Wednesday, March 16, 2016

"The Journalist and the Troll: This Man Spent Two Years Trying to Destroy Me Online"

By Dune Lawrence:

When Bloomberg’s lawyers sent him a letter telling him to take down the tweets and stop defaming me, he fired off another long e-mail.

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I reached out through Bloomberg’s lawyers. The message came back—sorry, can’t help.

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The site had a Facebook page, and Bloomberg’s legal team tried to get Facebook to remove references to me. No response.

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When I complained to Twitter that Wey’s account was abusive, I got a response from Twitter Trust & Safety, telling me Wey wasn’t violating Twitter’s rules and to block his tweets so I couldn’t see them. I sent in more examples of Wey’s tweets, and Twitter suspended his account. He was back in less than three weeks. Someone opened a Twitter account impersonating me. The only follower was Benjamin Wey. Twitter did block that one.

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Friends and colleagues told me appealing to Google was pretty much hopeless, and I found that to be true.

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Bouveng’s lawyers tried to persuade the judge in the case to stop Wey from continuing to publish defamatory articles, asserting that they amounted to retaliation and witness intimidation. Wey’s lawyers argued that this would infringe on Wey’s right to free speech. The judge didn’t rule on this aspect of the case until after the trial was over, when he said the money judgment made it a moot point. Many of the stories remain online, updated with new material.