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« Crab Bucket Syndrome | Main | Keeping Up with #EpiGate »

Friday, August 19, 2011



GREAT! At last someone who can actually tell us which threats can really be carried out! \m/ Welcome to the fray @skepticallawyer!


Omri Schwarz:

I hope you keep ranting here so the world can see what a disjointed weirdo just caused a good man to fall off the Internet.

Unfortunately it is not the first time, nor will it be the last time. Several years ago there was a blog called "SupportVaccination", but a certain venture capitalist bullied and badgered that blogger and it disappeared. The same man has threatened other bloggers, while at the same time cybersquatting on similarly looking blog names.

R. Smith MD

Mr. Daniels,

I am sorry for your difficulties, and sorry for your continuing need to make threats. Your threats don't worry me. you may do as you like. But in all seriousness, I am, in fact, worried about you, and for you.

I urge you to accept my suggestion that you seek mental health treatment. No need to let any of us know if you do. But please know I am ho ping you will.

Yours sincerely,

R. Smith MD


Mr. Daniels, I suggest you read the following websites from someone whose blog was threatened by a lawyer:
Welcome to My Conspiracy

rhett daniels

i often wonder how many of you are the same person...litzrene, tweekanarchic. irregardless, this team up harassment ends right now.

rhett daniels


I absolutely love that the email address on the bottom that blogspot-hosted threatening letter is

Corina Becker

While the appearance of Mr. X outing himself here is greatly amusing, I'm going back to the actual topic of the post: blogging and anonymity.

I am very sad to see EpiRen being silenced. As an autistic individual, I am glad to see professionals willing to be open about science-based medicine and the issues thereof. Knowing his real name, his place of employment and credentials has been important in placing trust in his authority and profession. EpiRen has been the source of much valuable information and a treasured resource online.

I personally think that to silence him like so is a cowardly act done by people of questionable intent.

To use one's real name when blogging is a sort of act of trust. On one hand, it can show that you are who you say you are, show who you are and give authority to what you say. On the other hand, it is a risk that people will not take that information and use it against the blogger.

I completely understand the reasoning behind why people would use a pseudonym, to protect oneself and one's family from potentially harmful situations as has been played out with EpiRen, to far worse and more dangerous threats. I myself am in a position where I can afford to use my real name, and value the transparency for my readers, but completely understand the reason why some level of anonymity is needed for people.

In a way, Mr. X has provided us a great example of the risk and benefits of anonymity when blogging. So thank you, Mr. X, for being willing to step up to the job. However, I find it a great shame and a disgust that you would target such a valuable source to the global community at large.

Mr. X

From the looks of it Mr.X seems very intelligent -

I would associate an exra point for credibility for those associated with him.


Well rhett you seen to be quite the asshole. It would be tragic indeed if your lame attempts to harass and silence were paid back with the streisand effect.


You have to wonder about links to Scientology when people are this litigious and off base...

Nunya does one who accuses others of defamation, slandering, and harassment get away with doing that exact thing? I'm lost....and saddened by all this.


Love the Creigslist lawyer ad. Classy!


"i gave my word to live rene out"

That seems like a death threat to me buddy..
Plus your companies are fraudulent hacks!
Mister Philantropist I'm so highly skilled psycho

rhett daniels

chris, thank you for the case law and information. i would not be able to proceed without such information. i owe Rene a thanks for the SLAPP websites, which provide information etc...
note: since I am an individual and not a lawyer, and since my actions are towards removing defamatory conduct AND NOT anything else (i don't care about your views, info etc... just my name slandered) my motions will be directed as such.
as always, I remain, yours truly


Mr Daniels, I recommend googling "Streisand Effect"

Counseling Jacksonville Fl

What a great potential and career you have. I've read some of your post here. And I am impressed with your knowledge and ideas. Thanks for sharing your knowledge.. :)


Interesting. A comment on Orac's post says the court case was about trade secret violation. See what I was saying about the Streisand Effect?


Stop feeding the troll


Mr. Daniels:

chris, thank you for the case law and information.

Did you even read it? Do you realize that the lawyer was sanctioned, and told to take several hours of classes to prevent the frivolous legal thuggery that you are thinking of doing?

Do yourself a favor, use the money on someone to create a decent web page.

