[FoRK] Different standards for slander / libel / calumny - The Age of Propaganda

Stephen Williams sdw at lig.net
Tue Feb 2 10:19:05 PST 2010

Isn't it interesting how politicians, pundits, and rabble rousers get 
away with slander and libel in ways that far exceed the legal limits of 
commercial and personal abuse?

If equivalent people or organizations were to make such statements that 
stretch or simply ignore the truth about, say, GE or Sony or anyone with 
enough money to prosecute a case, they'd be taken down very quickly.

Yet, we allow it for political people and groups with impunity, almost 
without comment by most.  Those that know better just ignore it, however 
those that don't are infected with some randomly distributed local 
subset of flawed ideas which lead to blind bias.  And many of those that 
are ignorant in various ways are provided immunity from enlightenment 
much like those religious groups that teach that anyone disagreeing with 
their creed at all is an agent of the devil and is just trying to trick 
them.  Protective memes around a core of crap.

With the Internet and certain polarization of "News" media, it seems 
qualitatively different than the past.  We've always had a largely 
ignorant public, however it used to be more clear to more people which 
speakers were more ignorant than others.


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