A judge recently ordered Google to provide information on the identity of a person who has posted libelous comments about a celebrity, Liskula Cohen. The anonymous poster, calleding the model a “skank” (amongst things) and suggesting and suggested that she is sexually promiscuous. In that judge’s ruling, it was The ruling judge pointed out that the First Amendment does not allow someone to libel another. Nor does it preclude due process of law.The defamed individual is entitled to a remedy. . Just as the First Amendment doesn’t allow someone to yell “Fire!” in a crowded theatre, it doesn’t permit people to say whatever they want – risk free, even particularly if it’s inaccurate or untrue and the comment destroys a person’s reputation.

With Freedoms comes responsibilityies. The two go hand in hand, always have and always will. They must, if our society is to survivethrive. The First Amendment to our U.S. Constitution prohibits the government from telling people they can’t speak their mind. That’s ALL it does. It does not permit people to say slanderous things, to write libel against another person or entity. Nor should it. The Constitution is, more than anything else, a set of limits placed upon our government. It is NOT carte-blanche for one citizen to damage another’s reputation.

The “Knowledge should be free” online encyclopedia, Wikipedia, has also instituted changes recently. In a departure from their previous policy of allowingAt one time, Wikipedia allowed anyone to write or edit anonymously. No more. , Ppeople now must register their identity before posting. And now if you want to edit the material about specific topics, those changes must be approved by an experienced volunteer. are now being required to identify themselves there as well. We see this as a good thing for freedom of speech as well.

It’s at least a bit ironic that some people demand accountability from physicians, but these same individuals refuse to accept responsibility for words used to defame these same doctors on anonymous ratings sites. the same people who would attempt to extract money from a healer, to make that doctor responsible for a bad outcome, (whether there was any actual malpractice or not) yet make libelous statements against someone anonymously, so as not to be held responsible for THAT bad outcome. Medical Justice sees this as blatant duplicity and stands up strongly and loudly against it. It’s music to our ears to hear the judge order that someone who libels another may not remain anonymous. It’s just not okay to trash someone like that while hiding behind Internet Anonymity.

Count on Medical Justice to continue to fighting against online libel, and helping our member physicians and facilities to avoid damages of this kind.