Jerome Haltom

I believe Mr X is a cock gobbler.

rhett daniels

just defending myself against a bunch of online bullies, cowards and hypocrites.

rhett daniels

someone needs to stand up to you all, and i have the resources to do it. i can't imagine how many people you all have slinged and barbed; justice will prevail.
this is my last post, i've turned it over to legal.

Jerome Haltom

To clarify, I believe Rhett Daniels is a cock gobbler.


Welcome new readers and thanks for commenting.

This is my digital living room and the same rules apply as in the physical one: please, engage in vigorous debate, but leave the name-calling and ad hominem attacks someplace else.

That means you xym, and you, Jerome Haltom (even if you were trying for humor).

Jerome Haltom

Humor. No. That's not what I was after. Streisand effect, yes.


Mr. Daniels, let me introduce to Pharyngula and the Streisand Effect (and this link is now on the first page of your name in Google).


I have no idea what products this Rhett buffoon sells, or even the names of the companies behind which he flogs them.
What I CAN say is this: He doesn't know the first damn thing about the law. He continuously confuses civil and criminal matters, thinks defamation is a crime, yammers about tortious interference the way Deepak Chopra blathers about quantum mechanics (which is to say fancy jargon designed to fool only those who don't understand the jargon).
Frankly, I'm tempted to do some research into this stuffed idiot, crank up a few blog posts featuring his own words and exposing him as the yammering imbecile he clearly is, and hang an open invitation to take me to court. Truth is a full defense to an action in libel and, from what I've read here, Rhett wouldn't be coming to court with clean hands. But before I have him non-suited, I'd certainly enjoy the ever lifting jumped up jesus on skis out of DEPOSING the arrogant bastard.

@Pranab: Any threat to sue can be carried out. He can file the papers, make all sorts of wild allegations that just barely pass the threshold of not being dismissed as vexatatious litigation, and thus force the respondent to spend what may turn out to be a sh**load of money defending the suit.
Most people are not angry enough, committed enough or rich enough to be bothered fighting an egregious a**hole who is willing to inflict legal process. This is the strategy commonly employed by the MPAA, Monster Cable, various patent claimants, etc. It's generally cheaper, faster and just all round easier to take down the blog and STFU.
Of course, some of us are QUALIFIED to represent ourselves, and consider inflicting legal process RIGHT BACK rather something of a hobby.


Rhett, nobody else has said it, but frankly, you're acting like a spoiled child going to another kids parents because he made fun of you.

Grow up and grow a backbone.

By your actions a reasoned voice has been (hopefully temporarily) silenced all because you can't stomach a little criticism and it makes me sick.


If you are going to post or tweet about this issue, rather than using René’s name or twitter handle, another epidemiologist, @epiApril, has suggested using #epigate.

rhett daniels

What is wrong with oral sex?


Provocation and off-topic, Mr. Daniels. Stop it.

My house and my rules.

rhett daniels

i was called a Cock Gobbler, and I asked for clarification. Since this is about not hiding or hiding or whatever you call it, wouldn't my sexuality, and the exposition of it, fit in line w/ this discussion?

Jerome Haltom

I never said anything was wrong with oral sex. Are you implying something is?

rhett daniels

you said it, not me, i just wanted to know what you meant: "To clarify, I believe Rhett Daniels is a cock gobbler."


Mr. Daniels and Mr. Haltom, you are both out of order.

Mr. Haltom, I already rebuked you. Any further name-calling from you, or off-topic discussion, and you're in the penalty box.

Mr. Daniels, you evidently don't have a clue what the discussion is about. You are in the penalty box unless you post something substantive, which I will let through.

James Hirnaut

It's a sad day when a self-absorbed internet crank like Rhett S. Daniels succeeds in shutting down a voice of reason. The way the little coward did it was disgusting - harassing his victim into silence by trying to get him fired from his job. I hope the Streisand Effect haunts Rhett Daniels and his waaaay-exaggerated "career" for the rest of his stunted little life. Ptah.


Though having a go at making Daniels look like an idiot seems like good sport, it also seems to be along the lines of assisting gravity in its effort to get rain from the sky to the ground.

