By Professor Mark Mercer, CCEPA blog, On October 16, 2013
Extract from the article:
I think that the mechanism by which to keep comment and criticism honest and civil is comment and criticism itself. When someone speaks a falsehood about one, speak the truth back. Expose the other’s shoddy evidence or reasoning. When insulted, note that an insult isn’t evidence or argument against one, or even a criticism.
If it is false that [six words removed on June 9, 2014, pursuant to COURT ORDER], explain to the world that you didn’t. If you are upset by a phrase or a tone, criticise publicly the use of that phrase or tone. If you didn’t lie, expose the lie that you did. This all can be done easily and effectively without employing a single lawyer.
There are at least two worries about the strength of this mechanism. One is that people are credulous and won’t respond to the truth, especially if they like the falsehood or it gets repeated. The other is that not many people have access to a medium through which to tell their side of the story.