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  #1  
Old 21 February 2016, 04:45 PM
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Default B.C. man’s revenge website reveals flaws in harassment law: experts

Patrick Fox said he created the site about his ex-wife to cause ‘as much damage to her reputation and life as possible.’

The British Columbia Crown’s decision not to charge a man who created a revenge website to destroy his ex-wife’s reputation reveals the limits of criminal harassment law in the digital age, experts say. The Crown said it could not conclude the woman had an “objective basis to fear for her safety.” The website includes private photos, her address and phone number and describes her as a white supremacist, child abuser and drug addict.


http://www.macleans.ca/news/b-c-mans...t-law-experts/
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  #2  
Old 21 February 2016, 05:58 PM
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They don't address this in the article but I am wondering how this man's behavior has affected his own life. Would an employer want a man like him working for them for instance. I would hope at the very least his name being out there associated with this would mean a lot of people are going to want to distance themselves from him. If for no other reason that wondering if he can be like this towards an ex wife surely he can turn on them too.
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  #3  
Old 22 February 2016, 01:09 AM
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It's a difficult balance to achieve. We don't want things like what happened to this woman to happen, but we also don't want the law to be so strict that people are prosecuted for hurting feelings (as was the Gregory Alan Elliot case mentioned in the article). I think what he's done qualifies as libel though, at least under US law.
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Old 22 February 2016, 12:46 PM
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I can't find any mention of "the Gregory Alan Eliot case" in the OP article.
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  #5  
Old 22 February 2016, 01:12 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Coughdrops View Post
It's a difficult balance to achieve. We don't want things like what happened to this woman to happen, but we also don't want the law to be so strict that people are prosecuted for hurting feelings (as was the Gregory Alan Elliot case mentioned in the article). I think what he's done qualifies as libel though, at least under US law.
You mean the case where he got away with harassing the shit out of women online because they determined he didn't really mean it?

Yea, what a poor innocent victim.

The article used his case as an example of the weaknesses of Canadian harassment laws.

Furthermore, the woman in this case explicitly stated she knows she could sue for libel, but she can't afford it. The trouble with the civil court system is it largely only benefits the wealthy. That's why people are looking at criminal harassment cases.
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Old 22 February 2016, 01:28 PM
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"B.C. man," huh?

Yep... he seems like a Neanderthal alright...
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  #7  
Old 22 February 2016, 01:31 PM
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Nope, it was a case of an unhinged, narcissist woman out to destroy a man's life for disagreeing with her. This is why I have to remind my generation over and over again why "Hate Speech" laws are a terrible idea and not compatible with US jurisprudence. You're backing the wrong side on this one Rebochan. If you disagree with me that's fine, that's your right, but in my opinion the evidence doesn't support your conclusion.

The Judge essentially threw the case out of court due to the sheer volume of evidence that showed that Elliot didn't do anything wrong. A lot of groups are running this like it's a victory for free discourse online, and it is, but the price was high, to say the least.

It's not that he said ambiguously threatening things. It's not that he harassed anyone. In fact, the impetus of the case was he disagreed with his prior compadres harassing someone and said maybe that wasn't very nice.

I try not to post angry, but this makes me angry. He was literally criminally prosecuted just because self-described "feminists" didn't like him personally and then he said things.

He was criminally prosecuted for literally nothing. I have scoured the case record in vain for anything he said or did that violated any law.

No, seriously. Look at this case. What did this guy do that was criminal? Literally NOTHING! I'm not kidding.

Nevertheless, years of his life were wasted and he is nearly financially ruined apparently because someone didn't like him. Do you see a single substantive complaint about what the guy actually did other than disagree with someone? But no, he's a "dudebro" so convict him of. . .whatever.

I have never seen a more vacuous, frivolously, and maliciously brought criminal case. The prosecutor who brought this should be removed from office. Luckily they were incompetent as well. Putting Guthrie on the stand was a big mistake on the prosecutors part as she was very clearly a power-tripping psycho who reveled in her ability to have someone criminally prosecuted for no crime other than disagreeing with her.
Quote:

Q. Okay. Quote, “Blaming the majority of normal hashtag men for hashtag rape is wrong.”

A. Mm hmm.

Q. “Rapist are not normal men. They’re crazy. Why not blame the mentally ill”?

A. Yeah, really.

Q. “Hashtag TBTB”.

A. Mmhmm.

Q. Now would you not agree with me that that’s a ... that’s a pretty good point?

A. Are you kidding me? Okay, first of all I have no idea what the relevance of how valid a point it was, has to the case, Mr. Murphy. But second of all, that is garbage.

Q. Okay, tell me ...

A. I know lots of normal men who have raped. I have been raped by men you would call normal. So ... I have no idea what you’re talking about. And also, how is it relevant whether it was a valid point? Who cares?