I would regard things covered by a non-disclosure agreement to be of legitimate concern to an employer, private or public. Employees are just that, not the chattels or property of the employer. Any company of any reasonable size, private or public, that wishes to restrict employee behavior, should be capable of producing an employee handbook that forms part of a contract. I gather that in the US, contracts can be held valid, even if they are contrary to law. In other countries, judges will toss out contracts that are contrary to statute.

ABSOLUTELY anonymous blogging would seem to me to be entirely legitimate, and highly advisable. The anonymity would create the desireable barrier between the actions of a person and the real or imaginary interests of the company.

I think that the treatment of Mr. Najera has been repugnant. It is the public that employs him, not the government or an agency thereof. He has served the public well beyond a level to which it has any right of expectation.


Mr. Daniels, you need to show that you have actually read about the attempt by vaccine lawyer Clifford Shoemaker to silence Kathleen Seidel, a blogger. I provided the document filed by the lawyer by his representative in New Hampshire, and the subsequent reply by the judge.

Please explain how you believe the judge ruled. Tell us if it was favorable to the blogger or the lawyer.

rhett daniels

Chris - as I always do, I believe the judge ruled in favor of the law, procedure, and such. hope this answers your question.


No, it does not answer the question. There were two parties, one lost and one won. Who won, the lawyer or the blogger? What was the loser told to do? It was quite specific.

Here is a hint: read the second document I linked to, especially the paragraph before the judge's signature.

rhett daniels

I did read it, and it is very clear that the judge followed the rule of law. It was a good example of procedural error. Again, thank you for sharing it!

rhett daniels

I wanted to take a brief moment and thank everyone for the attention. This has been one of the more exciting moments, and I hope that I can keep your attention. To that end, I want to encourage you to wait for the next exciting episode in Kabooki Theatre!
I believe a good roasting is good for the soul, and all of you have done a great job; except that you haven't said anything about me that I haven't said or thought about myself.
Although this experience is humbling, somewhat troubling, and challenging; I feel that if you will just give me enough time I will show you I am capable of more than what you have seen.
As with the RE/Brookstone case, at the beginning I foob'd during a deposition and lost my cool - I recognize the same thing has happened here. So I would advise that you enjoy your little victory for the time being. As they say, fool me once shame on you, fool me twice shame on me. you won't see that side again.
Having said all that, I will read through all your posts and see what I can do to get the message across. Again, thank you for your time, I am honored for the attention, and look forward to more heated debates or whatever you call this.

Rhett :)


How come you will not answer the question? Who was sanctioned? Give the name and what the person had to do. Here, I'll make it easy for you, just fill in the blank and explain what the person had to attend:

As a sanction from this court, __________ is ordered to attend within...

rhett daniels

Chris -
Again, it's a great case study, and I hope you have more stuff to send or put up. There's lots of case law and cases to look at, and I am not sure why you focus so much on one case?
We live in a great country where each dog gets its day in court, and each case has a different set of facts and circumstances. Although precedent is important, there are other ways to prevail the common law.
Is there something specific about your case study that you think is relevant to me - if so, please show me what as I don't think you understand your case or else you wouldn't be asking me to walk you through it?

Gray Falcon

Rhett, the relevant part of the case was this line: "As a sanction from this court, __________ is ordered to attend within..." If you fill in the rest, you'll find out how this applies to you.


It is not a case study.

Read it, answer the question and then you will understand why I brought it up.

Matthew Cline

public officials, taking their earnings from the public, are beholden to the public, whereas private enterprises enjoy less public scrutiny.

You seem to be saying that for someone employed by the government, there is no distinction between acting as a representative/employee of the government versus acting as a private citizen (at least for actions performed in public).

if my litigations are frivolous, won't i pay in court w/ lawyer fees, etc...?

I Am Not A Lawyer, but as far as I know the U.S. doesn't have a "loser pays" system, so the defendant in a dismissed frivolous lawsuit is still going to have to pay for their expenses.

rhett daniels

Matthew -

I would say that the lines between employee of public institution and private citizen get blurred when the private citizen engages in activity that mirrors what he does in the public sphere.

And for the record, I think what happened to Rene (EpiRen) was a bit unfair... however, I do see that his private life had overlaps with public work.

in RE frivolous, there are many organizations that come to the rescue for people in frivolous lawsuits..that's one avenue of defense; the other is to get attorney fees, etc... or counter sue. I wish our system was like the british...there'd be less use of litigation as a means to an end.

