Re: slander/libel

Eve Pinsker (U56728@UICVM.BITNET)
Sat, 15 Oct 1994 17:55:37 CDT

Interestingly enough, I was just listening to a piece on NPR's All Things
Considered which covered slander and libel on electronic bulletin boards as
part of a discussion on a "Bill of Rights for the Electronic Community" that
has been developed by Frank Conally (sp.?) a professor at American University.
The main point he made in regard to slander and libel is that you have to be
aware of the potential audience for the statements you're making; posting to
an electronic bulletin board, or emailing to anyone who can forward your note,
is different from gossiping to other people in a locker room. Certainly makes
sense from the perspective of speech act theory -- the difference in audience
makes the "same" statement in those different media a different speech act,
with greater potential consequences following from the act with the greater
audience. Eve Pinsker