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Jimmy Saville to be revealed as a paedophile? (Part 7)


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Old 30-03-2013, 12:15
jzee
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MacAlpine dropped most of those cases.
Even so, it seems incredibly stupid and unfair, especially as many are saying the allegation has something to with Savile, which we know it doesn't, and also accusing him of being a child abuser when we don't even know the age the complainant was at the time or what the nature of the incident was, or if it is even likely to be true. With Savile there were so many supportive cases, but with this person there seems to be nothing other than this one person.

This is all very uncomfortable reading. Firstly if said person did write a letter of apology then that's not going to do him any favours really in legal terms at least. I seem to remember reading Private Eye had dropped some hints several years ago but don't know what.
The problem is the person in question seems like a person who would write an apology even if he hadn't done something wrong (as far as he knew).

The main problem for me is that there seems to be an automatic assumption with all these arrests they are all for Savile type behaviour. Whereas the reality is we have no idea whatsoever what is being alleged. There are a huge range and scope of things that might have happened from one single inappropriate remark right up to the worst things imaginable. Yet its all being reported as if it all part of the same thing. I guess its human nature but it seems most seem to automatically think of the worst.
We have not had any details about the case confirmed by police, and, as far as we know there are no other people coming forward reporting any similar behaviour by this person. Savile was a predatory person whose basically whole life goal was to target children for sexual abuse & everything else he did was to facilitate that. I just do not believe that this person in question now is like Savile.
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Old 30-03-2013, 12:16
rionia
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MacAlpine dropped most of those cases.
He opted to drop cases against twitter accounts with less than 500 followers, on condition that they donated £25 to charity.

"Lord McAlpine had originally been seeking damages from all who falsely named him, but he dropped his legal case for defamation against Twitter users with fewer than 500 followers - instead asking for a charitable donation.

He wrote to them asking them to make a voluntary donation of £25 to the BBC’s Children In Need as soon as possible".

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/arti...use-tweet.html
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Old 30-03-2013, 12:18
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Has anyone been seeing the stuff on twitter, surely if Harris is never even found guilty of anything he could basically sue all these people as McAlpine did?
Ugh. Talk about knitting at the guillotine. I really don't understand the mentality of people who get their sick kicks from doing this. Because that's all it is, sick kicks, nothing to do with giving a crap about justice or fair play.

Ugly stuff.
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Old 30-03-2013, 12:35
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You know what gets on my boobies about this?

You are more likely to be sexually abused by someone you know than a celeb. By your dad/ mum/ sibling/ relative/ close family friend.

So while the media focuses on this and talking about it the REAL threat of sexual abuse is being ignored by many and not highlighted.

Makes my blood boil when you hear people focusing on the celeb issue on telly with no mention of the fact a child is more at risk in their own home than in a tv studio.

If someone is guilty then they should be bought to justice. You don't hear about ordinary people being taken to the police station or that they are charged until the trial comes to light or afterwards when they are convicted.

I'm not sticking up for any celeb who has abused children but if you treat some people one way (the celebs) and another group of people another way (non celebs) for alleged child abuse offenses it just looks to me that celeb abuse cases are more important than a non celeb abuse case.

Also I hate the way people are accused before they have been officially charged with anything. It creates "pitch fork" mentality which is not helpful and merely focuses on one area of abuse.
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Old 30-03-2013, 13:54
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He opted to drop cases against twitter accounts with less than 500 followers, on condition that they donated £25 to charity.

"Lord McAlpine had originally been seeking damages from all who falsely named him, but he dropped his legal case for defamation against Twitter users with fewer than 500 followers - instead asking for a charitable donation.

He wrote to them asking them to make a voluntary donation of £25 to the BBC’s Children In Need as soon as possible".

