Liked for LIBEL



  • Wow. :wtf: Switzerland?


  • sockdevs

    @boomzilla IIUC, the guy was convicted of clicking the only button available to click.

    The stupid is strong with Switzerland.



  • @RaceProUK Either way...he clicked a button, he didn't post the statements.



  • @boomzilla Doesn't matter, he expressed his agreement with it, and increased it's visibility. IIRC facebook show things you liked in your wall.



  • @wharrgarbl It does matter, a lot.



  • @wharrgarbl said in Liked for LIBEL:

    Doesn't matter,

    Doesn't agree.


  • Winner of the 2016 Presidential Election

    @wharrgarbl said in Liked for LIBEL:

    IIRC facebook show things you liked in your wall.

    No, actually, it shows things you liked in your friends' news feeds, which is much worse for this guy because that's even closer to publishing it.



  • @Fox what's the difference of sharing and liking on facebook these days?


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    @wharrgarbl said in Liked for LIBEL:

    @Fox what's the difference of sharing and liking on facebook these days?

    Sharing also shows up on your wall, liking doesn't. Also, I think shares are more likely to show up in news feeds than likes, or something. Their news feed algorithm is ridiculous and stupid and constantly changing.


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    @wharrgarbl said in Liked for LIBEL:

    these days?

    Also, it's been like this since I joined FB, and it's one of the single most annoying "features" I've encountered.



  • @boomzilla

    One step away from, "this is a bad idea" = defamatory.



  • Found more details on the case:

    In the first case of its kind in Switzerland, the 45-year-old unnamed defendant from Zurich was found guilty after he ‘liked’ several posts on Facebook accusing Erwin Kessler, the president of an animal rights group, of racism and anti-Semitism.

    The posts came about during discussions on Facebook over which animal welfare groups should be allowed to take part in a large vegan street festival in Switzerland, Veganmania Schweiz.

    Posts describing Mr Kessler as racist, anti-Semitic or fascist, and his organisation as a neo-Nazi association, were liked by a number of people, including the defendant.

    Mr Kessler then brought a case against the defendant, arguing that by ‘liking' the posts the man spread their content by making them visible to a larger number of people, and that he acted with intent to harm and without any justifiable cause.


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    @boomzilla said in Liked for LIBEL:

    Mr Kessler then brought a case against the defendant, arguing that by ‘liking' the posts the man spread their content by making them visible to a larger number of people

    This is unquestionably true, unless the defendant literally has 0 friends on Facebook.

    @boomzilla said in Liked for LIBEL:

    that he acted with intent to harm and without any justifiable cause.

    This is the part where the case should have fallen apart but somehow managed to... not... fall... apart? How did they prove this.

    The court ruled that the defendant couldn’t prove that the statements about Mr Kessler were true or that he had "serious reasons" to believe them to be so.

    In 1998, Mr Kessler was in fact convicted of racial discrimination in relation to his efforts to prevent the lifting of a ban on shechita, a Jewish religious method of slaughtering animals for food in order to produce kosher meat.

    However, the court ruled that it does not mean he can be accused of racism without current proof some 20 years later, and the defendant was handed a suspended fine.

    Other people have also since been convicted of defaming Mr Kessler in the Swiss cities of Zurich, Lucerne and Bern, according to the Tages Anzeiger.

    Even if this argument isn't bullshit, that still only covers the "justifiable cause" part of the argument, not the "intent to harm" part. People like shit on facebook all the time. Most people don't recognize that that sends it to their friends, or if they do, that's not why they like it, most of the time.



  • @wharrgarbl said in Liked for LIBEL:

    Doesn't matter, he expressed his agreement with it, and increased it's visibility.

    Or he fat-fingered it while using his cellphone.

    A single button-press doesn't mean jack shit.



  • Were the people who were actually posting the accusations of him being a racist and anti-Semite similarly brought before a court?

    Because that seems like it'd be a bigger bang for the court's buck.



