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Current Issue summary

The main issue was that bloggers were not subject to the same rules as the news media.Based on the case previously brought up of Amanda Cox this bias is evident. In this case a woman was sued by a company of attorneys for writing online that they were apart of a fraud scheme in a case along with corruption, money laundering and many other illegal actions. She was initially found guilty but later that ruling was overturned when an attorney proved that the information was not completely false. Because of this case people are given the same rights as journalist to write what they want socially if the information holds some truth.

Global Issue Summary

The global issue is about having the right to publish our opinions which involves the first amendment.  Under the first amendment we are guaranteed our freedom of speech without restrictions now.  Prior to the Cox ruling, unless people were affiliated with the media, they were not permitted to publish opinions or thoughts because they would have issues with the law.  The ruling helped shape future court cases because now anyone can publish their thoughts online whether it be a blogger or a regular citizen.  Libel is a huge issue throughout the world especially in the United States because we are all constantly under scrutiny by the media.  Libel is meant to stop defamation and to discontinue the spread of false information.  Citizens are able to express their opinions as well as report information about major companies especially if it is for the good of the public.  For example, one of the cases, Wender vs. Silberling involved the opinion of an ex-lover and her thoughts about her previous lover.  Wender was upset that the posts made him appear negative, but it was solely that of opinion not facts.  Silberling was protected by the first amendment and therefore she was not found guilty of defamation.

 

 

Group Reflection

We as a group have learned a lot about our freedom of speech rights.  We researched many articles in particular about libel and defamation.  As we researched more we found that there are in fact three parts to libel that must be present in order for the case to be tried which we did not know before.  We agree that without these additional elements that form libel many of us could be held guilty in a court of law.  Like the blogger in the current issue we too have rights that allow us to post or share our opinions without being accused of defamation.  We all agree with the ruling’s decision because although we are not journalists nor have media credentials we should be able to express our opinions openly without fear of a lawsuit.  Overall this project showed us that we must be aware of our freedom of speech because in this day and age with the internet allowing us to access information online we need to be protected as well.  We believe that people should be more informed about the different aspects of libel because the aspects allow us to identify our rights as citizens in society.

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