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/arti...use-tweet.html
That was blackmail imho.
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Old 30-03-2013, 15:31
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Has anyone been seeing the stuff on twitter, surely if Harris is never even found guilty of anything he could basically sue all these people as McAlpine did?
Some of thos etweeters are pathetic to my mind, ok if a person is found guilty then have a go , but most of them are looking for things where they dont exist, as I have said before some people are actively enjoying this, its their latest hobby.
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Old 30-03-2013, 15:37
skp20040
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That was blackmail imho.
Is it really blackmail to say to someone "right , you have spread malicious and false rumours about me, I could take you to court and win, but as you are not a big rich organisation I will give you the option of donating £25 to charity instead , your decison"

To my mind thats not blackmail thats giving a choice, make recompense for your behaviour . If people in this day and age are old enough to want to use social media to spread muck that they do not know is true then they should also be old enough to face the consequences
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Old 30-03-2013, 15:38
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This is all very uncomfortable reading. Firstly if said person did write a letter of apology then that's not going to do him any favours really in legal terms at least. I seem to remember reading Private Eye had dropped some hints several years ago but don't know what.

The main problem for me is that there seems to be an automatic assumption with all these arrests they are all for Savile type behaviour. Whereas the reality is we have no idea whatsoever what is being alleged. There are a huge range and scope of things that might have happened from one single inappropriate remark right up to the worst things imaginable. Yet its all being reported as if it all part of the same thing. I guess its human nature but it seems most seem to automatically think of the worst.

It depends what the letter says, if he is saying sorry if you took something the wrong way then it wont do much harm, if its admitting to a serious offence it will.
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Old 30-03-2013, 16:24
Cryolemon
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Is it really blackmail to say to someone "right , you have spread malicious and false rumours about me, I could take you to court and win, but as you are not a big rich organisation I will give you the option of donating £25 to charity instead , your decison"

To my mind thats not blackmail thats giving a choice, make recompense for your behaviour . If people in this day and age are old enough to want to use social media to spread muck that they do not know is true then they should also be old enough to face the consequences
Yes, I believe it is. I don't believe he'd have won money off everyone who retweeted the initial thing.
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Old 30-03-2013, 16:36
rionia
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Yes, I believe it is. I don't believe he'd have won money off everyone who retweeted the initial thing.
So if you had been in the same situation as the tweeters would you have said "I didn't do anything wrong, see you in court?"
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Old 30-03-2013, 17:49
nanscombe
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Perhaps, someone should have passed him a few names of lowlife shit-stirers on here ....

Although they seem to have moved on to the next victim now.
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Old 30-03-2013, 17:49
skp20040
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Yes, I believe it is. I don't believe he'd have won money off everyone who retweeted the initial thing.
If you think being made to pay for your actions is blackmail how do you feel about the initial acts that people chose to do of their own free will , do you think its acceptable to spead lies on social media with no consequences ?

No one was forced to donate £25, they had a choice do that or we can go to court, if they were so innocent why did they not go to court ?
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Old 30-03-2013, 17:55
Cryolemon
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If you think being made to pay for your actions is blackmail how do you feel about the initial acts that people chose to do of their own free will , do you think its acceptable to spead lies on social media with no consequences ?

No one was forced to donate £25, they had a choice do that or we can go to court, if they were so innocent why did they not go to court ?
He was saying "give £25 to charity, or I will try to bankrupt you", that might not literally be blackmail, but it's pretty close in my opinion. I don't know whether any of them decided to go to court or not. I personally would have done, and tried to use his offer against him by claiming I saw it as blackmail. I think also he would have had difficulty proving that everyone who retweeted it 1) knew it was false and 2) did it maliciously.
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Old 30-03-2013, 17:58
skp20040
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He was saying "give £25 to charity, or I will try to bankrupt you", that might not literally be blackmail, but it's pretty close in my opinion. I don't know whether any of them decided to go to court or not. I personally would have done, and tried to use his offer against him by claiming I saw it as blackmail. I think also he would have had difficulty proving that everyone who retweeted it 1) knew it was false and 2) did it maliciously.
So its ok to spread unsubstantiated rumours that are very damaging to a person (this wasnt accusing someone of having BO or of being drunk it was accusing them of being a paedophile) but not ok for them to ask the people who did it to make a donation to charity.
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Old 30-03-2013, 18:01
jzee
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I think also he would have had difficulty proving that everyone who retweeted it 1) knew it was false and 2) did it maliciously.
I don't think he thought they thought they thought it was false, what he did think was it was not beyond the grounds of reasonableness to expect people to know he hasn't ever been charged, tried, or found guilty of anything.
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Old 30-03-2013, 18:02
nanscombe
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I came across an interesting little item called the Three Filter Test on another forum the other day.