It is submitted that Ms. Guthrie’s demeanor during her viva voce evidence on this point was extremely confrontational, volatile and aggressive. Counsel submits that when Ms. Guthrie was asked “that’s a pretty good point?” she banged her fist on witness box and answered in a very loud voice: “Are you kidding me?” This is important, it is submitted, because it demonstrates Ms. Guthrie’s ability and willingness to aggressively defend herself and her political/philosophical positions.

Counsel further submits that at many points during cross-examination, Ms. Guthrie asked rhetorical questions and displayed disdain for any suggestion that Mr. Elliott had ever uttered/tweeted anything valid on any subject. Ms. Guthrie’s rhetorical questions “And how is it relevant whether it was a valid point? Who cares?” confirms that – as far as Ms. Guthrie was concerned – it did not matter to her whether or not Mr. Elliott’s contributions on Twitter were valid political/philosophical comments. No matter what the content of Mr. Elliott’s tweets, Ms. Guthrie allegedly believed that his comments betrayed Mr. Elliott’s obsession with her.Counsel submit that if Ms. Guthrie truly believed that Mr. Elliott was obsessed with her, personally, such a belief -on the evidence before the Court – cannot be considered reasonable. For whatever reason, Ms. Guthrie was completely unable to view Mr. Elliott’s tweets through the lens of valid, political commentary/opposition. Any feelings of fear that Ms. Guthrie allegedly felt were the result of Ms. Guthrie’s irrational conclusion that Mr. Elliott was obsessed with her.

Last edited by Coughdrops; 22 February 2016 at 01:43 PM.
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  #8  
Old 22 February 2016, 01:32 PM
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I'm guessing that Riess doesn't have enough assets that a lawyer would be willing to take Capuano's case on contingency. Hopefully the publicity from this article will get her a lawyer willing to work pro bono.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lainie View Post
I can't find any mention of "the Gregory Alan Eliot case" in the OP article.
It isn't called out by his name, but it is the Ontario Twitter harassment case mentioned about halfway down the page.

Quote:
She noted that a recent Twitter harassment trial in Ontario resulted in an acquittal because the judge could not conclude the fear of the two complainants was reasonable.
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  #9  
Old 22 February 2016, 01:34 PM
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Thank you, GenYus.
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  #10  
Old 22 February 2016, 01:58 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Coughdrops View Post
woman out to destroy a man's life for disagreeing with her.
Note that the original disagreement was that Guthrie wanted to bring attention to another man who had created a "game" that allowed players to graphically beat up Anita Sarkeesian. Elliott claimed that doing so was pointless and revenge (for what he never said). Guthrie then blocked Elliott. Over the course of the next few months, Elliott continued to follow and harass Guthrie (as determined by the judge in the case). The reason the case was dismissed was because simple harassment isn't enough and the judge didn't find that Guthrie feared for her safety as is required by the law. ETA: Note that in one instance, Elliott sent a tweet about Guthrie's actual location at the time of the tweet.

Judge's decision

tldr; The case is pretty much the exact opposite of what you claimed.

FETA: And pointing out that Elliott didn't violate the law when the claim is that the law is too weak on harassment is comically missing the point.

Last edited by GenYus234; 22 February 2016 at 02:04 PM.
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  #11  
Old 22 February 2016, 06:45 PM
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Oh I know he's not exactly clean. He was their friend for a time and they all spent their time harassing opponents on Twitter, males and females alike, but the relationship soured when the guy backed out of attacking a teenage programmer who made the "Punch-Up Anita" game.

But anyone who enjoys free speech should be glad he was acquitted. If the two women won the case it would set a president (at least in Canada) for people to charge and sue for damages based on things said on-line. Twitter, Tumblr, blogs, message boards like this very one, and comment sections would become a place where you dare not speak your mind for the fear that someone else may consider it harassment and level criminal charges against you.

It's interesting that the US is one of the few places where you can say pretty much anything you want. Even libel laws are much more lax. So as dumb as a lot of the "America, muh freedom!" stuff is when you consider other developed, liberal democratic countries, there actually is some truth to it.
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  #12  
Old 22 February 2016, 07:28 PM
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If by "anyone" you mean "prosecutors who have examined the evidence with regard to the existing laws of the appropriate jurisdiction(s)" and by "speak your mind" you mean "engaged in behavior that is possibly illegal" then you might have a point.
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Old 22 February 2016, 08:16 PM
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You can already be charged under criminal laws, and sued for damages under civil laws, for things said online. Even here in the US. Even if you try to invoke First Amendment protections.

The issue that comes up more in online harassment than in other kinds of harassment is that, when the people involved don't directly know each other, and/or are physically distant from each other, that may impact the objective reasonableness of the harassment target's fear. This is an area that is very much still developing. I would not remotely conclude that online only speech is categorically protected, and could never form the basis for a criminal harassment charge.

