On days like today I’m liable to have a few random thoughts….

First up is Russell who brings tidings of a Chiquita merger with Fyffes. He knew this would be of interest as I am a made Banana man. (The backstory is too long to tell in a quick post)

Next up is New York Times v Sullivan, the landmark US defamation case, which was again in the news recently. As you lawyerly types well know libel must have a falsity component here in the US and with regards to public figures, that falsity component is further restricted to reckless disregard for the truth. Here is the applicable definition and case cite:

disregard of the truth or falsity of a defamatory statement by a person who is highly aware of its probable falsity or entertains serious doubts about its truth or when there are obvious reasons to doubt the veracity and accuracy of a source [the knowingly false statement and the false statement made with reckless disregard of the truth , do not enjoy constitutional protection “Garrison v. Louisiana , 379 U.S. 64 (1964)”

I ask this because some forums, such as those that operate in the English common law tradition, do not have falsity as a legal element in defamation. I can see scenarios where there would be implications for foreign media outlets that rely upon such forums in their reporting under US law. We shall see.

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