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Author Topic: Defamation question  (Read 3152 times)
Triarius Fidelis
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« on: June 02, 2009, 06:22:22 pm »

Would it be defamation to send a picture of someone apparently smoking a joint to the school he works for?

He claims it's photoshopped, I have my doubts. Anyway, I wouldn't be sending it to say that he's definitely smoking cannabis in that particular picture, I would be sending it to say that he's of highly questionable character and most probably a pothead. (For who other than a pothead would even shop a joint into his picture?)

Oh yeah and btw the reasons I'd be sending it are because he's a terrible teacher and also for outright revenge

Eagerly awaiting your reply,
Jinyuan

EDIT - also he's already admitted to being a pothead openly
« Last Edit: June 02, 2009, 08:56:10 pm by Colonel Xie » Logged

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GrannyGeek
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« Reply #1 on: June 02, 2009, 06:53:14 pm »

Vengeance-seeking is destructive to individuals and society. It is poisonous. Being a terrible teacher is not a criminal offence.

It's the job of the police to catch potheads.

Don't do it.
--GrannyGeek
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Triarius Fidelis
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« Reply #2 on: June 02, 2009, 07:39:22 pm »

Vengeance-seeking is destructive to individuals and society. It is poisonous.

I Monte Cristo'd people who had offended me like this before, and I don't remember it feeling poisonous.

It's the job of the police to catch potheads.

I don't think cannabis possession or usage should be a criminal offense. That's besides the point. You should have the freedom to destroy your nervous system with whatever substance you want. Alcohol, cannabis, cocaine, whatever. It's all the same in my view. Over time, alcohol depletes the glial deposits that insulate nerve conduction (it's like stripping wire); THC attaches to cannabinoid receptors and disrupts a number of nervous functions, notably memory. The end result is the same: a dumber person.

I'm not concerned with the legality of his act, I'm concerned with how it will get him into hot water with the school board.

(And, frankly, loss of a job is much less worse than being incarcerated. I'd be sending him to the unemployment line, not a state-sanctioned rape-fest.)

Don't do it.
--GrannyGeek

To put it succinctly, I didn't ask about whether sending the picture would or wouldn't conform to an arbitrary standard of morality that's as legitimate or illegitimate as any other. I asked whether it would be defamatory. And remember that I have an eschatological viewpoint in which human civilization will end entirely within the next 200 years. There's not much of a point in trying to hold it together.
« Last Edit: June 02, 2009, 09:31:26 pm by Colonel Xie » Logged

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sledgehammer
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« Reply #3 on: June 02, 2009, 08:29:54 pm »

I know nothing of the facts behind your anger, nor of the laws of your state or nation.  However, in the US, truth is generally a complete defense in a libel/slander action.  If the picture is doctored, you could not use this defense.

John
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« Reply #4 on: June 02, 2009, 08:38:30 pm »

I know nothing of the facts behind your anger, nor of the laws of your state or nation.  However, in the US, truth is generally a complete defense in a libel/slander action.  If the picture is doctored, you could not use this defense.

John

Oh I'm in the US, in Pennsylvania

My idea is to submit the picture not with the explanation "This guy is smoking pot here," but "This guy is of dubious character" along with some other circumstantial evidence of his stonerosity again! without explicitly accusing him of such

i.e., does the school board want a guy who shops a spliff into his hand teaching either?

In that way I would presumably avoid any charge of defamation

This is the picture by the way:



Shopped or not, it's pretty incriminating
« Last Edit: June 02, 2009, 10:35:57 pm by Colonel Xie » Logged

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« Reply #5 on: June 02, 2009, 11:22:43 pm »

That picture is so obviously photoshoped.  I wouldn't submit it. Even if it is real I wouldn't submit it. Like you say it has nothing to do with why you dislike this guy.  If this teacher is as bad as you say, make a case based on the facts of that.  Being so terrible you can probably find some other students to back you up. 

Quote
My idea is to submit the picture not with the explanation "This guy is smoking pot here," but "This guy is of dubious character" along with some other circumstantial evidence of his stonerosity again! without explicitly accusing him of such

Your quote above pretty much indicates to me that you, pretty much believe yourself that you are walking a fine line.
The accusation is in the picture...not the words you submit with it. You can't attach one without implying the other.  So if the picture is seen to be a lie, than anything you attach to it will also be seen as a lie.  If anything it hurts your case and yes could easily be seen as defamation and since you are sending it to his superiors, could also be seen as libelous.

