Wowza! Via a post at LAObserved about a wholly defaming and highly suspect slammajam made by an unnamed source about a downtown restaurant on the Eater LA blog, I just learned about something called Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act, which apparently holds harmless from liability any “providers and users of an interactive computer service who publish information provided by others.”
So basically if some anonymous blogger with full intent to defame and malign however baselessly or biasedly writes that someoneÂ who we’ll call “Jonas Dough” is a “raging pedophile and serial killer” I am entirely under no obligation to verify and/or debunk or in anyway research such opinion and am at entirely protected liberty to reprint it verbatim as fact.
Not that I do much in the way of such ax-grindingly libelous and patently damaging garbage like that found in the above-mentioned post at Eater LA, but it’s really good to know I can if I want to.
And by “really good” I mean really lame.
And by really lame I mean that if this kind of full-assed, irresponsible reporting being condoned and allowed to stand by Eater LA’s overlords at Curbed Network simply because there is precedent to do so (and probably because the resulting increased traffic is a cha-ching) then the least I can do is wipe Eater LA’s sister site Curbed LA from my blogroll and delete my account as a commenter.
UPDATE (11:04 a.m.): Eater LA has offered the owners of the restaurant the opportunity to argue the unsubstantiated allegations presented in the post. That’s a bit like Salem giving its alleged witches the chance to argue against their guilt with nooses tightened around their necks.
It almost pains me to spell this out because it’s common fucking sense, but insteadÂ of “equal time” after the defamation (while also leaving it live), the simple and proper and legitimate and fair and ethical action Eater LA should have taken would have been to use the “tipster” accusations as a springboard to contact the eatery’s owners and get their responses to them and then post a balanced item about it. But instead Eater LA and Curbed Network is condoning laziness and irresponsibility and doing so from behind the protection afforded this indecent section of a so-called Decency Act, while snickering as it reaps the benefits from the increased traffic the controversy has generated.