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Libel by email

Discussion in 'Defamation, Libel & Slander' started by Andeep Singh, Feb 20, 2021.

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  1. Andeep Singh

    Andeep Singh Law Topic Starter New Member

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    Jurisdiction:
    New Brunswick
    This is a serious question. If someone sends to someone else a photograph of them giving the middle finger in an email, can they be sued and for how much?
     
  2. army judge

    army judge Super Moderator

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    You need to discuss your concerns with a legal practitioner in Canada, specifically the province of NB.

    This discussion site focuses on the laws of the various US states, territories, and it's federal government.
     
  3. adjusterjack

    adjusterjack Super Moderator

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    Here's a serious answer.

    I seriously doubt that any court in Canada would allow such a lawsuit to be successful.

    Send it to your spam folder, block the sender, get over it.

    I assumed you were the receiver. If you are the sender I agree with the next comment.
     
    Last edited: Feb 20, 2021
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  4. cbg

    cbg Super Moderator

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    Or, alternately, grow up and don't do something so childish. The fact that one can do something doesn't mean that one should.
     
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  5. Tax Counsel

    Tax Counsel Well-Known Member

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    In both the U.S. and Canada, the person receiving the photo could file a lawsuit. But in both countries, that suit would fail. Canada provides more recourse for defamation claims than does the US, but in all common law countries two fundamental things are required for a defamation (libel for a written statement and slander for a spoken statement) claim. The first is that the communication is made to some third person. That's because defamation claims are about injury to your reputation with other people. For that reason, a statement made to you and no one else will not support a defamation claim. That statement to you is not harming your reputation with anyone else. Second, the statement made to the third person must be a false statement of fact. Statements that are true or that are purely opinion are not defamatory.

    A photo sent to you by e-mail of a person giving the middle finger is insulting, but not defamatory. It is not a communication with some third person and it does not state any false facts about you; it simply conveys the sender's opinion of you.
     
  6. cbg

    cbg Super Moderator

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    It is unclear whether the OP is the recipient or the potential sender.
     
  7. Tax Counsel

    Tax Counsel Well-Known Member

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    Right, and my explanation applies whether the OP is sender or receiver.
     
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  8. flyingron

    flyingron Well-Known Member

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    People insulting you isn't libel. Libel is making false statements to damage your reputation to OTHERS.
     
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  9. zddoodah

    zddoodah Well-Known Member

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    OK, so here's our cast of characters:

    "Someone" #1 (the sender of the email)
    "Someone" #2 (the recipient of the email)
    "Them"

    So...who are "them"?

    Also does the email contain any written content? Or is it just the photo (whether embedded in or attached to the email)?

    And now we've got a new character: "they"! Is "they" the same group of persons as "them"?

    In any event, anyone can be sued by anyone for anything.

    That said, flipping someone off (whether done in person or by way of a photograph in an email) is not libel and is not, in any way, legally actionable.

    By the way, based on your chosen screen name and your identification of "other" as the relevant jurisdiction, I have my doubts that you're in the U.S. If you're not in the U.S., then it's possible that this is legally actionable, but it obviously would depend on the relevant country's laws.
     
  10. adjusterjack

    adjusterjack Super Moderator

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    Canada.
     
  11. zddoodah

    zddoodah Well-Known Member

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    Burkina Faso.
     
  12. flyingron

    flyingron Well-Known Member

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    What here doesn't fit the legal definition or even the vernacular English definition of the word libel. What he has here is a personal insult. Not particularly actionable in the US, though it might be elsewhere.
     
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  13. adjusterjack

    adjusterjack Super Moderator

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    Huh?

    OP wrote New Brunswick in prior thread:

    Termination for no reason

    And New Brunswick is where the IP address is.

    What do you know that I don't?
     
  14. zddoodah

    zddoodah Well-Known Member

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    Probably lots of things -- much as there are probably lots of things you know that I don't.

    I wasn't aware of another thread, and I and others have mentioned before that the IP identifier that you "super moderators" have is inherently unreliable, so I just assumed we were naming random countries. ;-)
     
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  15. adjusterjack

    adjusterjack Super Moderator

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    As an FYI, if you look under a new poster's avatar it shows the number of messages that he/she posted. If it doesn't match the number of posts in the thread there is a good bet that there has been a previous thread or threads with that poster that you can find by clicking on his user name. A previous thread often yields information that supplements the current thread.

    Of course, you don't have to do that if you don't want to. I find it useful.
     
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  16. cbg

    cbg Super Moderator

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    I like Kiribati, myself.
     
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  17. adjusterjack

    adjusterjack Super Moderator

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    Then you would know that Kiribati is the only country in the world that is situated in all four hemispheres:

    Kiribati - Wikipedia
     
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  18. stealthy1

    stealthy1 Member

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    Them/They is a grammatically correct *singular* use for a person of unspecified gender.
     
  19. eerelations

    eerelations New Member

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    Just for the record, this insult would not be actionable in Canada.
     
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  20. zddoodah

    zddoodah Well-Known Member

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    Even if I buy into the "woke" grammar, "they" and "them" are plural pronouns, so your attempted point only renders the original post more ambiguous than I previously thought.
     
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