The devastating defeat of the hate-sites continue. Since the Crown decided to pursue a second trial of David Bain after the first was determined to be an 'actual miscarriage of Justice' it's all been down hill. A verdict of innocent by the second Jury in record time, a finding of factual innocence by a Jurist tasked to inquiry into an application by David for compensation, then a Judicial Review of the Minister's decision to 'interfere' with that decision and a series of defeats as to the honesty and truth of those that have attacked Bain and Joe Karam for years.
The New Zealand Herald settled a defamation claim quite quickly on, Trade Me followed, so now have Fairfax - they have all retired from the 'truth' of the claims made against Karam and his simple analysis of a case of murder suicide from which a innocent young man spent over a dozen years in prison. If one was absolutely crazy they could believe that the failure of The Crown to prove a case against Bain, both at trial and again as part of a exercise to argue against compensation for him, was of no significant merit. Accordingly, they could look toward the Civil courts for The Herald, Trade Me and Fairfax to prove that they were not insane, batty or even delusional - the big guns would 'prove' the truth, reveal what the sisters knew as true. All good, except the Herald, Trade Me and Fairfax couldn't prove the un-provable either, odd that. Boringly predictable unfortunately.
There has been some significant public benefit however. Fairfax have not resisted the proposition that what is posted on their sites, or linked to their sites, is there responsibility - whether the posting was the work of a bunch of nutters or not. The wider benefit of this is the development of the understanding on the use on the internet. The word should be out, that abusing or threatening others on line in a public forum is not only the responsibility of the persons posting, but of the publisher or medium. This is very fair, and to this point 'escaped' from The Herald, TradeMe and Fairfax. What they allow to published through their mediums is there responsibility, they are not somehow remote from it.
The message is out that while some dodo bird might 'speak their minds' on the net in a public forum the host remains responsible. So Facebook will be responsible for teens urging other teens to commit suicide or for abusing others on line. This is a clear and precise development in the use of the net, also very obvious. The New Zealand Courts have supported these settlements and others under the Harassment Act where there has been online stalking, threats and intimidation. The Law has caught up. Congratulations to Joe Karam and The Courts for understanding the net with it's apparent new frontier.
In the meantime, more bad news for the sisters - they've created a place in history for themselves and it's not the one they first imagined.