  • @Fox said in Liked for LIBEL:

    @boomzilla said in Liked for LIBEL:

    Mr Kessler then brought a case against the defendant, arguing that by ‘liking' the posts the man spread their content by making them visible to a larger number of people

    This is unquestionably true, unless the defendant literally has 0 friends on Facebook.

    Sort of. But there's always mystery about what, exactly facebook shows you. And wouldn't that sort of thing would be like, "Franz Doe liked a comment of Juergen Dipshitz"? Then someone has to click it to go see it. Seems pretty tenuous.

    @boomzilla said in Liked for LIBEL:

    that he acted with intent to harm and without any justifiable cause.

    This is the part where the case should have fallen apart but somehow managed to... not... fall... apart? How did they prove this.

    Yeah. Though foreign libel laws always seem weird and capricious to me.



  • @boomzilla said in Liked for LIBEL:

    Posts describing Mr Kessler as racist, anti-Semitic or fascist, and his organisation as a neo-Nazi association, were liked by a number of people, including the defendant.

    I wonder why he's the only one being sued.


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    @Khudzlin said in Liked for LIBEL:

    @boomzilla said in Liked for LIBEL:

    Posts describing Mr Kessler as racist, anti-Semitic or fascist, and his organisation as a neo-Nazi association, were liked by a number of people, including the defendant.

    I wonder why he's the only one being sued.

    He wasn't.

    @Fox said in Liked for LIBEL:

    Other people have also since been convicted of defaming Mr Kessler in the Swiss cities of Zurich, Lucerne and Bern, according to the Tages Anzeiger.



  • @boomzilla said in Liked for LIBEL:

    Yeah. Though foreign libel laws always seem weird and capricious to me.

    Those crazy foreign countries like Canada.

    I honestly think the US (and maybe the UK) are the only sane countries in this department.



  • @blakeyrat said in Liked for LIBEL:

    I honestly think the US (and maybe the UK) are the only sane countries in this department.

    The UK? Sane in this department?


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    @boomzilla said in Liked for LIBEL:

    And wouldn't that sort of thing would be like, "Franz Doe liked a comment of Juergen Dipshitz"? Then someone has to click it to go see it. Seems pretty tenuous.

    Sometimes it'll show the comment underneath the post without it being clicked on.



  • @blakeyrat said in Liked for LIBEL:

    I honestly think the US (and maybe the UK) are the only sane countries in this department.

    UK is terrible, as implied by @Khudzlin. Or used to be. Maybe it's gotten better since they changed some laws in (apparently) 2014.


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    @blakeyrat said in Liked for LIBEL:

    like Canada.

    clicks

    In December 2008, the Commission refused to look at the case of Imam Abou Hammad Sulaiman al-Hayiti.

    Refused to look at a case? Well why is that worthy of criticism, I thought everyone hated the Commission for being too overbearing. reads on

    Al-Hayiti had written that Allah has taught that "If the Jews, Christians, and [Zoroastrians] refuse to answer the call of Islam, and will not pay the jizyah [tax], then it is obligatory for Muslims to fight them if they are able." Christianity, in particular, was denounced as a "religion of lies," which is responsible for the West's "perversity, corruption and adultery." Al-Hayiti's book refers to "the incredible number of gays and lesbians (may Allah curse and destroy them in this life and the next) who sow disorder upon the Earth and who desire to increase their numbers."

    ...:wtf: If anything fits the definition of hate speech on that entire page, it's clearly this book.

    the Commission stated that Al-Hayiti was free to make comments against "infidels" because they are not an identifiable group. Regarding Al-Hayiti's statements against groups established as "identifiable," such as homosexuals and Jews, the commission simply stated that these "do not seem" to meet the criteria for promoting hatred.

    "may Allah curse and destroy them in this life and the next" is in fact the sort of thing that promotes hatred.



  • @Fox That's the point of that criticism. They refused to look at that horribly hate-filled book (which, to be clear, I personally 100% believe has the right to be written, shared, and talked about) while at the same time they prosecuted a white boss for saying something significantly less hateful like, "it's nice to see minority faces in this company meeting!"

