samedi 2 février 2013

Hypocrisy Part One: Handshoe Claims Harassment

In Doug Handshoe's world, he and the selected commenters he chooses to publish on Slabbed have been subjects of a conspiratorial campaign of "harassment of those commenting on the scandal in Jefferson Parish." 

The "harassment" was perpetuated by individuals engaged in a massive coverup and a war against his "free speech rights." In Doug's world, the harassment has gone to the extent of involving manipulation of judicial systems, perjury, fraudulent lawsuits, copyright trolls, and an international, coordinated, nefarious effort to silence him and others. In Doug's world, he is the good guy, cooperating with federal investigations, indeed himself an innocent victim of cyber crime. Finally, in Doug's world, he is a legitimate journalist and publisher, provider of an "interactive computer service" shielded by the Communications Decency Act, who protects the innocent from wrongful defamation and will himself assist in unmasking immoral anonymous defamers who might stray onto his site.

Consider his exchange yesterday with "Dawn" on Slabbed (which Doug has now erased). Doug admonishes: "You wrote that Ms Hill’s son was a criminal and implied he had a role in her suicide." Pause for a moment just to think about how many people have been accused of criminal activity on Slabbed. . . .

Doug then becomes even more self-righteous with "Dawn": "I’m all for the free exchange of ideas but if a commenter defames someone I have no liability as an interactive service provider, but the commenter that defames is screwed." How is the defamer "screwed"? Earlier, the self-professed champion of unbridled "free speech" and bloggers' rights had threatened: "Should Ms Hill’s family want the email and IP address of the person that just defamed her son, I’ll happily provide it."

Captured before erasure by Doug Handshoe

Could this really be the same Doug Handshoe who has repeatedly characterized the Canadian judicial system as corrupt, repeatedly made wild allegations of perjury, and said Canada was a center of libel terrorism, based on the fact that a judge ordered WordPress to reveal the email and IP addresses of anonymous Slabbed commenters? Is this the same Doug Handshoe who said that the Canadian court order "was used to invade the privacy" of those commenters?

Could this be the same Doug Handshoe who has repeatedly insisted that WordPress never notified him about the Court Order, in yet, according to a recently-filed lawsuit, the blog hosting company actually gave him a chance to object to the release of identifying information, and Doug did nothing?

Could this be the same Doug Handshoe who published dozens of posts about a Louisiana attorney, culminating with accusing the happily married, heterosexual man of having been blackmailed after engaging the services of a "tranny" male prostitute in Florida?
Captured before erasure by Dough Handshoe

Of course, those posts and comments were based on Doug's self-professed "reliable sources," allowing him to make the allegations of infidelity, homosexuality, and criminality directly, and not just through damaging innuendo.
In this episode of Magnum J.D.: BREAKING: Worth repeating take note “Male escort accused of trying to extort $100,000 from former client”
. . . .  

OK, maybe I will ‘say’ a few words. I know what you guys are thinking….that the mystery “John” has been a topic before on Slabbed. I can only say I am thinking that exact thing myself. 
But, I think we’re all responsible enough to not share these thoughts until after we’ve verified things.
magnum, you freaky little devil. mail order russian bombshells and male escorts. damn. talk about unshareable needs.

October 12, 2012 at 11:57 am
. . . .
Let me say this very clearly and definitively; extortion is not a sex crime. Victim, J.D. engaged in consensual, albeit illegal, homosexual sex. Victim, J.D. must be very well connected to have the police contort this so that his good name is not tarnished. Me thinks this is going to be much bigger than a salacious story about a gay, perverted, race-car driving, lawyer-businessman. Book it.

 Sock Puppet
October 12, 2012 at 2:56 pm
 . . . .
Of the 5000 plus posts on Slabbed since December 2007 I can find 91 that deal with Magnum. I’m just the story teller here Tom but my sources on this are numerous and very well placed.
Worth noting is the last investigative report done by Val Bracy at Fox 8 was on Magnum.
She was yanked off the air immediately after.
I know you’re out there Val. Your work wears very well with the passage of time and your legacy will live on here at Slabbed forever.

 Doug Handshoe
October 12, 2012 at 3:48 pm
Trouble is, it turned out Doug was wrong, and that particular attorney--his target for so long--was not the person involved with the male prostitute in Florida. Ooops.

Wonder who "jr" and "Sock Puppet" are???


Let's see what some judges have said about Doug Handshoe, Slabbed, and online harassment. 

A federal judge in Mississippi recently found that although it was Advance Publications--parent of the Times-Picayune--that caused GoDaddy to suddenly cease hosting Doug's blog because of alleged copyright violations by Doug, he went after Charles Leary and Vaughn Perret instead.  
Handshoe, apparently in reaction to his blog being taken offline, then began an internet campaign to damage Perret and Leary. Handshoe has published numerous entries on “Slabbed” about Plaintiffs, many of which may be characterized as derogatory, mean spirited, sexist and homophobic.
 The same judge found that Doug "published several photo-shopped images of [Leary] and Perret in an apparent attempt to harass or embarrass them." 

That's not very nice, "harass or embarass."

The Canadian jurisprudence on Doug is even more detailed. These are the self-same decisions about condemning defamation and seeking email and IP address information that Doug has previously criticized so harshly, though labeling things as defamatory and unmasking bloggers seems to be okay when Doug says so. Ask "Dawn."

Doug decries these decisions as corrupt, senseless, unreasonable, based on perjured testimony, and bereft of any protections for his right to free speech. Let's see. . . . 

