Monday, October 17, 2016

SLAPP lawsuit names a "doomsday prepper" blogger as a defendant for a "mere" hyperlink (and maybe characterization)


I’ve learned through Facebook about an apparent SLAPP lawsuit in which “Survival Blog” (apparently originating in Idaho) is (or its owner or authors) is named as a codefendant in a defamation suit for merely providing a hyperlink (and summary sentence) to a credible site that in turn reports about a particular attorney in Tennessee.  The suit is filed in Ohio.

The two posts by James Wesley Rawles explaining the litigation are here  and here.

It is rare for litigation to arise out of a mere hyperlink, although it has happened.  It might be riskier to characterize someone with your own words before giving the link.  I read the embedded link to the site  (Ross Elder) and simply found it complicated and bizarre.  (I say this invoking “The Opinion Rule”).

But sometimes litigation happens out of “turf” protection – the plaintiff’s “business model” (like with patent trolls) is based on the idea.  The plaintiff may be someone who depends on a very narrow idea for income stream.  We see this as bullying, but the plaintiff (following the behavior of Donald Trump) sees it as gatekeeping or “protecting and providing for his own”.
 
As for prepping, yes, I respect the view that every able bodied person should be able to defend the self and family and live in a simpler way if something happens.  If enough people “prep”, society becomes more resilient as a whole and is less vulnerable to attract asymmetric enemies.  As for the validity of the various threats – EMP, solar storms – an “amateur” can only dig through the literature, collate it, and try to connect the dots.  At some point, the established media need to do more thorough reporting than they have.  Inventor Taylor Wilson (who invented a fusion reactor as a teenager) may be onto something in saying that power plants could be designed with small fission reactors so they can become completely impervious to solar or man-made attacks on the transformers of the grid.

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