Great response to Lord McAlpine suing on Twitter

(107 Posts)
StewieGriffinsMom Wed 21-Nov-12 09:49:37

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StewieGriffinsMom Wed 21-Nov-12 09:50:00

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namechangeguy Wed 21-Nov-12 10:04:25

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slug Wed 21-Nov-12 10:31:49

McAlpine's response is really unhelpful. By posturing and declaring that being accused of child sexual assault is "the worst thing possible" he does the victims immense harm. Eh? If being accused is the worst thing possible, then, by definition, the victim of the actual abuse is less of a victim than the powerful man.

It's the same tactic that is used to silence women when they accuse someone of rape. E.g. Rape is a horrible crime, to be accused of it is to blacken the name of innocent men who are guilty of poor sexual etiquette at best therefore the woman must be lying.

It's all shades of silencing the victims in order to direct the sympathy to the true victims, the men.

I don't understand why this blogger wouldn't apologise if they had retweeted a tweet or tweets naming him as a paedophile, as they say in their article. They say they would examine the context, but surely, even if they genuinely believed that the accusations were true when they retweeted them, once they knew the accusations were untrue, and knowing what harm such accusations can do (lynch mobs, mud sticks etc), they would apologise. Anyone can make a mistake, but a decent person apologises when they find they've made a mistake, don't they?

Whilst it cannot be compared at all with the pain of the abuse these children suffered and continue to suffer, being named as a paedophile is a pretty horrific thing to happen to an adult, and I would be sickened, horrified and furious if I were wrongly accused. If I had the resources at my disposal to sue those who had defamed me that way, I would seriously consider it.

Should Lord McAlpine just have accepted these accusations without turning a hair? Wouldn't that have made people think that there must be some truth in the accusations, if he wasn't fighting them tooth and nail?

namechangeguy Wed 21-Nov-12 10:32:58

Actually, reading that back, the first paragraph doesn't say what I meant. I am not torn because I believe a Tory should be fair game for child abuse allegations. I am torn because freedom of expression and freedom within the media to expose wrongdoing is a very precious thing. Unfortunately, this precious thing is too easily abused by those too dense or too spiteful to see the harm they are doing.

Yes, he was wrong to say that being accused of being a paedophile is the worst thing that can happen to a person - but I suspect is is the worst thing he can imagine happening to him now.

Would anyone on here be happy about being incorrectly accused of being a paedophile? Would you, if incorrectly accused, not want to do everything possible to clear your name? Or do you genuinely think Lord McAlpine should have accepted all the mudslinging and the destruction of his reputation, for the greater good?

mignonette Wed 21-Nov-12 10:36:07

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namechangeguy Wed 21-Nov-12 10:41:06

Slug, that is one hell of a leap. Anybody who is wrongly accused of a crime has the right to do everything in their power to clear their name. I would. Your link to silencing seems to miss the point that he did not molest children. You seem to have jumped from the position of an innocent man to the position of a guilty rapist.

His wording may have been wrong and clumsy, but how would you feel in his position? How would you have handled it differently, wording aside?

StewieGriffinsMom Wed 21-Nov-12 10:52:05

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namechangeguy Wed 21-Nov-12 10:55:31

He certainly could have handled it better, but I would suggest that the greater amount of harm to survivors of abuse was committed by the accuser. Where are his responsibilities in all this? How did he arrive at his conclusion, or are we supposed to gloss over this?

What should Lord McAlpine have done, SGM? Issued a polite denial and let the accusations (by which I mean repetitions of the original accusation) carry on trending on Twitter? Accept the damage to his reputation, and the fact that people would believe the accusation because surely an innocent person would make more fuss?

What would you do if wrongly accused of being a paedophile?

StewieGriffinsMom Wed 21-Nov-12 11:07:36

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namechangeguy Wed 21-Nov-12 11:12:33

So are we happy with social media as it is currently used? Should users ever be brought to account for misuse, as they would in the printed media? Or do we apply different rules? Should racist and sexist abuse be ignored as well?

