I definitely don't want to use my blog to document my court case (as I will be actually doing a product review and some travel photos some time this week or next!) but I thought I might as well clear up some stuff so I don't have to repeat it a million times.
1) It's just the Internet. It's not real life. People will say stuff.
Since the Internet is a primary form of communication these days, and people are Googled before you are considered for a job, saying "the Internet is not real life," is no longer an excuse. The Internet can be used to gather alt-right supporters or engage people in a smear campaign to ruin a business. "People will say stuff," is not an excuse to lie and defame people.
2) Freedom of speech! You won't get a judge to rule on this because it's free speech!
Defamation, slander and libel are not protected speech. This is not a fight for free speech, nor am I advocating mass censorship. You cannot directly lie about someone with malicious intent and attempt to ruin their lives and career. If it were all legal, there would be no defamation lawyers in the United States.
3) You need to relax.
Maybe, but I'm attempting to take a stand to ensure that the Internet does not continue as a free for all to stalk, harass and harm people.
4) You haven't suffered damages
In this case, all the points of libel per se were hit pretty clearly. It's almost as though it was what the other party was aiming for. Because of the nature of the statements, damages do not have to be proven.
5) Why are you going for so much money? You're a money grubber!
I didn't set that amount. I have stated many times I would be happy with a repayment of the lawyer and court fees and an apology video and deletion of any libelous material.
6) You have no proof that this didn't happen. It's your word against his.
Luckily, Skype can release logs from IP address to IP address. And they can also search our computers. Once something happens, it is never truly gone. However, nothing did happen, so I am happy to allow my computer to be searched.
7) You're just in love with him and got scorned.
Considering that's the narrative that is painted for everyone who goes against this person, that is not very likely.
8) Are you going to show up to the hearing? Why can't you be bothered to show up to your court dates?
I live in the United Kingdom. With modern technology, I do not have to show up if I have counsel. It was set up so the defendant could easily show up to court, not me. And if I did show up, imagine the uproar about me supposedly showing up on other people's dimes.
9) You're just scamming money by doing a GoFundMe.
I assure you, every cent (and more) has gone directly to my lawyer. I have spent a good chunk of my own savings as well. I've actually lost money thus far in this endeavor.
10) But he doesn't have money!
I'm aware. Hence why money isn't the point.
11) My uncle's sister's friend's hairdresser is a lawyer and when he went to trial for something totally unrelated, this happened, so you/your lawyer is not competent!/I'm a paralegal/I once watched Law and Order and this other thing happened that is not like this!
12) Grow up
Not sure what that is supposed to mean, as I feel fighting someone who has attempted to tarnish the reputations of many people is pretty grown up.
13) He's an ex-heroin addict. You have a PhD. You should have expected this.
One of my best friends is an ex-heroin addict. I would never expect this behavior from her. And does this insinuate people with academic titles are never addicts? Because that's pretty silly.
14) You had your name out there. You should have expected it.
No one should reasonably expect to be harassed, threatened, insulted and defamed for having their name online.