A Beginner’s Guide To Why You Can’t Sue TurtleBoy and Other Things You Missed in Sophomore Civics Class
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‘Murcah: Home of the brave, land of the lawsuit. Here we can sue anyone for anything. I mean, we hear stories of people using their time and money to go after others for all sorts of reasons. We wouldn’t have our hallowed superstar Judge Judy without this.
Here’s the thing though: It seems as though countless folks have the wrong idea about what they are entitled to/have the right to sue for, or think they can actually win.
I hate to break it to you, but suing TurtleBoy Sports is simply a lost cause. You’re free to try it but you’ll undoubtedly lose a lot of money, and most importantly, time.
To ameliorate this confusion, I’m here to learn you sprats about how things work legally in this cluster fuck country. Mind you, I am not a legal professional, but I am very well versed in the art of common sense and paying attention.
More than ever we’re hearing about free speech and the 1st amendment. Shockingly (or maybe not so much), those who spout off about free speech the most are usually the same people who haven’t a clue what it means or protects.
We’ll start with this handy cartoon created by xkcd:
See, the 1st amendment protects us from prosecution and detainment by government authorities for saying what we do. It doesn’t protect you from being made fun of by assholes, nor does it protect the assholes from being told they are as such. It’s free game when it comes to being a jerk on the internet.
I’ll give you another example of something highly controversial: The neo-Nazis in Charlottesville. There’s a big difference between HAVING a right, and BEING right.
Are any of those useless sacks of human waste correct in their opinions on racism and bigotry? No.
Do they deserve to be dragged behind a car and dumped in a river? Yes.
Do they have the legal right to say what they wish without the threat of being arrested? Unfortunately, yes.
Okay, so if the 1st amendment is out of the question, then what’s next on the list of lawsuit worthy offenses?
“AH! deformation of character! That’ll do it.”
Defamation of character occurs when someone makes a false statement about you that causes you some type of harm. The statement must be published (meaning some third party must have heard it), false, and it must result in harm, usually to the reputation.
I’d like you to focus on two words in that definition: False statements. Regardless of some comments left by chuds on Facebook threads, TBS does not report untrue stories. Everything that is blogged about is quite true and the events did happen. The Grundle Queen DID pull a knife after a fender bender. The SJW DID wear a mask and speak out against hate speech. The Holyoke high student who doesn’t like Caucasian cooking DID read a poem. Anything other than that included in the blog or comments are strictly the opinions of the readers. You can’t sue for those. Perhaps in a perfect world, but not this one.
“Well what about my job? What if my employers catch wind of people making fun of me?”
If you’re worried about your job, please keep in mind you took that risk by being on social media at all. It’s no secret, people and events are not hard to find. If you knowingly take actions that others may disagree with, then that’s on you. This is not to say you shouldn’t, but it leaves you open to all things and you don’t really have the right to be upset when it inevitably happens. Also, if you’re employed by someone who would fire you on the grounds of what internet strangers say about you, you should sue THEM for wrongful dismissal.
“Slander! It’s slander! What about that?”
Slander is when someone tells one or more persons an untruth about another, which untruth will harm the reputation of the person defamed.
Slander is spoken, so unless a turtle comes to your front door and calls you a whore, you’ve got nothing, kiddo.
“Okay, fine, I’ll just send a cease and desist letter.”
A cease and desist letter is used to attempt to stop a party from continuing a certain activity. This letter will be used for any actions that involve defamation, slander, or libel.
You want to send a C&D? Fine. They cost about $250 (not counting other lawyers fees) and hold no legal power. You’re basically sending them a very expensive piece of embossed paper that says “knock it off or else!” You can do that for free via Facebook messenger, you know.
Finally, and most importantly, you have to ask yourself, do the opinions of these people really matter to you? Do you know them personally? Are they your friends and confidants? No. They’re internet strangers with a lot of time on their hands. Consider the source, for your own sanity.
Real talk: Be honest; you wouldn’t be threatening a lawsuit unless you wanted cash. Money is a wonderful way to nurse your wounds. The Grundle Queen thinks she’s getting free rent because of this:
Oh, how I wish that were reality, because I’d be down at the county courthouse SO fast with allegations of my mailman giving me creepy looks and making me feel unsafe.
Really though, You don’t want to sue the writer, you want to sue the commenter’s who cling to TurtleBoy like a security blanket, as to have some kind of sense of community because they were told to go play at the empty side of the sandbox as children. So let them talk. Let them waste their time sending you messages. The block button does solve a lot of problems. And best of all? People stop caring when a new story comes out.
In 2017, if you don’t have a thick internet skin, you won’t survive. I’m not saying you shouldn’t be pissed off, go ahead; you have a right to be. Respond to messages if you want. Hurt their feelings (it’s easy, trust me). Just know there are much more clever and cheaper ways to seek web revenge than hiring a lawyer.
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