Reply to post: So on the Internet you have to please ALL the people ALL the time -- or else?

Today's Facebook fury: Coppertone-like baby pic ban baffles US mom

ma1010 Silver badge
Big Brother

So on the Internet you have to please ALL the people ALL the time -- or else?

As someone once pointed out, "The law is an ass." It's clearly impossible to write ANYTHING of any significance that doesn't offend SOMEONE or transgress SOME law SOMEWHERE on this planet. These days it's hard enough to do anything in one's own country without breaking some law there at home, much less some law somewhere on the globe. So when this line of reasoning gets followed to its bitter end, apparently one should never post ANYTHING on the Internet lest one transgress some law somewhere. This seems a bit ridiculous to me.

I don't normally take the point of view that America does everything right (we don't), but in this case, i do think we've got closer to right than most other countries. Here you have no libel or slander case against someone unless what they wrote/said was both untrue AND caused actual damage to your reputation. To me, that seems like a reasonable threshold for a lawsuit.

Actually, the courts here go even farther if you're a "public figure," in which case you also have to prove "malice" -- which is next to impossible -- to collect damages. Such was the case where a major news magazine claimed that General Westmoreland (commander in Vietnam during that horror show) used nerve gas. He sued them but lost becuase, although he showed the claim was untrue, he could not prove malice. That's quite a distance from France where it's apparently illegal to say anything bad about a public official. What if the fellow really WAS a "poopy head" or, say, a corrupt, thief who commited malfeasance in office daily? If it were true and one had evidence to prove it, would it still be illegal to publish it because the subject is a public official?

Also, consider that a regular "bikini pic" one might download (such as has been seen on el Reg), which is perfectly legal most places, can run afoul of the law in parts of the Middle East. And it goes on and on...

Here's hoping that "globalization" doesn't reduce culture and communication to some "lowest common denominator," because if that happens, there won't BE any culture or communication.

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