As for the OP, it seems like a fairly close call based on my knowledge of similar statutes. To me, the gun reference plus indication of where he would cross the border (assuming it is a plausible place to cross) would probably be enough to make an argument for objective reasonableness, but maybe the precedents there are clearly more limiting. I'm not sure that the legal test should be changed, but legislatures could make clear that it can be objectively reasonable to fear for one's safety based solely on anonymous online messages, depending on the content of the messages.
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Old 22 February 2016, 10:08 PM
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Double post
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Old 22 February 2016, 10:10 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by erwins View Post
You can already be charged under criminal laws, and sued for damages under civil laws, for things said online. Even here in the US. Even if you try to invoke First Amendment protections.

The issue that comes up more in online harassment than in other kinds of harassment is that, when the people involved don't directly know each other, and/or are physically distant from each other, that may impact the objective reasonableness of the harassment target's fear. This is an area that is very much still developing. I would not remotely conclude that online only speech is categorically protected, and could never form the basis for a criminal harassment charge.
The difference is that if this had come to pass it would open the door to frivolous lawsuits and prosecutions intended solely to harass people. To put it another way, imagine a birther being able to file criminal charges against Snopes because said birther felt "threatened" by Snopes debunking all of their nonsense, and you know there are more Orly Taitz's out there who would do so and who would take such a case to court if they could. Or any of the lunatics in the various We've Got Mail threads actually being able to do something besides impotently seethe in rage.

Quote:
Originally Posted by GenYus234 View Post
If by "anyone" you mean "prosecutors who have examined the evidence with regard to the existing laws of the appropriate jurisdiction(s)" and by "speak your mind" you mean "engaged in behavior that is possibly illegal" then you might have a point.
See above for prosecutors. Do you believe it should be illegal to state an opinion if someone doesn't like said opinion? What about facts that person doesn't like?

Last edited by Coughdrops; 22 February 2016 at 10:16 PM.
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  #16  
Old 22 February 2016, 11:38 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Coughdrops View Post
The difference is that if this had come to pass it would open the door to frivolous lawsuits and prosecutions intended solely to harass people.
As opposed to now, where you can openly harass the shit out of people with no consequence Spare me the slippery slope.

I kinda hoped you might have learned something through our many harassment discussions that you started up, especially after the last one where you claimed yet again to see the light. I was apparently mistaken - if the victim is a woman, you've always got an excuse about how "free speech" is the true victim and really, she was probably just trying to muzzle criticism of her anyway.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Coughdrops View Post
But anyone who enjoys free speech should be glad he was acquitted. If the two women won the case it would set a president (at least in Canada) for people to charge and sue for damages based on things said on-line.
The fact that you believe this is a bad thing is pretty indicative of you refusing to learn anything at all except for that one time that you thought I'd actually done it to you.
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Old 23 February 2016, 12:25 AM
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CD, both GenYus and I were explaining something to you that your posts reveal your ignorance of. Your responses continue to reveal that ignorance.
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  #18  
Old 23 February 2016, 12:28 AM
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Sad, naive Rebochan, still expecting CD to engage in open and honest discourse, still expecting him to respond to what was actually said.

But we must show CD some sympathy. It must be hard, having to deal with all these uppity women saying, "Y'know maybe it would be nice if we could exercise our freedom of speech and give our opinions, without having to seek out police protection after some testosterone-poisoned idiot published my home address, along with threats to rape and murder me and not necessarily in that order." It hurts his feelings when SJWs like us, bother CD with our infernal demands for basic fair treatment an our crazy insistence that he should read what's actually there, and not just refute what the caricatures of feminists and SJWs that live in his head say.
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Old 23 February 2016, 01:04 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Coughdrops View Post
The difference is that if this had come to pass it would open the door to frivolous lawsuits and prosecutions intended solely to harass people.
Because it is impossible to do that now?

ETA: See Mouse? That was bitter sarcasm.
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  #20  
Old 23 February 2016, 07:16 AM
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Rebochan, I remember the last time. That was when you said this, even though I had been nothing but civil to you:

http://message.snopes.com/showpost.p...&postcount=120

Quote:
I'm going to post your personal information on 8chan. Then your friends and family's information. Then your co-workers and bosses. I'm going to tell them to call each and every one of them and bombard their e-mail boxes with lurid details of your every sexual encounter and include some child pornography that we'll claim you made. I'm going to do it until you get fired, and ensure everyone knows every potential job you might have so you can't get future employment either. I'm going to get or create pornography starring you and start passing it around hook up sites so you get bombarded with unwanted solicitations.


You then added a hasty retraction, but that doesn't change the fact that you said it. And now I have to wonder whether you really would do that to me.

What I'm getting at is, if the Elliott case had set a precedent (and we were in Canada obviously), you could have been prosecuted for making threats. Or do you imagine such a law would have applied to everyone but you?

Luckily we live in free society where people can act like fools online without going to jail unless they directly threaten violence, like the man in the first post is doing.
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