Chris -
I did read it, and I see no connection with me?! Can you say "broken record..." Peace!



You are a broken record of litigious behavior. We want to know if you actually understand what you are doing. Avoiding the question is quite telling, and you are digging yourself even deeper.

Answer the question. Who was sanctioned and what did that person have to attend?

rhett daniels

Chris -

You sound like you've been watching Perry Mason or a few good men.

"Answer me...I want the truth!"

relax and take a chill. no one digs your law review. we get it, ok?

i would welcome more case law as I enjoyed the reading.

seriously, what gives?



looking at the MANY MANY posts by Daniels, one could easily conclude this is indeed a case of cyberstalking.

I'd say, don't worry about civil action against the rather obviously disturbed man with apparently plenty of time on his hands to toss random threats around, you've got at least the beginnings of criminal actions you can file against Mr. Daniels at this point.

Liz touches on those a few posts above, but check out the many articles regarding cyberstalking and the various associated state and federal laws.

Mr Daniels reminds me of Dennis Markuze, using frivolous libel suits instead of specific death threats.

for Mr Daniels' sake, I might point out what actually happened to Dennis Markuze...

think about that, carefully, Daniels.

Rhett S. Daniels, PhD

not the real Rhett Daniels One more and I will block the IP address
BTW I gots my PhD now.

Atticus Dogsbody

Mr. Daniels, can you please list the names of the 400 drugs that you claim to have developed? You see, if you could produce some evidence to back up you claims (which are still to be found on the internet. Nothing ever really disappears.) then people would stop thinking you are a deranged liar. I personally don't think you can produce any such evidence.

rhett daniels

Ichthyic -

thank you for the reference. when i heard about Mr. Markuze arrest I was gladdened. no one should EVER be physically threatened.

there is good healthy competition in these lively debates.

I love a good roasting, and it IS good for the soul.

Thank you for your time and patience.

Kind Regards,



Mr. Daniels, so you really cannot read a paragraph and answer a simple question? Wow, just wow!

rhett daniels

Chris -
This blog would be more effective if you would state your opinions and then I state my opinions, etc. etc... versus the other way around where you want me to state your opinions and then I am supposed to expect you to state my opinions?
apparently I flunked a PhD, so that might explain why I cannot read your paragraph. hopefully you get the hint from this last sentence... or, i'm afraid your obviousness comprehension is as bad as your legal comprehension.
but again, thank you for the information, and I look forward to more, NEW information.
kind regards,


Annie Goodwin

Rhett Daniels wrote:

And for the record, I think what happened to Rene (EpiRen) was a bit unfair... however, I do see that his private life had overlaps with public work.

Rhett Daniels, you happened to Rene. You. What you did.

Let's review, shall we?

August 10 and 11, you posted a series of tweets (1) Insulting Vaccine Times and (2)insulting about Dr. Jen Gunter (3) possibly others (I didn't capture them all). Ren then posted a description of your behavior to his blog.

You retaliated by tweeting Ren's home address and work address and other attacks.

That wasn't bad enough.

You then fired off not one but a series of emails to Ren's colleagues and superiors. I have not seen those emails but I gather that you completely misrepresented what Rene was saying and doing online, intimated he was a disgrace or liability to his employer, and threatened legal action.

That, sir, was totally out of line.

Then, you threatened commenters here with legal action.

It's still not bad enough. You repeated the action of outing someone who criticized you, at Scepticemia. You posted the contact and employment information for a woman whose name resembled Liz Ditz's. For all we know, you also flooded that poor woman's employers with similar emails.

You haven't acknowledged any of your wrong-doing. You haven't taken responsibility for your actions.

Try this.

Issue a sincere apology to Ren -- here if nowhere else, acknowledging each action that you took that was wrong.

Issue a sincere apology to that poor nurse woman, here if nowhere else, acknowledging each each action that you took that was wrong.

And then be quiet for a while, eh?


Mr. Daniels, you do not have a PhD. You have a degree in English and Information Systems. Your use of the English language is lacking.