    So in addition to being a horrible violation of all ideas of free expression, they were also huge hypocrites.


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    @blakeyrat said in Liked for LIBEL:

    which, to be clear, I personally 100% believe has the right to be written, shared, and talked about

    ...in a court of law, where threats of and incitement of violence not only have the right to be talked about, but the obligation. Even ignoring the "curse and destroy them in this life and the next", part, it literally tells Muslims to either take money from or physically assault Jews, Christians, and Zoroastrians. That's clearly incitement to violence, which is something any sane country ought to ban.



  • Ugh. Don't agree with me.


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    @blakeyrat said in Liked for LIBEL:

    Ugh. Don't agree with me.

    You're right, I don't. Except for the part about hypocrisy. That I do agree with you about. Whether or not that book should've been protected by freedom of expression, however, I vehemently disagree about.


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    But I digress, this is about how Switzerland managed to prove intent from single mouse clicks (or presses, as the case may be), not how the Canadian Human Rights Commission spectacularly failed to do its job in stopping hate speech.

    But the defendant in this case had said in court that he supported the content and wanted to disseminate it – the conviction was therefore “not necessarily unjustified”, said Mr Steiger.

    Oh, the fucking dumbass confessed, that's how.



  • @Fox said in Liked for LIBEL:

    That's clearly incitement to violence, which is something any sane country ought to ban.

    0_1483363720677_not-this-shit-again-obama.png



  • @Fox said in Liked for LIBEL:

    But I digress, this is about how Switzerland managed to prove intent from single mouse clicks (or presses, as the case may be),

    Intent or not...if calling someone racist or a fascist is now libel....LOOK OUT!



  • @Fox said in Liked for LIBEL:

    Oh, the fucking dumbass confessed, that's how.

    Eh, he's living in Zürich. Getting billed for CHF4000 is not something that will faze you after a couple of years there. :trolleybus:

    Besides ... something something standing up for your opinions something something


  • :belt_onion:

    @Fox said in Liked for LIBEL:

    How did they prove this.

    hell he probably flat out admitted it, not realizing that they'd actually convict him for it!

    :hanzo: ed i see.


  • :belt_onion:

    @boomzilla said in Liked for LIBEL:

    Intent or not...if calling someone racist or a fascist is now libel....LOOK OUT!

    Spreading that kind of supposedly factual information about the business and owner, as I read it in the story, simply to screw him out of business while knowing it isn't true, is just as illegal in the US.

    From a US legal perspective, in this case, they went above and beyond simply calling him a racist (which could be considered OPINION and not libel), but disseminated information claiming "his organisation as a neo-Nazi association" (which would be stating as a FACT about his organization). In Europe it doesn't seem that the opinion vs fact thing makes a difference though.

    There's some more nuance to this specific case that makes me disagree a bit with the ruling even by European standards though,

    In 1998, Mr Kessler was in fact convicted of racial discrimination in relation to his efforts to prevent the lifting of a ban on shechita, a Jewish religious method of slaughtering animals for food in order to produce kosher meat.
    However, the court ruled that it does not mean he can be accused of racism without current proof some 20 years later, and the defendant was handed a suspended fine.

    So wait, the guy was ACTUALLY CONVICTED OF RACIAL DISCRIMINATION..... yet they're not allowed to mention that they think he's racist? WTF.



  • @darkmatter said in Liked for LIBEL:

    Spreading that kind of supposedly factual information about the business and owner, as I read it in the story, simply to screw him out of business while knowing it isn't true, is just as illegal in the US.

    It's opinion. How do you "know it's untrue?" It's not like you're accusing him of murdering trans-hookers. You're expressing your opinion of his character.

    @darkmatter said in Liked for LIBEL:

    From a US legal perspective, in this case, they went above and beyond simply calling him a racist (which could be considered OPINION and not libel), but disseminated information claiming "his organisation as a neo-Nazi association" (which would be stating as a FACT about his organization). In Europe it doesn't seem that the opinion vs fact thing makes a difference though.

