Thursday, April 10, 2008

Sask. Blogs Aggregator: Striking A Martyr's Pose

Sask. Boy writes:

The first casualty of the Conservative bloggers lawsuit has claimed an unlikely victim. The SaskBlogs Aggregator, run by Lance Levsen, has been taken offline due apparently to the likely threat of a lawsuit. The Aggregator contains Small Dead Animals as a member, and thus has stored posts claimed as libelous, even though they only LINK to an alleged libelous statement.

"Likely threat of a lawsuit"? As opposed to an actual threat? I suspect that the names in yesterday's statement of claim are all the names there will be, but if Lance is really worried, it isn't as though R. Warman's email is that hard to find.

However, it is more fun, I suppose, to nail oneself to the cross and harvest sympathy from passer's by.

Incidentally, the passage in the statement of claim that Lance (and others) seem to be worried about concerns Kate MacMillan letting SDA guest blogger K. Shaidle link to the original FreeD post re. Senator Cools (something I've done at least once, incidentally). I think the first part of paragraph 28, which most people seem to be ignoring, is the important one:

Ms. McMillan permitted the defendant Shaidle to access SDA and post the Cools posting along with the allegation that Mr. Warman was responsible for it...

This does not seem at all analogous to the Wayne Crookes case at all, as far as I can tell. Here the offending material appeared on SDA, plus there was a link back to the source, plus there was a claim on SDA that Warman had written said material.

With Crookes, a blog-roll linked to a site that linked to a site.

As for Lance, well, Bloggers die more often opera stars and for the same reason...bad acting! I imagine he'll be back in a week or two.


Ti-Guy said...

This is the same Lance (the one I uncharitably call CheersLance) of CatPrint in the Mash who has posting privileges at SDA and who has guest-blogged there before.

I've yet to determine whether these hysterics simply enable each other's hysteria, whether they coordinate their actions for specific campaigns, or whether one alpha non-hysteric exploits the hysterics beneath him or her for propaganda purposes.

Of course this could be just an issue of being cautious. I wonder if anyone has any elaborate models based on IP address analysis that might shed further light?

lance said...

Just being cautious Ti-Guy.

If you want the reasons, I posted them at Saskboy's place.


bigcitylib said...

So you pulled the page down rather than just, like, deleting the links?

Ti-Guy said...

If you want the reasons, I posted them at Saskboy's place.

Well, I went over there and would have joined the discussion, but a I noticed a few voles who I just would rather avoid being exposed to.

Although I have no evidence that would lead me to not believe you, Lance, I quite frankly don't. There's always been a smarmy quality to your communication that I just naturally distrust. It's the Cheers, Lance thing.

Caution is of course, a good principle, but to my mind, if that had been a real concern, I would ask at this point to have my posts removed from SDA, or simply be prepared to defend what you have said there. From what you've personally expressed, I haven't seen anything I'd be worried about, although I stopped paying attention to anyone associated with Kate McMillan a long time ago.

Joanne (True Blue) said...

If you read the pdf that Lance refers to, there is one disturbing paragraph that seems to claim that a blogger is responsible for the comments on the blog, and whether or not they are deemed to be offensive.

I think this should be of concern to everyone.

bigcitylib said...


It should be of concern but not because of anything new that Warman is doing.

If you operate a blog and someone leaves a defamatory comment you MAY well be liable. That's why I've been moderating comments lately. It APPEARS as if someone is trying to plant defamatory comments about some of the people involved in this case. Its also why I will probably be switching to haloscan in the near future.

Reality Bites said...

Offensive? Bullshit, you ignorant twat. (in the British sense of the word, of course).

Huge difference between offensive and libellous. Huge difference between offensive and hate speech. It's your ilk's complete inability to discern these gapingly huge differences that is your downfall.

Ti-Guy said...

I think this should be of concern to everyone.

What are you worried about, Joanne? You delete everything.

Reality Bites said...