Socrates was said to hold knowledge in high esteem.

One day an acquaintance met the great philosopher and said, "Socrates, do
you know what I just heard about your friend?"

"Pause a moment," Socrates replied. "Before telling me anything I'd like you
to pass a little test. It's called the Triple Filter Test."

"Triple filter?"

"That's right," Socrates continued. "Before you talk to me about my friend,
it might be a good idea to take a moment and filter what you're going to
say.

The first filter is Truth. Have you made absolutely sure that what you are
about to tell me is true
?"

"No," the man said, "actually just heard about it and..."

"All right," said Socrates. "So you don't really know if it's true or not.

Now let's try the second filter, the filter of Goodness. Is what you are
about to tell me about my friend something good
?"

"No, on the contrary..."

"So," Socrates continued, "you want to tell me something bad about him, but
you're not certain it's true. You may still pass the test though, because
there's one filter left: the filter of Usefulness. Is what you want to tell
me about my friend going to be useful to me
?"

"No, not really."

"Well," concluded Socrates, "if what you want to tell me is neither true nor
good nor even useful, why tell it to me at all
?"
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Old 30-03-2013, 18:06
Cryolemon
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So its ok to spread unsubstantiated rumours that are very damaging to a person (this wasnt accusing someone of having BO or of being drunk it was accusing them of being a paedophile) but not ok for them to ask the people who did it to make a donation to charity.
Neither is okay, particularly. He should have gone after those who initially posted it, at most.

I don't think he thought they thought they thought it was false, what he did think was it was not beyond the grounds of reasonableness to expect people to know he hasn't ever been charged, tried, or found guilty of anything.
The question would come down, at least partly, to whether a reasonable person would, on seeing a tweet mentioning his name, have thought that because he'd been named "it must be true." Clearly those who posted the initial tweets wouldn't fall into that, but in those cases he'd have to prove that they knew it was false.

I believe in free speech first, unless you can prove malice, which would be damn near impossible in 99% of the cases.
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Old 30-03-2013, 18:15
skp20040
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Neither is okay, particularly. He should have gone after those who initially posted it, at most.



The question would come down, at least partly, to whether a reasonable person would, on seeing a tweet mentioning his name, have thought that because he'd been named "it must be true." Clearly those who posted the initial tweets wouldn't fall into that, but in those cases he'd have to prove that they knew it was false.

I believe in free speech first, unless you can prove malice, which would be damn near impossible in 99% of the cases.
A reasonable person would check the facts and not spread rumour that can damage a person possibly for ever.
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Old 30-03-2013, 18:32
Cryolemon
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A reasonable person would check the facts and not spread rumour that can damage a person possibly for ever.
Based on that test though, if you have to fact check everything you retweet (libel doesn't just apply to allegations like this), then anyone could sue anyone (or threaten them into giving money to a third party) for retweeting anything about them that turns out to be untrue. I'm not saying that would happen, but it would be in theory possible.

I don't really have much of an issue with MacAlpine suing people actually, but I don't think it was as open and shut a case as some people. I do find it somewhat odious that he said he'd drop cases if people gave money to charity. That implies to me that he didn't think he'd win the cases against most people, but wanted to keep some of the moral high ground by having money donated to charity.

As I said, had I been one of the people who had retweeted that and he'd offered me the choice my response would have been "I refer you to the reply given in the case of Arkell vs. Pressdram".
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Old 30-03-2013, 18:45
jzee
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The question would come down, at least partly, to whether a reasonable person would, on seeing a tweet mentioning his name, have thought that because he'd been named "it must be true." Clearly those who posted the initial tweets wouldn't fall into that, but in those cases he'd have to prove that they knew it was false.
I admit in the McAlpine situation it was less clear cut as it was leaked that a supposed reputable source, the BBC about to claim McAlpine was an abuser. But of course that was never actually broadcast, and not jumping the gun was the lesson. Now, with this latest case, not one reputable source has claimed that person is a child abuser, or is accused of child abuse, yet we have many people on twitter saying he is.

