Opinion | Why defamation suits are the best weapon against the Big Lie

One way to stop the Big Lie is to impose big legal costs on the conspiracy theorists.

5/3/2021 6:44:00 PM

Opinion | LevinsonJessica: Why Newsmax apologized rather than face a defamation lawsuit. - MSNBCDaily

One way to stop the Big Lie is to impose big legal costs on the conspiracy theorists.

, be able to demonstrate three things: that the people they are suing communicated or published a false statement of fact, that the people communicating or publishing that false statement of fact had the requisite state of mind (meaning they knew or had reason to know the statement was false; again this varies a bit) and that they suffered damages as a result.

San Francisco’s mayor blasted for dancing maskless at a crowded club. She called her critics the ‘fun police.’ World leaders return to UN and face many escalating crises 2021 Emmy Awards: Complete Winners List

March 24, 202103:52It's another victory in the battle against the Big Lie after the threat of legal action from Smartmatic, another voting machine company, alsoforced retractions from Newsmax and Fox Newsin December. The fact that Newsmax went even further when it apologized to Coomer and retracted its claims about Dominion in the face of a defamation lawsuit shows that these suits can lead to real action.

But defamation suits aren't a full solution to disinformation. By definition, one can sue for defamation only after the allegedly false statement is out there and has harmed someone's reputation. This, of course, means that many, many people have read, seen or heard the falsehoods about the election and will continue to believe them, even after public apologies are delivered. In addition, these suits require access to lawyers and resources, making them hard for many of the victims to pursue. headtopics.com

Defamation suits are akin to the costly medicine to help fight the infection of disinformation, but they aren't able to inoculate the public in the first place. Yes, the next Newsmax or Giuliani may think twice before they propagate lies and falsehoods, proving these suits have a deterrent effect on false speech — but it's not a guarantee that Trump and his ilk will heed that warning.

We should be circumspect about weaponizing defamation suits as a possible tool to silence the legitimate media.In addition, we should be circumspect about weaponizing defamation suits as a possible tool to silence the legitimate media, much as Trump has suggested over the years. It isn't difficult to imagine how a local outlet with few resources would become worried about its ability to survive, even in the face of a baseless defamation suit. It takes as much money, if not more, to defend against lawsuits than it does to file them.

Read more: MSNBC »

Jingle, Pluck, and Hum: Sounds from Space

A “sonification” project led by NASA’s Chandra X-ray Observatory and NASA’s Universe of Learning program transforms otherwise inaudible data from some of the world’s most powerful telescopes into sound.

Opinion | Trump doesn't deserve to get his Facebook or Twitter back — and we all know whyOpinion | Adam Conner: 'The former president used social media as a propaganda tool to try to undermine American democracy. Of course he'd do so again if given the opportunity.' - NBCNewsTHINK THINK You can fool all the people some of the time, and some of the people all the time, but you cannot fool all the people all the time. -Abraham Lincoln THINK Who wants to see what he wants to say! NO ONE! THINK Big picture people. If a private company like Twitter & Facebook can censor a sitting US President then what becomes of us. These social media companies have gone from disseminating news to gate keepers of public opinion. Who gave them that right? Do away with Section 230.

Opinion | This is why it's not yet time to just 'move on' from CovidWe understand the desire to look to brighter days ahead. But the uninterrupted focus on those yet untouched by this virus leaves too much work unfinished. THINK Lol!!! USlawreview CJBowden1 THINK is it here tho? 2k covid tests they couldn't find covid-19 in any, now they are suing cdc THINK Nice try but the vaccine just called:

Opinion | Why banning QAnon isn’t the answer to misinformationOpinion | marcambinder: What did QAnon believers do after YouTube, Twitter and Facebook banned their content? They did not disappear. - MSNBCDaily marcambinder Daily marcambinder Daily Like.... the congregation of genocidal 'hobbyists'? marcambinder Daily

Why Daniel Humm’s Decision to Eliminate Meat Is Such a Big Deal'Is it kind of annoying to see an establishment-approved chef lauded for doing something that lots of other chefs have done for years without making international headlines? Certainly! Does it undermine the pragmatic value of the announcement? Not at all.' grubstreet I just don't understand why people fighting battles while greatly outnumbered reject powerful allies from the other side. This is big news and welcomed by at least 1 (99%) vegan.

Opinion | Why 'gray divorces' like Bill and Melinda Gates' are becoming so commonDivorce rates have plummeted among young people even as they have risen among older adults. And it's not just because the population is aging. THINK Nobody cares THINK Divorce in Indiana is like a tornado, somebody’s gonna lose their double-wide THINK Not because the population is aging... but maybe because a particular generation is aging - the me me me’s are facing their mortality and freaking out. If you need me I’ll be reading about how we are about to raise the RMD age for IRA a second time in as many years.