I showed you an example when someone goes after a blogger whose writings they disagree with. Which was exactly what you are doing. Yet you refuse to read it.

You don't seem to understand that the law of land that was upheld by that ruling was both the First Amendment and the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure.

Prove you read it by filling in the blanks. Who was sanctioned and what was the punishment? Give a name and what needed to be attended.

Alan Kellogg

Proposition: That Rhett Daniels is a troll and spammer.

Conclusion: That Rhett Daniels needs the hearty application of the ban hammer.

Resolved: That Rhett Daniels have the ban hammer applied to his blathering ass so that commentators to this blog can get back to adult discourse.


Alan is probably right.

This drama only gets interesting when Rhett (butler) makes his laughable legal threats.

but at least, if he is encouraged to continue, the evidence that one can use to charge him with cyberstalking will only get clearer?

after all, in the end did banhammering Markuze work?

rhett daniels

ok... how is this... if you up your game then i will mine... but right now u all sound lame.

please don't ignore me... i am so bored and really enjoy this.

see i have figured out your game... and that behind your bark you are all a bunch of wussies.

peace and love


Bored? Little drama queen, have you not realised how entertaining you are to intelligent and rational people?

Of course, in attacking a good man and spreading lies about him you have also offended us, which is why we have a firm grip on your goolies whether you realise it or not.

Thanks Liz, for speaking out and for not be carried away by the disruptive and inflammatory comments by Mr. X, who has the hubris of the Godfather.
But lets not be carried away either...

Your main points are the social-media silencing of a science blogger using his own name individual and the value of pseudonymity in social media.

IMHO blogging under a pseudonym doesn't protect you 100%.
Blogging under the pseudonym Laika didn't prevent a mr Y (naturopath) to trace me and write a letter to my boss, suggesting that he [mr Y] was "victim of libel propagated by one of your librarians".
Luckily I live in a country (the Netherlands), where [quote mr Y] "Dutch law renders her largely immune from legal influence". Mr Y clearly alluded to the good name of the organization I work for.

If you are a specialist, and you blog about your specialty, it might be easy to find out who you are. I didn't hide my first name, nor the organization I work for, nor the place I lived.

Now I have changed my About Section (less personal alas) and the Disclaimer. I don't want people reaching out to my employers for issues not directly related to my work. These are and should be completely separated.


(crossposted a similar comment at Orac's)

rhett daniels

anarchic, what is with the gay comments on this post? first i'm a cock gobbler, know you are holding my balls?



Mr Daniel's extravagant claims about his wealth, prowess in pharmaceuticals, business acumen, qualifications and legal success all seem strangely at odds with the facts.

It looks like EpiRen's employers were needlessly panicked by a nonentity. But even in the extremely unlikely event that any of his claims could be true, their treatment of EpiRen remains shabby to say the least.

rhett daniels

hi - one of you finally got the courage to do something. unfortunately, i'm not a public institution... so i would like to show everyone the first person to cross the line:

Hi Dan -

thank you for your comment. I only hope that you are really who you say you are. if so, i'd like to congratulate you on being the first person to actually commit crime!


Rhett S. Daniels, M.Sc.
Activist, Philanthropist and Pharmaceutical Executive

This email and its contents are confidential. If it doesn't belong to you, please delete it.



---------- Forwarded message ----------
Date: Tue, Aug 23, 2011 at 9:29 AM
Subject: Rhett Daniels

Mr. Rosenthal,

Mr. Daniels' association with Viadiem is no doubt a concern for you. The actions taken my Mr. Daniels to limit free speech and intimidate critics into silence have ignited a dedicated community of activists. These activists have a demonstrated capacity for long term, legal action against those that squelch free speech. I suspect that Viadiem may be seen as complicit with Mr. Daniels' actions and would itself become a target for action.

I trust you will do the right thing.

Kind Regards,
Dan Courtney

rhett daniels

listen, why don't more of you get balls like Dan and DO SOMETHING about it?

rhett daniels

at least he got up and stood for something he believed in. although I disagree in the comparison btw a public employer and a private (check with your attorney before proceeding) i actually find someone like Dan to be a true competitive rival.
he doesn't hide behind pseudo, is clear about his intent, and proceeds.
now THAT i can respect.