Aboutlastnight Wed 21-Nov-12 11:21:06

FGS of course he should bloody sue. He was libelled. He has a right to clear his name and for recompense. Journalists have to pass law exams on libel to ensure this sort of thing does not happen although some seem to forget it as soon as exam is finished and people using focual media should be aware and subject to the same restrictions as journalists.

Aboutlastnight Wed 21-Nov-12 11:22:15

A d racism and sexism does not fall into the legal definition of libel. Hate speech is a criminal matter.

Is he going after the man who named him, though, SGM? Because if he is, that would be entirely wrong - the man made an honest mistake and admitted it as soon as he realised. But I thought Lord McA was just going after the people who had named him as a paedophile on Twitter - and to be honest, I think those people need to learn the lesson that you can't just say whatever you want on social media - you do have to think about the consequences.

MrsCampbellBlack Wed 21-Nov-12 11:28:33

I agree with you SDTG - and when his lawyer was interviewed on R4 it seemed what they really wanted was apologies and for people like Sally Bercow to think before they tweet.

namechangeguy Wed 21-Nov-12 11:33:49

Aren't LMcA's legal team asking for people to come forward before they resort to legal action, if they were invovled in the Twitter campaign? I thought they were looking for an apology and a small donation to charity, rather than suing idiot Tweeters out of house and home?

That side of LMcA's actions seem both fair and proportionate.

SpringierSpaniel Wed 21-Nov-12 11:51:52

IMHO it is disappointing but not exactly suprising in todays "I have rights but I conveniently forget about my equally important responsibilities to society" way of thinking to see that people are now using the smokescreen of "Lets not forget about the victims of child abuse, they are sooo important, it's terrible what they have suffered" to muddy the waters over their shameful online directing of potentially pitchfork wielding "kill the paedo" nutters to the (wrongly, as it happened) accused old man.

I consider myself a reasonable individual and I personally had interpreted what Lord McA has expressed as him having been the victim of the worst possible accusation, not the worst possible life experience a person can suffer.

All the "but what about the suffering of the victims of child abuse" is smokescreen bullshit used by those who want their stupidity forgotten as they are too arrogant to accept responsibility for their mistake and apologise for the harm they have done to an old man's reputation.

I support no one political party so, being detached from the politics, it is laughable to see that the rabid Tory haters can't bring themself to apologise to a rich Tory, regardless of whether they accept that they were very wrong to take part in an online paedo hunt.

Lord McA can, and should, sue each and every one of these twitterati. He will no doubt will donate the proceeds net of legal fees incurred to a suitable charity, he doesn't need the money but he does need to clear his name promptly (he is an old man, he hasn't got 30 years to keep a low profile and hope it might blow over and be forgotten, as if it ever would and why should he when he was wrongly accused). This way, the twitterati will hopefully end up paying for the establishment of case law to protect ALL OF US from such a possible incident in the future. In the long run we will all benefit from him suing everybody involved and in the short term...... at least Silly Berk-cow has been obliged to close her twitter account.

As soon as I heard about Lord McA threatening to sue people who had tweeted or retweeted his name, I checked that the dses hadn't done so. If they had, they would have apologised at once, and made an appropriate donation to charity as requested, out of their own pockets.

I should also say that I have a horrible feeling that it is the fact that Lord McAlpine is rich, Tory and a man that is making some people think he doesn't deserve to be angry or to take the action he's taking. I genuinely hope I am wrong, though.

Trills Wed 21-Nov-12 11:57:27

I heard that any money he gets, he is planning on donating to rape charities. Anyone know if this is true?

DuelingFanjo Wed 21-Nov-12 12:01:10

I have sympathy for him for what has happened, however I feel like it might be a good thing if the people who he says he wants to sue all say 'see you in court'.

I thought it was childrens' charities, Trills - I could well be wrong, though - my head is full of snot, and I am very hard-of-thinking today. sad

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