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Blogs are Protected by the First Amendment including Cactus Thorns

By   /   December 21, 2012  /   2 Comments

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Yucca Valley, Ca.,- Commentary- A recent comment complaining about “the constant din of criticism coming from the blog-o-sphere” is the catalyst for this story.

Blogs. Love ‘em or hate them…they’re here to stay to write the news, ask the questions and shine the light on cronyism, corruption,back room deals and sometimes plain ol’ stupidity. There are many articles written about blogs concerning ethics.

In an article printed in “Everyday Ethics” by the Institute for Local Government, they cite court rulings regarding Blogs:

“Blogs are a form of speech typically protected by the First Amendment. As a result, the courts are reluctant to step in and limit free speech. As the U.S. Supreme Court observed in a case involving a local official’s claim that he had been defamed by a newspaper ad, there is “a profound national commitment to the principle that debate on public issues should be uninhibited, robust and wide open.” According to the court, this “may well include vehement, caustic and sometimes unpleasantly sharp attacks on government and public officials.”

As a result, the court ruled that public officials cannot successfully sue for defamation unless the officials can prove “actual malice,” which means that the blogger made the statement knowing it was false or with reckless disregard of whether the statement was true or false. The test is stringent: A public figure must be able to prove by clear and convincing evidence that the blogger purposefully avoided the truth or deliberately decided not to acquire knowledge of facts that might confirm the probable falsity of charges. Failure to investigate the accuracy of a statement, even when a reasonable person would have done so, is not enough.”

This article continues:

“The Remedy for Inaccurate Speech Is Accurate Speech

If you were to ask the courts, the remedy for inaccurate speech is accurate speech; this is because the preferred First Amendment remedy is “more speech, not enforced silence.”

Some officials have taken this approach by creating their own blogs. Fontana Mayor Mark Nuaimi has done this (online at www.zimbio.com/Mayor+Mark+Nuaimi), as has Yolo County Supervisor and former Woodland Mayor Matt Rexroad (online at www.rexroad.com).

In fact, Mayor Nuami wrote a piece about public official blogging on www.californiacitynews.org (“Blog: It Isn’t Really a Four-Letter Word). A number of city managers also have incorporated blogs on city web pages too.” 

For the rest of this article: Resources-Everyday Ethics >>>LINK

To read Mark Nuaimi’s story “Blog: It Isn’t Really a Four Letter Word” >>>link

Margo Sturges Author link

 

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About the author

Margo Sturges

Yucca Valley Editor

Note: Margo Sturges has written many articles for Cactus Thorns and is the founder of Citizens4Change.info. Email contact: MargoSturgesYV(at)aol.com "In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act."- George Orwell

2 Comments

  1. Mike Hawkins Mike Hawkins says:

    "...that the blogger purposefully avoided the truth or deliberately decided not to acquire knowledge of facts that might confirm the probable falsity of charges. Failure to investigate the accuracy of a statement, even when a reasonable person would have done so, is not enough.”

    I think Branson resembles that remark.

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    • Au contraire, Mike. You, sir, are the epitome of your own accusations: You have floated that propaganda before, but have fail at every instance to back up your distortion with fact or examples. Have a happy Ho-Ho.

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