Well, Rhett - I can tell you, as a corporate eDiscovery expert, that you, yourself (and perhaps your employers as well) are already in violation of the FRCP (Federal Rules of Civil Procedures) by taking steps to delete information / online presence (through the deletion of YouTube, LinkedIn accounts, etc) after taking steps to officially notify a party of a "responsibility to preserve."

Unfortunately for you, that responsibility works both ways - since you know have the assumption of discovery yourself - meaning that you are now required to preserve any and all related information to the matter as well - and as recent civil cases have made abundantly clear, this also includes all social media as well (including FaceBook, LinkedIn etc) that constitutes potential discoverable information.

As such, your activities now open up the option of sanctions, should you decide to pursue any civil actions.

In summary - you can't tell someone to preserve, without assuming the responsibilty to preserve yourself.


Pranab had a great idea. I'm in China. If anyone needs to be rhett rhettarded, not only can we put it on all of those China blogs read by bajillions, but we can also translate this fiasco into Chinese so that the half of the world who doesn't know what a dangerous bully rhett daniels is, will.

rhett daniels

lawrence - nothing has been deleted from my computers.


I was thinking about emailing his business partners about Mr. Daniel's behavior. I was wondering if they or anyone else would be worried about his behavior.

Of course, they should have noticed his erratic behavior recently, and it would just be pointing out the obvious.

And we know from personal experience there are very few options to get help for Mr. Daniels.

rhett daniels

hey chris -

here's one for you.

Can you tell me the letter in the alphabet that comes before C, it is ____

Maybe you could call them and do your socratic method on them and say,

"hello mr employer:

you have an employee.... who's name is _________?

please answer as I need to know you understand his name.

this employee has committed what atrocity __________?

here is a similar situation specific, and the result was _________?"

or something like that :)

i'm sure they would be concerned coming from such a logically, defined, articulate, well balanced, intellectual as yourself!

peace out beeotch!


rhett daniels

lawrence -

you blow me away with your legal skills! holy crap, perry mason ain't got nothin' on you!

yes, i broke into google's data center and personally wiped out all information. furthermore, I did the same for LinkedIn and Facebook.

Haha, now none of you have this information which was all over the world, but somehow I deleted!

peace out, beootch!



You know Rhett, Courts do also care about intent & by your actions, you've already given any good defense attorney plenty of ammunition. I'd love to see what a Discovery Request would uncover related to your activities lately.

In a recent case, an attorney's email was uncovered advising a client to delete their social media accounts - it was enough for the Judge to make Summary Judgement in favor of the other side & sanction the attorney / firm to the tune of several hundred thousand dollars.


Actually, Mr. Daniels, if I felt compelled enough a letter would read as follows:

Dear Mr. R, Mr. D and Ms. T,

In the past few weeks your colleague Mr. Daniels has exhibited erratic delusional behavior. He has threatened lawsuits for no legal reason, boasted accomplishments that do not match available data, refusal to answer questions and has shown an obvious deterioration of coherent thought.

If you value his health, you would be advised to consult a psychiatric professional.

Thank you.

Slathered Nit


I'm fairly sure these people are well acquainted with Rhett's behavior.

Ms. T is (or was) his wife.


I figured as much. They should be well aware of his behavior and are hampered in their efforts to help that many of us have become all too familiar. Usually because he does not seem to be real threat to others like Markuze. It is horribly sad.

David N. Andrews M. Ed., C. P. S. E.

Looks to me like this Rhett Daniels displays some interesting psycho-pathological characteristics. Not one to dx someoen by net, though. But I'd reckon that - should he decide to try to get a clean bill of mental health - there'd be at least two major presentations from the Cluster B personality disorders. Makes him pathologically unwilling to be reasonable.

Not diagnosing ... just speculating.

Matthew S. North



Woops. Sorry about that fist post. Damn touch pads...

I've been watching this give and take for the last 24 hours with amusement. I came here because I followed the link from PZ Myers site Pharyngula.

From what I can tell, this all started when Mr. Najera , a honest Dr./ scientist who was blogging about quackery in medicine got into an argument with a petty, vindictive, cowardly, overly- sensitive, overly- litigious, world champion asshole. I short he got into an argument with "rhett daniels". Oh yeah. I better watch-out. I might get sued by "rhett" for expressing an opinion.
Fuck off rhett daniels! It's people like you who make me feel ashamed for the human race. I hope you get sued into bankruptcy one day.