    Like Breitbart was? Like a lot of people have been? But I agree, the lack of protection of opinions is part of what I find capricious about foreign libel laws.

    @darkmatter said in Liked for LIBEL:

    So wait, the guy was ACTUALLY CONVICTED OF RACIAL DISCRIMINATION..... yet they're not allowed to mention that they think he's racist? WTF.

    LOL. Well, that's another thing! In the US truth is an absolute defense against libel.


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    @darkmatter said in Liked for LIBEL:

    disseminated information claiming "his organisation as a neo-Nazi association" (which would be stating as a FACT about his organization).

    One which is neither proved nor disproved by these news articles, actually. Maybe it is true, in which case the defendant would have had a viable defense in US court, even after his dumbass admission that he liked the posts with the explicit intention of having that action disseminate that information.


  • :belt_onion:

    @Fox I don't think they'd get convicted in the US because it would be very easy to argue it is all opinion (as @boomzilla is doing above). In my opinion (har), stating an organization is "a Neo-Nazi organization" is different from saying something like "their organization is full of neo-nazis"; the former is making a factual claim about how the group represents itself, whereas the latter is more obviously just one individual's opinion.

    The article did not quote from the liked posts though, so I don't know that is how it was worded. Also, Europe doesn't care about fact vs opinion, so that bit of semantic pedantry would make no difference anyway.



  • @Fox said in Liked for LIBEL:

    One which is neither proved nor disproved by these news articles, actually. Maybe it is true, in which case the defendant would have had a viable defense in US court, even after his dumbass admission that he liked the posts with the explicit intention of having that action disseminate that information.

    The reports give him a plausible reason to believe what he stated, even if they're false (then the guy has a case against those reports). I guess that if the US had these sorts of laws all those people calling for boycotts of companies for various "outrages" could face some serious liability. Obviously, bad reviews show up in law suits here, too, but I'm not aware of a reviewer being held accountable (INB4 Yale administrator fired over Yelp reviews).


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    @darkmatter said in Liked for LIBEL:

    how the group represents itself

    That's more a claim about how it operates, not how it represents itself.


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    @boomzilla said in Liked for LIBEL:

    @Fox said in Liked for LIBEL:

    One which is neither proved nor disproved by these news articles, actually. Maybe it is true, in which case the defendant would have had a viable defense in US court, even after his dumbass admission that he liked the posts with the explicit intention of having that action disseminate that information.

    The reports give him a plausible reason to believe what he stated, even if they're false (then the guy has a case against those reports). I guess that if the US had these sorts of laws all those people calling for boycotts of companies for various "outrages" could face some serious liability. Obviously, bad reviews show up in law suits here, too, but I'm not aware of a reviewer being held accountable (INB4 Yale administrator fired over Yelp reviews).

    Yeah, if anyone has any serious liability here, it would be the original author(s), not the ones trying to spread the information further.



  • @darkmatter said in Liked for LIBEL:

    stating an organization is "a Neo-Nazi organization" is different from saying something like "their organization is full of neo-nazis"; the former is making a factual claim about how the group represents itself, whereas the latter is more obviously just one individual's opinion.

    I don't think I'd draw that distinction. You could just as easily say that "full of neo-nazis" means that the people are formally associated with some neo-nazi political party. There's nuance as to whether the statement meant that it was "Official Neo-Nazi Party of the Tri-State Area" or something like that vs "it's an organization that does Neo-Nazi sorts of things, like trying to ban kosher meat."



  • @darkmatter

    @darkmatter said in Liked for LIBEL:

    So wait, the guy was ACTUALLY CONVICTED OF RACIAL DISCRIMINATION..... yet they're not allowed to mention that they think he's racist? WTF.

