|Legality, ebay, slander etc.|
Message #8 Posted by Dave Hicks on 19 Aug 2002, 3:15 p.m.,
in response to message #1 by David Tan (Singapore)
I have been in email contact with the original poster and the seller who thought he had been slandered. In my opinion, the allegedly slanderous article was not even referring to him but to one of the bidders in his auction Ė someone whose unusual bidding style has been mentioned frequently on the forum lately. (I donít believe there was any slander against this person either unless "newbie" or "doesn't seem to understand proxy bidding" counts as slander.)
The poster of this article agrees with my interpretation but has also told me that it's OK to delete it or edit it for clarity and I'm waiting to hear which the seller prefers. (The original poster is not a native English speaker and his choice of words may not have been the best.) In particular he used the word ' "fake" ' (with the quotes around it) when strange, interesting, or unusual would have probably been more appropriate.
"I know that some websites require their members to register using non-free e-mail addresses before participating in discussions. Therefore, everybody is accountable for what he expresses in the forum."
The downside of making people register is that it stops many first-time posters. Frankly I get many emailed requests for help each day and I would like to encourage more rather than fewer people to use the forums since you people can produce better and faster answers anyway. (Unfortunately, I sometimes get months behind in my emails - in fact, many of the emails in my inbox right now are remaining "dusty" as I concentrate on the DVD.)
It does sometimes cross my mind to put some kind of limitation on ebay discussions. Ebay discussions have a much greater tendency to "go nasty" than any other topic. (Even when you don't see it, I get nasty emails.) I've recently come to believe that ebay's feedback system is very well designed. One 80 character comment (linked to a transaction) with an optional 80 character response, plus the ability to do "payback feedback" allows so little to be expressed that it protects ebay from defamation claims. ;-) That's a little sad, but I'm frequently left wondering why I should be put in the middle of someone's ebay complaint. At some point, I may stop them. How does everyone feel about that?
In the meantime, please continue using your own name when criticizing people and please choose your words carefully when talking about ebay.