From Trout Point Lodge, Ltd. v. Louisiana Media Company, LLC  YAR 1 NSSC 110520, May 30, 2011.
First whether a prima facie case has been established?  In my view the words in the blogs would tend to lower Trout Point’s reputation in the eyes of a reasonable person and do refer to Trout Point.  The blogs are posted on a publicly-accessible website.  They were accessed freely by Charles Leary.  The most likely inference is that they were communicated to persons other than Trout Point.  As such, Trout Point has established a  prima facie case that they were published and were defamatory.
Next, from the same decision, the judge considers the fact that Doug was blogging on a site with terms of use that he had agreed to, and balances free speech and privacy concerns with those of protecting reputation from defamatory injury:
The public interest in disclosure outweighs  the legitimate privacy interest and interests in freedom of expression.  Automattic’s policy is to generally provide information it is directed to provide by court order including international orders.  Examples include requests for information about anonymous bloggers sued for defamation.  In addition the privacy policy states: “If you are a blogger looking for a completely anonymous blogging service or if the fact that the above data could be revealed in court proceedings, et cetera bothers you, please do not use for your blogging.” When a blogger signs up he or she agrees to the host’s privacy policy.  Therefore there is a diminished expectation of privacy where, as in the case at hand, the anonymous blogger is posting  information that is prima facie defamatory. . . . Generally the public interest in not allowing individuals to distribute defamatory materials under the cloak of anonymity will outweigh the public interest in protecting such a person’s right to privacy  and freedom of expression. 
In the case at hand the content and tone of the blogs is aggressive.  There is no indication that the bloggers are fearful of the Plaintiff or of other targets of their comments.  There is no indication that their identity should be protected for safety reasons.  In addition in the case at hand, the blogs contain comments based on the actual or perceived sexual orientation of the intended targets.  Those comments  are clearly meant to be derogatory and insulting.  I will not reproduce them here.  It is the type of expression that engenders harmful results such as discrimination and hatred.  It is not the type of free expression that deserves protection and  fostering. Considering these factors,  I am of the view that the public interest and disclosure outweighs the legitimate privacy interest and interests and freedom of  expression of the anonymous bloggers. 
From:  Trout Point Lodge Ltd. v. Handshoe, 2012 NSSC 245

[83]         Trout Point Lodge has been stated to have been funded by money illegally obtained through Mr. Broussard and through the dishonest actions of Mr. Leary and Mr. Perret in getting money from ACOA and other investors.  It has been said to be on the verge of bankruptcy.  These are things which would cause potential guests to decide not to come to Trout Point Lodge.  The defamation, in my view, has harmed the goodwill of the business and its business reputation.  It casts an unfavourable light on the business which has otherwise received extremely positive reviews in the Globe and Mail, the National Post, USA Today and the National Geographic Traveler, to mention just a few.  It has also been commended by well‑known publications such as Fodors Guide to Atlantic Canada and Forbes Traveler, to name a few.  It has also been recognized as a top ten finalist in the National Geographic Society's 2009 Geo‑tourism challenge.  Some of this information is included at Tab 5 of the evidence submitted at the hearing.

[84]         Mr. Leary points out in paragraph 8 of his affidavit:

8.         In addition to its membership in the prestigious hotel & restaurant association,  Relais and Chateaux, Trout Point has always maintained a 4 ½ star rating from Canada Select, is the only hotel in Atlantic Canada inspected and recommended by Conde Nast Johansens' guide and earned a five Green Key rating from the Hotel Association of Canada.

[85]         The defendant has persisted in his statements that Trout Point Lodge is somewhat connected to the Jefferson Parish corruption scandal and has benefitted financially from funds illegally obtained.  The defendant knows that the original story linking Mr. Broussard with Trout Point Lodge has been retracted and an apology published.  In the face of this, the defamatory comments continued.  Mr. Handshoe has refused to apologize or retract and, in fact, has republished the original statements and says they are true.

[86]         In addition, he has alleged that the business is on the verge of bankruptcy and has received funds in Canada improperly.  All this has been done through the Internet, which has the potential to reach untold numbers of potential guests of Trout Point Lodge throughout the world.  The defamation has gone on now for two years and there is no indication that the defendant intends to stop.  The defendant's conduct throughout has been to attempt to destroy the reputation of the business.
 And again:

[93]         Justice Cory in Hill considered the factors in that case which the Court believed made such an award by the jury in that case a reasonable one.  I conclude that the following factors in this case call for such an award here.  The original story was retracted by the Times Picayune in New Orleans; nevertheless, Mr. Handshoe continued to spread the defamation.  He then came up with additional statements concerning events in Nova Scotia, which defamed the defendants beyond the original defamation.  He commented on other business ventures of the plaintiffs and other legal matters in which they were involved, misrepresenting facts and attacking their reputations with statements that they were dishonest, fraudsters and liars.

[94]         The widespread defamatory comments continued to the date of this hearing in a medium well suited to spreading the defamatory comments far and wide to a vast number of Internet users.  Furthermore, there was conduct by the defendant in trying to stop the plaintiffs from continuing their against him.  He threatened to release dossiers of information he had about the plaintiffs and other unnamed people unless the action was discontinued.  All of this is outrageous conduct in the face of true facts about the plaintiffs.
So, is it just a little bit hypocritical of Doug to complain about online "harassment"? You decide. 

More examples of hypocrisy will be on their way soon . . . .

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