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Comment Re:This is stupid (Score 1) 161

I don't listen to the radio either - my phone is plugged into the USB cable. However, when driving through the blackwall tunnel in London recently, my radio stopped playing my music and instead broadcast a warning (that was also being broadcast on speakers in the tunnel) over and over.

So it's definitely possible.

Comment Re:Leave. (Score 1) 433

I don't know about law in any of the US, but in the UK: a private letter is considered to be "published", for libel purposes, the moment it is opened (by someone other than the party being libelled, or someone acting as their agent and with their express permission to open it)

Yes. It is roughly the same in the U.S. See HERE, in the section headed "Publication".

Comment Re:Leave. (Score 1) 433

With the intent to cause damage. Look it up. They damaged party has to prove intent. Which is why there are almost never successful; libel or slander cases in the US.

This is not true. At least in most states, intent to harm is not required.

What IS usually required is to show that the accused knew, or reasonably should have known, that the statement was false.

That is not quite the same thing.

Comment Re:This. Libel need not be public, but must be unt (Score 1) 433

It's amazing to me how many people don't get the difference between stating an opinion and stating something as fact. I am thinking of a certain Slashdot frequenter who fits that profile.

There is a great deal of legal precedent in that regard. For example, calling someone "an ass" or similar is pretty definitely an opinion, even if it's stated as though it were fact: "You're an ass."

In college law classes there is a rather famous case study from, I think, the 17th century.

A guest at an inn told the innkeeper: "My horse can pisse better ale than you serve here."

The innkeeper sued the customer for slander. The judge ruled: "The accused did not slander the innkeeper. He complimented his horse."

So, while there are lines as to what is acceptable speech and what is not, it pays to be cognizant of where those lines are. And many people have no clue.

Comment Re:Leave. (Score 4, Informative) 433

This is quite incorrect. I would say dangerously incorrect. At least in most of the U.S.

In general, actionable defamation (of which libel and slander are particular examples) only requires that you express untrue, damaging things to someone other than the party you are referring to. There is NO specific requirement that it be public.

And "damage" is used loosely here. Damage could mean damage to their career, or damage to their public reputation, or even just damage to a single friend's opinion of them.

If you wrote untrue, damaging things in a document to your HR department, that could definitely be considered libel, and would likely be actionable. Specific cases vary, but again in general.

Of course, truth is (again in general... most U.S. states) an absolute defense. So if what you wrote is true and you can demonstrate that it is, by a preponderance of evidence, then you're probably safe. But you'd better have that evidence.

In addition, most corporations have as part of their employment conditions that you can't sue the company or other employees as a result of negative opinions expressed as part of "official" company communications, such as an employee review or exit interview.

Again in the U.S., that is simply not true. "Most" corporations do NOT have such a clause in their contract, and there is a very strong push to stop that practice in those states where it is still allowed. Because in some states such clauses are specifically prohibited by law, and the list of those states is growing.

Comment Quite clever - doesn't cover their competition (Score 3, Interesting) 134

This is quite clever of the established ruling elite. Their data is exempt and will not be collected or retained. But people new to politics running against them are not covered by this until they win.

So anyone feeling challenged by a new player will now have an additional valuable tool in keeping their job.

Comment Re:How Many Paid Oil/Gas Industry Trolls Post Here (Score 2) 284

Just move on from Slashdot.

I gave up on fighting against the astroturfers here a few years back... wasn't worth the effort and stress anymore. I can still get good discussion about topics that matter to me at reddit -- just need to stay away from some of the subreddits there.

Every once in a while I come check on Slashdot, and remember anew why I left. The place went to shit once the sockpuppet accounts got critical mass on mod points.

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