Ti-guy, are you suggesting she performs late-term abortions on people's posts?


Joanne (True Blue) said...

Its also why I will probably be switching to haloscan in the near future.

Does it block IP addresses?

Joanne (True Blue) said...

Just a small warning. Apparently you can't even have a comment appear on your blog for a millisecond and then delete it without being attacked.

Comment moderation forever, I guess.


bigcitylib said...

Joanne, I think the whole point with haloscan is you can always see the poster's ID.

And really, Ezra had to approve that comment. Approving a death threat? How stupid is that? How Christian is it?

Joanne (True Blue) said...

I think the whole point with haloscan is you can always see the poster's ID.

Yeah, that would be helpful.

And really, Ezra had to approve that comment.

He did? Personally, I've toggled between just allowing comments and using moderation, but I think I'll keep the latter on all the time now.

Might look into Haloscan too. Thanks.

Somena Woman said...

I'm simply going to repeat what I've been trying to say for 2 days now about this issue which doesn't seem to be sinking in anywhere in the midst of the hankie-clutching and pant-peeing.

The people in this case are going to invoke "fair comment" as a defence for what they are doing. The problem is for those concerned about linking and com-boxes... that in order to protect themselves in this fashion, they will have to prove an absence of malice in their actions with regard to this.

If you are a blog-owner and you do not go around malicously spreading lies about somebody with the purpose of destroying them and their reputation or livelihood -- then you are most probably safe.

If you inadvertantly allow a malicious comment to appear on your blog, (as in non-moderated comments) and do nothing to mitigate potential damage caused by a libelous statement... then you have a problem.

You will note that Warman gave all of these bloggers from February to recant, erase their comments about him and apologize.

None of them were willing to do so EXCEPT the National Post and Jon Kay.

In fact, these people have spent months pounding the crap out of this Warman character.

In Canada - truth is not an ultimate defence in libel cases. You also have to be involved in a genuine discussion for the purposes of commenting on a topic of general public interest, and you can not flavour that commentary with malicousness.

Reality Bites said...

somena woman, do you have any opinion or speculation as to why National Post and Kay were still sued? I've been trying to get my head around that.

Also, does anyone have any idea how long cases of this kind take to get to court?

Joanne (True Blue) said...

somena woman, do you have any opinion or speculation as to why National Post and Kay were still sued? I've been trying to get my head around that.

I've been wondering about that too. Jonathan Kay was quick to take down the offending post, and apologize both online and in the print edition. So why wasn't that apology accepted?

bigcitylib said...


Well, I have been told it might have something to do with Kay's not exercising his right to not have the piece republished. Doesn't sound as if he made any effort to stop Ezra/FreeD et al from reproducing the stuff at their own sites.

I think Warman's document mentions something about "the damage having already been done" in regards to Kay, but my memory may be faulty. Certainly, the screw up on Kay's part (here and with the "CHRC is hacking private wifi story") is larger than that of Kate et al. This guy is supposed to know something about verifying stories.

(He should also have known who Clatt and Lemire were BEFORE he began writing on this issue. Same reason).

Saskboy said...

Interesting (and scary) that Kay was still sued if he apologized. Perhaps it was some legal mumbo jumbo that Warman had to include everyone for his tactic to work?

Joanne (True Blue) said...

Doesn't sound as if he made any effort to stop Ezra/FreeD et al from reproducing the stuff at their own sites.

I hear you, but with the internet anyone can download information from a news source assuming it is valid. It would be difficult for that source to retroactively find all the blogs that made references to the content.

Or perhaps that is Warman's point...

In any case, it's taking the fun out of blogging.

bigcitylib said...

Joanne writes:

"In any case, it's taking the fun out of blogging."

Well, yeah, its always more fun if you can libel people.

By the way, given the collapse of the case against Warman re. the Lucy posts, I might ask that you do some renouncing of the remarks of other Conservative bloggers tomorrow, you being a generally decent sort and all, Christian, concerned with truth etc.

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