A Ninth Circuit Appeals court has overturned a lower-court decision that said that bloggers weren't entitled to the same free speech protection as journalists. The case involved a 2011 blog post by Crystal Cox in which she alleged that a firm had engaged in tax fraud; the company she wrote about said that the allegation was false, and that Cox should be found guilty of libel because she wasn't a "journalist." The higher court found that, journalist or not, Cox's guilt turned not on the truth of her statement, but whether she was negligent, and could have discovered the truth.
The ruling on Friday is particularly important in the era of online content, Volokh said.
"In this day and age, with so much important stuff produced by people who are not professionals, it's harder than ever to decide who is a member of the institutional press," Volokh said.
Cox's blogging activities have attracted their share of controversy. According to the court's opinion, Cox has a history of making allegations of fraud and other illegal activities "and seeking payoffs in exchange for retraction."
Blogger gets same speech protections as traditional press: U.S. court [Dan Levine/Reuters]
(Image: "FREE SPEECH*", a Creative Commons Attribution (2.0) image from newtown_grafitti's photostream)
A transit officer in Minneapolis, whose main job is to ask “Tickets, please!”, was filmed May 14 wanting “Papers, please!”. The video posted on Facebook on May 20 has over 1 million views. In the clip, the officer asks the man, “Do you have a state ID?” The man appears to shake his head no. […]
Death Row inmate JW Ledford, after enjoying a 5,000-calorie last meal, was killed with a lethal injection by the U.S. State of Georgia this morning. He quoted Cool Hand Luke, smiled and said “you can kiss my white trash ass,” then had his mic cut as he began ranting. For his final meal on Friday, […]
Noncompete agreements have historically been the provision of highly-placed execs and critical “knowledge workers” (and even then, fast-growing economies like California have banned them in the interests of encouraging competition and growth) but now employers are routinely making the “agreements” a condition of unskilled waged labor, from making sandwiches to digging holes for $10/hour.
While some people still maintain that everything in Apple’s walled garden “just works” and is immune to the rampant malware of the Windows world, the reality is different. The Mac’s growing market share has made it a much more viable target for malicious actors, and its built-in tools aren’t always enough to fix things. Drive […]
Boasting an IPX6 waterproof rating, the Trakk Bullet Ultra Compact Waterproof Bluetooth Speaker resists dust and heavy rainfall. It’s currently available in the Boing Boing Store.The Trakk Bullet offers the same wireless convenience as other portable speakers, but few are built as tough as this one. Its utilitarian construction is designed to be a totally low-maintenance […]
The Ticwatch 2 Active Smartwatch is a simpler take on an active wearable that raised over $2m dollars on Kickstarter and is currently offered in the Boing Boing Store.Somewhere in between the single-day battery life and platform-specificity of the Apple Watch and Android Wear devices, there exists the Ticwatch. Instead of trying to shoehorn another […]