As a point of clarification, I am no fan of Techdirt because they used their Google page rank power to decimate and ridicule me after I won on liability v Google over another online extortion website (Ripoff Report) in October 2015. I pleaded with Masnick to refrain from increasing the hurt and remove the comments that I am a criminal. But he simply dissed me.
However, when a most probably true review about his business was published on the website Pissed Consumer, Masnick, who supported this website in a litigation, simply ‘pulled rank’ and got it removed.
In January 2017 Masnick and Techdirt were sued by the inventor of email, Dr V.A. Ayyadurai. They not only refuted his claim but made serious and derogatory statements about him. Defamation is the communication of a false statement that harms the reputation of an individual person, business, product, group, government, religion, or nation.
The statements about Dr Ayyadurai that were made by Masnick and his writer were not only of a poor journalistic standard, but designed to defame and ridicule him in a series of cruel blog posts. The aim of Techdirt was, as always, to incite it’s readers into a mob rule against Dr Ayydurai. Techdirt is not known for the intelligence of its readers and they have made a series of threats against me in response to Masnick’s diatribes.
It appears that Masnick’s legal team have now asked the Court to dismiss the claim based upon the argument that Dr Ayyadurai is “seeking to use the muzzle of a defamation action to silence those who question his claim to historical fame”. But this is a red herring and an attempt to impute blame upon Dr Ayyadurai.
In the motion to dismiss Techdirt did not question the legitimacy of Dr Ayyadurai’s claim using methods of rigorous academic debate: Techdirt’s lawyers attempted to make light of their client’s aim to decimate his character and ridicule him for the purposes of entertaining its audience.
In December 2011 Google filed a similiar strikeout motion for the purpose of disposing my claim. After a court hearing His Honour Master Blumberg stated in his decision:
There is no possible basis for striking out the entire second statement of claim (as sought in paragraph 4 of FDN 23) and I therefore do not consider that proposed order further.
Four years later I took the case to trial and won.
Masnick wrote in a blog post asking for donations to Techdirt’s survival fund:
In the end, this isn’t a debate about facts. It has taken up a significant amount of my time (and the time of others who work here) over the last month and delayed multiple projects that we were working on, and even forced us to pass on writing about many stories we would have liked to cover.
Well, tell someone who cares! Techdirt’s ‘work’ is not serious and informative journalistic debate. Far from it! It is basically tabloid level gossip designed to profit from hurting people. There is a difference between reporting facts and completely decimating a person to feed the needs of what appears to be an audience of tabloid level readers with corresponding intelligence levels!
But Dr Ayyadurai’s lawsuit is not only about his invention of email. It is a fight about standing up to online defamation and the right to be free of the power of entrenched interests and attacks by its mob rule mentality.
According to Masnick, “the fight itself is incredibly distracting and burdensome”. Seriously Mikey? Try losing your quality of life and ability to work to the Google supported power of online page rank. Oh and grow a heart, a soul, or some balls – whatever!
Responsible journalism is about reporting the facts in an unbiased manner. Masnick and his cronies ’embellish’ the facts to the point of inflicting further distress on individuals.
I do not know Dr Ayyadurai. But I applaud him for taking a stand. Hopefully Masnick and Techdirt will now understand the exhaustion and powerlessness that one faces when confronted with attempting to regain ones’s life from these opportunistic vultures.
I would like to think that Masnick will see sense and learn that integrity and compassion are necessary when one wields such power. But I doubt that will occur while Techdirt remains in its present capacity as a highly ranked website that believes it can act with impunity. Welcome to my world! Maybe Masnick will learn that there are more important things in life than profiting from hurting people.
But what Masnick and Techdirt do not realise is that they are already irrelevant. It is NOT about them for the supporters. A quick perusal of the comments on the article calling for legal fighting funds shows that Masnick does not get it: They will go under and the commentators will find another blog to express their disaffected garbage.
After all, Denton is now irrelevant, is flopping around in obscurity and his company has been sold. Gawker lives on but hopefully in a format in which ethical journalists will write about important issues. Do I wish this to happen to Techdirt. Hell yes! there is a obviously an important role for critical online debate that respects and promotes free speech. Techdirt is not such a format.
In the meantime, “Masnick declined to comment beyond his court filings and blog post”. Masnick always has something to say so I guess he is being ‘silenced’ to a large degree by his lawyers. Since Masnick likes to parade his ability to hurt people at the top of Google this ‘gagging’ must be the worse sanction of all. Karma mate, Karma!!!