My apologies to the moderator for the name calling and language. I won't bother you again.

Moggs Oceanlane

You might find interesting.

'My name is me' contains personal profiles of people talking about identification online from a personal perspective. It contains posts from health workers, government employees, teachers, academics, technologists, people with disabilities, people from minority groups, gamers, technologists and many more.

The site advocates the right to choose how you identify online - and each profile talks about why people have chosen to identify as they do and often mentions the pros and cons associated with their choice.

If you've had an experience of your own, you may wish to submit a profile.

I'm not affiliated with the site but I am a little addicted as it adds clarity to the nym-wars debate at a personal level.

Brenda Hart Neihouse

First, libel and slander are very specific instances. If something can be proven true, or is true, it is neither libel nor slander.

Second, people who sue other people do not threaten, they act.

Third, bullying, in its many glorious and reprehensible forms is not civil discourse. Making statements to get someone else to stop talking is bullying and may be covered by Anti-Slapp statutes (if a lawsuit is filed to get someone to stop talking/engaging in free speech.)

I do policy and I do advocacy. I routinely argue for positions that may not seem to make sense to the people with whom I am arguing. (An argument being herein defined as a conversation wherein two or more points of view are argued such that another "side" will see your POV and perhaps embrace it as their own.)

It seems to me that if one wishes to effectively argue for any point, that one must actually listen to the other side. In fact, the concept of point and counterpoint leads to listening and adjusting one's approach to include response to the argument put forth.

Anonymity takes away the ground or footing of individuals who have the credentials to make the arguments. While branding can suffer if one's employees go off track, employment contracts can easily be forged that manage these contingencies and the choice between staying in a job or getting fired doesn't need to be the exclusive avenue for infractions.

Social media is so new that we do not yet have rules about it. Recently a journalist of a major news outlet took his twitter followers with him, prompting an all out legal examination of who owns the twitter/facebook/blog account. Who owns the followers, the likes?

A most distressing question is who owns our data, as twitter sells data to outside corporations, but I digress.

Employers are going to have to figure this out in tandem with Federal law and the courts. We may need to author new law to not limit free speech for employees. For years, many positions were considered to come with limited free speech; however research and education have not historically been in that category. But public health positions generally do come with an “advocacy pass” – the permission to argue for the point of the agency.

About anonymity on the internet. No one is anonymous. As a 20+ year veteran of BBS, IRC, various chat programs, etc. I know this for a fact. If Anonymous can hack the government, we can all be found. I don't think the issue is being anonymous. I believe that the issue is making people accountable and creating a different more beneficial culture online. The VP of Mindspring, which was eaten up by Earthlink, used to code for me. In the early 90's we were discussing the change in online culture from what we experienced a few years earlier to what was happening mid-90's. And that was before Prairie Home Companion on the internet disappeared (pseudonym.) Now, everything is achingly commercial and the culture is likeminded -- I'll take from you and you take from me and that exchange will be enough. We have to decide that it's not enough and make it different.

This entails policing ourselves, even if it's not to take that one blithering whack at someone who is just aching for a 2 by 4 to the temple (metaphorically.) It starts with personal responsibility and extends outward. And it does mean standing up for each other, Thank you “Liz whom I do not know” for protecting one of your citizens from abuse.

Rethinking and reorganizing is tough. I know. I have done change management most of my life, both in business management consulting and through brand development and deployment. But it is not impossible. It starts with knowledge, like what the legal concepts of libel and slander are comprised of. Only when you have knowledge can you argue a point with someone who is throwing hyperbole and trying to bully their way to being right. Right isn't a political position, and it doesn't come from force. Right comes from a moral standing, in which everyone is respected, including those whose opinions we do not like.


You know Rhett, Courts do also care about intent & by your actions, you've already given any good defense attorney plenty of ammunition. I'd love to see what a Discovery Request would uncover related to your activities lately.

In a recent case, an attorney's email was uncovered advising a client to delete their social media accounts - it was enough for the Judge to make Summary Judgement in favor of the other side & sanction the attorney / firm to the tune of several hundred thousand dollars.

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