Educational CyberPlayGround ®



Classic lessons on how to spot disruption and disinformation tactics

Online Defamation - Defamed Online

Stanley Fish published a column in the Times online edition touting a new book from scholars primarily associated with the University of Chicago, who complain at length about all the nasty anonymous expression that can be found online and whose remedy is, apparently, to gut the immunity provided for the providers of interactive computer services by section 230 of the Communications Decency Act.
In this essay, I pick apart their argument, which so far as I can tell proceeds from ignorance about what the law currently is - that someone who is defamed online can readily enforce a subpoena to identify the defamer so long as they have a good factual and legal case for defamation.
I sent the piece to those whose opinions I criticized and invited them to respond. They have not yet responded publicly, but what I have learned to date tends to confirm my impression that they were basically ignorant of the "Dendrite" line of cases about the procedures for piercing anonymity when they went after section 230.

Paul Alan Levy
Public Citizen Litigation Group
1600 - 20th Street, N.W.
Washington, D.C. 20009
(202) 588-1000




Real-Time #1:

+++ FlightAware
One of a number of tools to track planes (both commercial and private) as they travel across Canadian and U.S. airspace. It's also possible (although sometimes unreliable) to track international flights either coming or going from the U.S or Canada. Many similar services exist (expect coverage of them soon). We like FlightAware because:
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+ See all flights coming/going from a specific airport
+ If you register (free and easy) pages will autorefresh
+ Archive of past flight info
+ Near real-time location info (example)

+++ Amtrak Real-Time Train Status

+++ What's Playing on Sirius Satellite Radio Right Now
+ Page auto-refreshes as new songs/shows hit the air
+ Also searchable

+++ City of Seattle Real-Time 911 Dispatch
+ Also searchable back to 2003.

Near real-time access to music played on most commercial radio stations in the U.S. Search for stations and then review the list. 24hr archive. Example.

+ New York City Traffic Cams and Video Streams
Select your borough and go. A mobile version of this site is also available here.

+ Currently on the House Floor
A "virtual ticker" of what's being debated/voted on the floor of the U.S. House of Representatives. Seven day archive available.