    Apparently 20 years means it doesn't count in Switzerland? They managed to stretch this one impressively far, because even if there is some kind of weird clause in Swiss law that says "you can't say bad things about someone if the bad things happened 20 years ago," there was also a point in the case where they asserted (and uhh, "proved", according to their verdict) that he had no "serious reason to believe" that the activist is racist. The former would have been a mere technicality, but they went further by saying "you have no reason to believe this," even though he clearly does. The idea that ignorance is no excuse for breaking the law only goes so far before you have a law degree; do they really expect this guy to know their arbitrary rules for who is and isn't "currently" racist? It's certainly a "landmark ruling," that's for sure.

    Here's a similar case in the U.S. for comparison. We have a former Congressman from Louisiana named David Duke who used to be in the Ku Klux Klan in the late 60's and 70's -- his Congressional term occurred in 1989 through a special election which he won because his opponent was stupid enough to admit that he would raise property taxes. He's also been convicted for essentially stealing the donations of his supporters to fuel a gambling addiction, even though he was financially secure at the time (but eventually became impoverished through gambling, which is what led everyone to realize he wasn't spending the money on political campaigns). Is there any question at all the guy is racist? No, absolutely not. Although there are recent videos where he expresses his rather niche views, nobody points to that when they talk about Duke, because all they need to do is point to his membership in the KKK for the point to get across. It's something he will never live down, and for good reason. It would be totally and utterly absurd for his association with the KKK to suddenly legally "vanish" 20 years later, and for Duke to successfully sue anyone for libel for mentioning it.



  • @Fox said in Liked for LIBEL:

    Yeah, if anyone has any serious liability here, it would be the original author(s), not the ones trying to spread the information further.

    I think that if he'd shared it or copy-pasta'd or something there'd be a good argument. But the whole legal theory of "trying to harm the business" is flawed to begin with so Europe can fuck itself with its shitty laws.


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    @boomzilla said in Liked for LIBEL:

    I think that if he'd shared it or copy-pasta'd or something there'd be a good argument.

    Only if he had good reason to believe it was false, which as far as we can tell, he didn't.



  • @CrazyEyes said in Liked for LIBEL:

    Apparently 20 years means it doesn't count in Switzerland? They managed to stretch this one impressively far, because even if there is some kind of weird clause in Swiss law that says "you can't say bad things about someone if the bad things happened 20 years ago,"

    For irony's sake, I like to imagine that such a law is there to protect people who hid Nazi gold and shit like that.



  • @Fox said in Liked for LIBEL:

    @boomzilla said in Liked for LIBEL:

    I think that if he'd shared it or copy-pasta'd or something there'd be a good argument.

    Only if he had good reason to believe it was false, which as far as we can tell, he didn't.

    Well, yeah. I didn't mention the caveat about that for this counterfactual, but I was definitely thinking it: "Assuming that all the proper components of libel are present."


  • :belt_onion:

    @boomzilla said in Liked for LIBEL:

    There's nuance as to whether the statement meant that it was "Official Neo-Nazi Party of the Tri-State Area" or something like that vs "it's an organization that does Neo-Nazi sorts of things, like trying to ban kosher meat."

    i interpreted the line in the article as meaning that they were name-calling it the "Official Neo-Nazi Party of Swiss Thinging". No real reason why, that's just how it went through my mind.



  • In, like, other like news:

    It was an airsoft gun, BTW.


  • Discourse touched me in a no-no place

    @blakeyrat said in Liked for LIBEL:

    I honestly think the US (and maybe the UK) are the only sane countries in this department.

    No.

    As already mentioned, we have apparently allowed libel cases in our courts where both the libellous action, and those libelled, have no (or, at best, a very tenuous) connection to the UK.

    Apparently measures have been taken to address this in recent years however.


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    @boomzilla said in Liked for LIBEL:

    In, like, other like news:

    Paging @groaner


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    Unsurprisingly shoddy journalism. I couldn't quite believe this - so I looked up Zurich's newspaper reporting on this. Turns out the guy had also posted offisive remarks to an animal rights protection group calling them antisemites and fascists. Then he also liked some defamatory posts.


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