And vengeance?  Vengeance for what?  Did this guy torpedo your career, or just grade you poorly? I'm just asking, does your planned punishment fit the crime, here?
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Triarius Fidelis
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« Reply #6 on: June 03, 2009, 12:32:50 am »

The accusation is in the picture...not the words you submit with it. You can't attach one without implying the other.  So if the picture is seen to be a lie, than anything you attach to it will also be seen as a lie.  If anything it hurts your case and yes could easily be seen as defamation and since you are sending it to his superiors, could also be seen as libelous.

I would explicitly disavow any claim that the picture is not manipulated. I wouldn't even claim he were a pot smoker! The picture along with some writings of his about recreational psychedelia use in themselves would be pretty damning.

What I would be sending is a concerned opinion, that is, "This man is of dubious character and soundness of mind." And expressions of opinion are not defamation.

And vengeance?  Vengeance for what?  Did this guy torpedo your career, or just grade you poorly? I'm just asking, does your planned punishment fit the crime, here?

Nah, he insulted me. On purpose. Repeatedly.

If this were the 19th century, I would have pulled an Amontillado but unfortunately we can't do stuff like that in the 21st century. What I can do however, is try to leave a dent in his life he will not soon forget. Don't get me wrong: I'm usually a very gentle, phlegmatic kind of person. Life will be easy for anyone who doesn't insult me.
« Last Edit: June 03, 2009, 12:55:59 am by Colonel Xie » Logged

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« Reply #7 on: June 03, 2009, 02:31:43 am »

Sounds to me that it would probably be wise for you to put all this on the shelf for a couple of months and look at it anew them.  Libel is not the only problem you might be facing.  He might just sue you for intentional infliction of emotional distress or God knows what.  Before doing anything, spend a few hundred dollars on a good lawyer in your part of the country.  Perhaps you already have a case against him.  If so, particularly if his insults have caused you to suffer economically, a judge or jury might send some money your way.

John
 

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Triarius Fidelis
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« Reply #8 on: June 03, 2009, 02:43:42 am »

Sounds to me that it would probably be wise for you to put all this on the shelf for a couple of months and look at it anew them.  Libel is not the only problem you might be facing.  He might just sue you for intentional infliction of emotional distress or God knows what.

Again, if I couch my statements properly, stating only the opinion that the individual is of questionable character based on my evidence, and at the same time explicitly disavowing any factual statements about his drug habits, libel should not be a concern. At worst, it would be a very slippery charge, not worth risking the money and effort pursuing me.

Besides, isn't a case of intentional infliction of emotional distress typically very hard for the plaintiff to win?

Before doing anything, spend a few hundred dollars on a good lawyer in your part of the country.  Perhaps you already have a case against him.  If so, particularly if his insults have caused you to suffer economically, a judge or jury might send some money your way.

Well, I think I'm already smelling fear so I may not have to do anything. Brandishing the cudgel may have already worked.
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Pita
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« Reply #9 on: June 03, 2009, 02:50:56 am »

Why do you not ask Cheney to handle this guy. I understand in the the uncivilized world
Cheney is operating he will know what to do to the cheering of the uneducated masses.
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Triarius Fidelis
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« Reply #10 on: June 03, 2009, 03:45:22 am »

Why do you not ask Cheney to handle this guy. I understand in the the uncivilized world
Cheney is operating he will know what to do to the cheering of the uneducated masses.

Forget Cheney

Sennacherib or Tiglath-Pileser III would have known what to do in this situation
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« Reply #11 on: June 03, 2009, 11:16:16 am »

Why waste your time?

He's *obviously* smoking his favorite store-bought tobacco with his favorite rolling papers.

(And there's no way to Photoshop in sufficient quantities of THC.)

Rest your case, Mon.
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« Reply #12 on: June 03, 2009, 12:02:34 pm »

If you successfully discourage the teachers on campus from smoking pot, the consequences could be devastating to the people who run the dorito's snack machines.

Think of the small businessman.  Grin
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« Reply #13 on: June 03, 2009, 12:42:44 pm »

Gads, you're right!

Soon there will be protests and student demonstrations:

Bring Snacks Back!
Bring Snacks Back!

The Deans will be unable to deal with it ... the legislators will get pulled in, parents sending them nasty emails...

"Our Johnny needs his Doritos to focus! Senator, if you don't fix this problem, we're not voting for you again."

They'll obviously have to make pot legal.

Soon ALL the faculty will be in the smoking areas, doing Bong Hits with their students before class.

Everyone will be too Stoned to notice Colonel Xie's photoshop skills...

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Triarius Fidelis
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« Reply #14 on: June 03, 2009, 04:27:19 pm »

Why waste your time?

He's *obviously* smoking his favorite store-bought tobacco with his favorite rolling papers.

(And there's no way to Photoshop in sufficient quantities of THC.)

Rest your case, Mon.

Yes, but I also have writing of his regarding and the defending the recreational use of psychedelia.

So......
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