You may have seen in the news recently that big businesses are getting sued, organizations, but what about content creators and bloggers? Can they get sued too? Yes, they can.
During the midst of election season, a 70-year-old blogger named Webster Tarpley posted to this blog, “Where is Melania Trump? It is also widely known that Melania was not a working model but rather a high-end escort. ” Tarpley posted this 3 months ago. The Daily Mail posted similar allegations against Mrs. Trump closely following Tarpley’s blog post. Both the blog post and the publication by the Daily Mail caught Melania and her attorney’s attention. Mrs. Trump and her lawyer are wanting to sue Daily Mail and Mr. Tarpley for $150 million dollars for defamation. She and her attorney’s said, “These are some of the most inflammatory allegations possible. These are some of the most inflammatory allegations possible.” Tarpley’s attorney, John Owen, declared that his client is a political blogger who likes to discuss political matters with his audience and that he shared information that was rumored on other outlets of social media and his client felt there should be a public dialogue about the rumored past of the prospective First Lady of the United States.
Since this debate is on-going, I do see how Mr. Tarpley wanted to question the path of the rumored past of the prospective First Lady, but I do believe that is the Daily Mail who is at fault for posting such an article without complete confidence in its accuracy.
In January 2016 in Pennslyvania, The Standard Speaker posted that a local blogger named Mark Robbins was being sued $4,000 by former congressional hopeful Andy Ostrowski over allegations that Mr. Ostrowski was posting “false things on his blog about plaintiff and circulating it, and other communications, widely by email and otherwise.” Ostrowski says that Robbin had been “impugning my character, suggesting I’m involved in all kinds of illicit activities.” Robbin claimed he got his information about Ostrowski from the Disciplinary Board of the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania and stood by all of his posts about Ostrowski. Robbin claimed Ostrowski’s motives for providing counsel to a women Robin believes “Ostrowski has no valid reason to help.” Robbin also pointed out that Ostrowski who has a suspended law license has a history of drug abuse and that abuse may be continuing. One of Robin’s most defamatory posts was taken down, but Robin doesn’t recall having it deleted in the first place. Ostrowski says he is never one to shy away from his past, but lies and falsehoods, he cannot handle. “Robbins alleged the lawsuit amounts to retaliation against him for filing a complaint with the disciplinary board last month regarding Ostrowski’s conduct with the woman.”
Since I am not sure how this court case ended, or if it is still in motion, I do believe that public figures do need to realize that people may try to dig up their past and question motives more than others may. If Robbin’s correct in Ostrowski’s motives for this suit, and it is a retaliation for Robbin’s complaint, than Ostrowski may need to think more critically about his actions before he puts himself in a more public light in the future.
Overall, bloggers do have their right to freedom of speech, but need to be careful to share only what information is their personal opinion, but to also make sure whatever they post they can back up with proof for their statements.
Local blogger sued for defamation by attorney (Source: http://standardspeaker.com/news/local-blogger-sued-for-defamation-by-attorney-1.2000541)
Trump Lawsuit (Source: https://www.washingtonpost.com/local/public-safety/in-libel-suit-melania-trump-says-maryland-blogger-held-reckless-disregard-for-the-truth/2016/11/12/f9074a12-a76d-11e6-8042-f4d111c862d1_story.html?tid=hybrid_collaborative_1_na)