What Bloggers Need To Know About Cahill v. Doe

Wendy Seltzer alerts us to the Delaware Supreme Court’s ruling last week in Cahill v. Doe, a case that tested our rights to anonymity online, as well as the standard for judging defamation.

As it turns out, the court decided against the plaintiff, a city councilman, and protected the identity of “Proud Citizen,” who the councilman accused of posting defamatory remarks in an online forum. Further, it also decided that the context of the remarks “a chatroom filled with invective and personal opinion” are “not a source of facts or data upon which a reasonable person would rely.”

In short, as Seltzer points out, the ruling hold readers responsible for seeing materials in the context they’re presented in:

The standard empowers a wide range of bloggers’ speech. Because readers can use context to help them differentiate opinions from statements of fact, bloggers are freer to publish their choice of opinionated gossip or citizen journalism. And thanks to courts like Cahill and Dendrite, they can do so using pseudonyms or their real names.

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3 thoughts on “What Bloggers Need To Know About Cahill v. Doe

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