I’m bound to libel you

CNN.com posted an article not too long ago about what is considered libel in Bloggers learn to avoid lawsuits. Also note the EFF’s Online Defamation Law.

But, seriously now. Where’s the line between opinion and slander? According to the EFF, I could call someone a bitch or a skank, but not accuse them of being a prostitute. Too bad. That was my main go-to insult. Okay, not really, but it’d be nice to have the option.

I’m just thinking . . . in order for something to be considered defamation, then there must be a real intent to do harm. To publicly humiliate another person. And at a certain point, it’s all semantics.

But, oh, law lives and breaths based on semantics. You can lose some serious money based on a semicolon. And I guess this is the thing. In my Idealist World, you could see someone’s intentions very easily and determine a course of action based on those intentions, but this isn’t that world. And people lie.

We don’t always know that when So-And-So accused What’s-Their-Face of being a prostitute, that So-And-So really meant that they thought What’s-Their-Face was a huge slut.

This all becomes problematic when we come to something like a blog.

Now, no doubt there are great pluses to blogs and blogging and interaction between users and presenters, but I guess this whole situation with suing bloggers has made me call the practice into question. Where’s the line between sharing ideas freely and openly to just bashing someone because you thought they were an asshole?

Should there be proper Blogger etiquette? Or has it really come down to Teach Me How to Not Get Sued?