Some of thos etweeters are pathetic to my mind, ok if a person is found guilty then have a go , but most of them are looking for things where they dont exist, as I have said before some people are actively enjoying this, its their latest hobby.
What baffles me even more is how many are stating he is being linked to Savile, when no such statement has been made. However the Mirror hasn't helped with this, using phrases like "The latest celeb arrested by Jimmy Savile police", whereas other sources have made clear Harris is in the category other, i.e. nothing to do with Savile.
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Old 30-03-2013, 18:55
Cryolemon
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I admit in the McAlpine situation it was less clear cut as it was leaked that a supposed reputable source, the BBC about to claim McAlpine was an abuser. But of course that was never actually broadcast, and not jumping the gun was the lesson. Now, with this latest case, not one reputable source has claimed that person is a child abuser, or is accused of child abuse, yet we have many people on twitter saying he is.
Yeah, this latest case is substantially different to the MacAlpine one. In this case the man in question would probably have a better case against some people, assuming he is found innocent in the end (and actually, even if he were found guilty of sexually assaulting an adult he might have a case against anyone accusing him of paedophilia).
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Old 30-03-2013, 19:18
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Based on that test though, if you have to fact check everything you retweet (libel doesn't just apply to allegations like this), then anyone could sue anyone (or threaten them into giving money to a third party) for retweeting anything about them that turns out to be untrue. I'm not saying that would happen, but it would be in theory possible.
If it's not merely untrue, but libellous, yes. This isn't some new law of course, it's just that these days it's much easier to publish something to a mass audience. Professional journalists are trained about the laws which apply to them and (largely) know when they're abiding by them and when they're sailing close to the wind; Joe Public clearly doesn't have a clue.

I don't really have much of an issue with MacAlpine suing people actually, but I don't think it was as open and shut a case as some people. I do find it somewhat odious that he said he'd drop cases if people gave money to charity. That implies to me that he didn't think he'd win the cases against most people, but wanted to keep some of the moral high ground by having money donated to charity.
Or he may have in theory "won" cases but the damages would have been proportionate to the amount of harm caused to his reputation by a specific Tweet i.e. possibly minimal if it was the x thousandth person to retweet the same "fact" and it was probably only seen by a small number of their followers. So £25 might be about right.

Or of course there's the other risks of a libel court case, i.e. it brings much more attention to the allegations, it drags on for months or years, lots of people who hadn't previously heard about it now will (and think there's no smoke without fire), there might be awkward evidence about how much of the facts were actually true, etc. Often it's good advice just to ignore an allegation and hope it blows over soon.
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Old 30-03-2013, 19:34
Cryolemon
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If it's not merely untrue, but libellous, yes. This isn't some new law of course, it's just that these days it's much easier to publish something to a mass audience. Professional journalists are trained about the laws which apply to them and (largely) know when they're abiding by them and when they're sailing close to the wind; Joe Public clearly doesn't have a clue.
That's the key though, whether a "reasonable person" (i/e someone who hasn't had legal training) would know that retweeting it was potentially libellous.

Or he may have in theory "won" cases but the damages would have been proportionate to the amount of harm caused to his reputation by a specific Tweet i.e. possibly minimal if it was the x thousandth person to retweet the same "fact" and it was probably only seen by a small number of their followers. So £25 might be about right.
In those cases (i/e people with very few followers) he'd have been better off not even mentioning them in the first place, for the reasons you mention in the rest of the post, because it draws attention to him. Saying he was going to sue 15,000 people got much attention than if he'd gone after one or two specific people who started it or were well known.
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Old 30-03-2013, 20:09
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That's the key though, whether a "reasonable person" (i/e someone who hasn't had legal training) would know that retweeting it was potentially libellous.
It's not all that relevant though. Ignorance of the law etc. As a minimum you only need to prove that there was negligence e.g. carelessly passing on something you heard from some other nonentity on Twitter. Probably a different matter if you were passing on a story from a reputable broadcaster or news source and could reasonably presume they had checked their facts e.g. if you were retweeting George Monbiot's tweets about McAlpine then you might reasonably think that a Guardian columnist knew what he was talking about.
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Old 30-03-2013, 20:57
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Mark Williams-Thomas ‏@mwilliamsthomas
no injunctions have been taken out - when one mainstream media names all others will follow
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