Over three years ago, I commenced a lawsuit against an anonymous blogger. He went by the name of Squidly77 and was posting statements which were defamatory and damaging to me personally and to my real estate business. I tracked him down(a fascinating story in itself), and when I unmasked him, it turns out his real name is Gary Michael Bench. This person was completely unknown to me previous to this lawsuit.
Holding Gary Bench (aka Squidly77) accountable for his lies and receiving a public apology was a matter of principle for me.
Many of the things he was saying were outright lies. It finally went to trial, and when it was his turn to take the stand, he chose to settle the matter “out-of-court.” He issued an apology and signed an Agreement. At the request of Gary Bench, I agreed not to disclose the terms of the Agreement and settlement. My original statement of claim was seeking approximately half-a-million dollars in damages from Gary Bench.
Gary Bench’s apology (Gary Bench was known to the blogosphere as Squidly):
“I want to sincerely apologize to them for any personal or professional damages my actions may have caused them.” – Zack Bradley, journalism student
Great post on why everyone posting online needs to be aware of defamation issues. MacLeans: How not to grovel
Brian Burke’s lawsuit serves as a useful tool to remind anyone who posts a comment or tweets online to carefully consider the content of their post. The message delivered by the B.C. court in Brian Burke’s case couldn’t be clearer. Comment online with malice at your peril: What Brian Burke’s defamation lawsuit means for social media.
This is a follow-up to my recent post: “Someone else finally said “Enough”
A relevant comment: “you can easily get out of any and all liability by showing what you wrote was true. If it wasn’t true and you said it anyway, then the consequences are yours to suck up. That’s the price you pay for being a liar.
Don’t lie then there is no problem, what a novel concept.”
Update: This column in the Calgary Herald reinforces what I’m saying: Uncivil discourse in the social media is growing. “Were these people jerks before the advent of the internet yet had no venue to spout off, or have they, at least partially, become what they have because of the example set by other people?”