We traveled to Birmingham yesterday to catch a glimpse of the case that has everyone so intrigued on al.com. A woman psychiatrist is suing another woman, (evidently a former poster from al.com's forums)...for Defamation of Character. I hope that this case gets NATIONAL recognition, and that Judge Scott Vowell will address it appropriately. Noone should be suffering from "anonymous" abuse OR known user abuse on any forum. Freedom of Speech becomes stifled, and internet crimes begin to supercede any form of reality based conversations. I know from first hand experience (internet stalkers) that it is not a healthy situation. This psychiatrists' reputation has been compromised by this alleged Defamation. I believe that al.com should be included in this lawsuit. They are the ones that have their forums set up to where ANONYMOUS posters can harass others. Since this has become such a problem for individuals that frequent al.com forums, this issue really needs to be addressed. I know I have written to al.com on numerous occasions about their inability to control their forums. They ban individuals who ACTUALLY have intelligent conversation, and allow bullies to remain. This makes no sense, other than to (I believe) draw in the advertisers. Could this be the reason that Al.com allows these bullies to thrive on their forums? The average public seems to like CONTROVERSY. You know how human nature is, when there is a wreck on the highway? I have observed this....lots of people will drive by slowly to catch a glimpse of "what happened". People's senses have been tuned towards FANTASY...HORROR...The UNUSUAL. The SENSATIONAL...THE UNKNOWN. In my honest opinion, I believe that having bullies thrive on al.com, and to remain on there, brings a crowd of advertisers. The viewers are there, so that brings in the advertisers. As long as Al.com allows this to happen, you will begin to see more and more lawsuits because of people's reputations being defamed. I know that Cindy Martin (President and CEO, who started al.com in 1997) has NEVER yet answered an email I have sent to her. I do, however, know that she received my email, and just ignored it, because I received an automated message that she was out of the office on vacation, once. I know that Ken Booth doesn't care about what is happening on the forums, even though he is the EDITOR IN CHIEF. He gives false reasons for his banning of posters. He purposely allows this unexceptable behavior to continue...and I speak from absolute knowledge, firsthand. It seems like since Cindy Martin is President/CEO (over Ken Booth), that she would be concerned about the reputation of the online news/forum newspaper that is owned by Advance Publications, and one she herself started. "Cindy Martin started www.al.com at its inception in 1997." It would appear that Advance Publications would be cracking down on this unexceptable behavior that rears it's ugly head EVERY SINGLE DAY ON AL.COM. Readers...what say you?
Here are ways to contact these individuals that are in management position of al.com forums.
Cindy Martin, President/CEO
Ken Booth, Editor-in-Chief