocacy groups file lawsuits against Backpage

Two different advocacy groups file lawsuits against Backpage

A domestic violence shelter in Arizona and a human rights group in Florida have both filed lawsuits against Backpage claiming that Backpage was knowingly running a site for prostitution and human trafficking.

The Sojourner Center in Phoenix, and Florida Abolitionist in Orlando, are both seeking unspecified damages from Backpage for the time, money and counseling that both groups spent on helping both child and adult victims of sex trafficking caused by Backpage’s adult section. Another advocacy group that helps get trafficking victims off the street, Children of the Night, not only do not share this opinion, but also takes money from Backpage and takes trips to France with Backpage’s attorney.

These lawsuits, among others, come on the tails of the Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations claims that Backpage allegedly edited ads to make them appear like children being trafficked were adults.

In the past, lawsuits like these were dismissed due to the Communications Decency Act of 1996. The CDA basically states that a website is not responsible for the content that its users post, however if Backpage did in fact edit ads submitted by users, it may make the CDA defense null and void. These lawsuits are in addition to the ones already filed in the states of California, Texas, Washington and Alabama.

Hopefully at least one of these lawsuits will have its intended consequence because let’s not fool ourselves, even amid its current legal woes Backpage is still making money off the victims of sex trafficking. The fight is far from over, but Backpage is showing a vulnerability in its legal armor.

Backpage sued by victims of child sex trafficking in four different states

Backpage sued by victims of child trafficking in four different states

Five separate underage victims who claim that they were trafficked on Backpage for sex are suing the embattled website in four different states. The victims, ranging in ages from 14 to 16 at the time of the crimes, have filed suits in California, Texas, Washington and Alabama. Previous lawsuits like this have been defeated in the courts because of the Communications Decency Act of 1996. However, since the Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations found that Backpage allegedly edits the ads to make the victims appear of age, that could make their CDA defense precarious.

The only people who Backpage really listens to are dead Presidents, so hurting them financially really is the best way to put them out of the sex trade business, and yes, they are still making money from sex trafficking ads.

Backpage sues government to prevent enforcement of SAVE Act

Backpage CEO  and Congressional fugitive Carl Ferrer
Backpage CEO and Congressional fugitive Carl Ferrer

When the SAVE Act (Stop Advertising Victims of Exploitation) was passed by both houses of Congress I wondered if this would be the impetus for Backpage to finally move overseas as they’ve been threatening. I also said that the Constitutionality of the law would inevitably be challenged. What I didn’t expect was for Backpage to sue the federal government to prevent enforcement of the law that was signed by President Obama back in May.

Of course they’re basing their suit on the First Amendment’s right to freedom of speech as they always do. I may not be a Constitutional scholar but in my opinion the First Amendment does not give everyone carte blanche to do whatever the hell they want then claim free speech. To allow the First Amendment to be used like that renders it meaningless. Not to mention as I’ve said before, your rights end at my nose. Backpage is using their so-called free speech to profit off of women and girls who are having their Thirteenth Amendment rights violated by the pimps and traffickers who advertise them on Backpage.

Also I find it convenient that Backpage is suing the federal government while their CEO, Carl Ferrer, refuses to appear before Congress.

Man sues Facebook for allowing his underage daughter to post sexual pictures of herself

gavel

Within the past few years I’ve tried to stop posting stories that happen outside the US because I don’t live there. It’s not some jingoistic thing. I just feel if I’m ignorant of the country’s culture I have no business posting about it. However this story should speak to not only parents in the Western world but to those of us who believe that personal responsibility is a dying concept.

In Northern Ireland a man sued Facebook for allegedly allowing his 11-year-old daughter to open multiple Facebook accounts and post suggestive photos of herself on those accounts. She was said to have been approached by at least one predator who has now been legally restrained from contacting her. As you may know Facebook’s terms of service state that users have to be 13 in order to join Facebook.

You would think that in a world that made sense the lawsuit would be thrown out of court. Maybe the laws regarding this in the UK are different from those in the US, like their libel laws, because Facebook actually settled for an undisclosed amount. In my opinion this assclown just got a payday for not doing the job of a parent.

Unfortunately no social network or app is going to do any kind of real age verification because that would be bad for business. The goal for these companies is to have as many users as possible. If a company like Facebook were to even charge a dollar to verify age a huge chunk of its userbase would leave in droves. The article mentions that maybe in Europe they could use passport numbers as age identifiers but then Facebook has our passport number. Facebook doesn’t exactly have the best track record when it comes to privacy so I’m sure many people would not want Facebook to have that information.

So instead we have to do our jobs as parents and what our children do online with either their computers or smartphones. If I had to hazard a guess there was not a lot of monitoring going on here until it was already too late and now someone got paid off for their own negligence.

Wash. State Supreme Court rules lawsuit against Backpage can proceed

gavel

Back in 2012, three women who were prostituted on Backpage while underage filed a lawsuit against the website in the state of Washington. For three years I hadn’t heard any updates about the lawsuit. I just assumed it was dismissed like similar lawsuits have been in the past. I’m glad I was wrong.

Earlier today the State Supreme Court of Washington ruled that the lawsuit against Backpage can proceed. Previously lawsuits like this have been dismissed because of the Federal Communications Decency Act of 1996. That act, which is antiquated in internet time in my opinion, basically says that a website is not responsible for the content that its users may post on it. However, in their ruling the court said that the case can proceed because there may be evidence that Backpage had a hand in creating the content.

The lawsuit filed in Pierce County Superior Court claimed Backpage.com markets itself as a place to sell “escort services” but actually provides pimps with instructions on how to write an ad that works.

Between the lawsuit proceeding and taking a hit in the wallet after the credit card companies cut ties with them it looks like Backpage may finally be beginning to reap what they have sown.

Backpage sues Cook County over credit card kerfuffle (From the mouth of Liz McDougall XI)

Liz McDougall
Liz McDougall

In response to the major credit card companies cutting all ties with Backpage, they have filed a lawsuit against Cook County, Illinois, Sheriff Tom Dart. The suit asks for damages for the revenue they’ve lost from their ‘adult service’ ads.

Let’s hear from Backpage’s legal team including head legal weasel Liz McDougall…

“Sheriff Dart’s actions to cripple Backpage.com and all speech through the site are an especially pernicious form of prior restraint,” the suit said. “He has achieved his purpose through false accusations, innuendo, and coercion.”

Liz McDougall, general council to Backpage.com LLC, said, “Our goal is to ensure that one elected official, particularly a county sheriff, cannot dictate what speech is or is not appropriate.”

I love how Backpage and McDougall act like they’re the only ones entitled to rights. Sheriff Dart has the right to ask the credit card companies to assist on ending online sex trafficking. The credit card companies have every right not to do business with whomever they want. None of which is a violation of Backpage’s right to free speech. I also find it ironic that Backpage is accusing anyone of coercion since so many of the girls and women that have been advertised on their site have been coerced, a lot off times violently, into sexual slavery.

This is an act of desperation from a company that’s sinking fast. Hopefully they won’t be able to stay afloat much longer.

It pays to have a charity in Backpage’s pocket

An alleged accurate representation of what Backpage gives o charity.
An alleged accurate representation of what Backpage gives to charity.

Normally I don’t post links from biased news sources. One News Now touts itself as an American Christian news outlet. However, this article is spot on when it comes to Backpage escaping justice because of the outdated Federal Communications Decency Act.

Specifically the article about the lawsuit in Massachusetts filed by three women who were trafficked on Backpage while underage and why the suit was dismissed.

“It allows for service providers who make good-faith efforts to protect children from pornography, from sexual exploitation, and even prostitution,” explains Donna Rice Hughes, who heads Enough is Enough. “If they make a good-faith attempt to protect children, then they will have civil immunity from any type of prosecution.”

What good faith efforts are Backpage realty making? By good faith efforts do they mean getting a discount for using anonymous payment methods or having the head of a supposed human trafficking charity in your back pocket, or the part where they might try to move overseas to avoid US prosecution?

That doesn’t sound like good faith to me. Instead it sounds a lot like Backpage trying to cover their own ass while raking in a cubic assload of dough on the exploitation of women and children.

Taft Union High gunman takes plea deal

Taft Union High School
Taft Union High School

After a mistrial, his mom claiming that he was the victim, and the potential lawsuit against the school, Taft Union gunman Bryan Oliver has entered into a plea deal which sees him go to prison for 27 years. However, he will be eligible for parole in 13 years. He was facing a life sentence on attempted murder charges for shooting Bowe Cleveland in the chest with a shotgun that saw Cleveland be placed into a medically induced coma. If Oliver is released on parole he’ll be in his early 30s.

After a mistrial I’m actually surprised that Oliver took the plea. I thought there would have been a good chance he would have been acquitted if they had gone to trial again. I’d rather see him go to jail for 13-27 then walking out free.

UPDATE 4/25/2015: Back in February Oliver was sentenced to 27 years and 4 months in prison.

UPDATE 7/21/2016: Earlier this month Oliver’s sentence was upheld by the 5th District Court of Appeal.

Family of Taft Union High shooter files claim against school

Taft Union High School
Taft Union High School

Recently the family of the victim of the Taft Union High school shooting has filed a claim against the school on the grounds that the school failed to protect the victim. No wait, I read that wrong,. The family of the gunman filed the multi-million dollar claim for the school allegedly failing to protect their precious snowflake.

I guess it wasn’t enough that Bryan Oliver’s mommy claimed that her son was victim and not the student he shot in the chest with a shotgun but now it sounds like she’s trying to cash in on her son’s violent and psychopathic behavior.

Not only do I hope that Oliver is found guilty during his retrial later this month but I hope the family of Bowe Cleveland sue Oliver’s family for every penny. You relinquish any claims of victimhood when you shoot an unarmed kid in the chest.

UPDATE 6/7/2015: Oliver’s mom has been dismissed from the lawsuit against the school. I wish I could say it was because a judge thought she deserved no money but it was actually because she waited too long to file.