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Post Reply In Victory For Free Speech, Man Found Not Guilty For Disagreeing With Feminist
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13 / F / California
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Posted 1/22/16
And aren't those the same ladies that pulled a fire alarm to stop a MRA event?
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31 / M / L'Étoile du Nord,...
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Posted 1/22/16 , edited 1/22/16
I heard about this earlier today. Thank goodness, too; I actually thought the courts were going to decide that he's guilty. But at least there's some common sense and decency in the world just yet. Still, though.....to go to jail just for disagreeing with someone is all kinds of f*cked up. Yet, it's something a lot of these feminists are capable of; most of the time they just block you for having a different opinion, but if they pull off something crazy like getting you arrested for verbally (or textually) disagreeing with her, it's sure to succeed, because for all I know it's the usual gyno-centric attitude people have like "How dare you!? She's JUST A WOMAN!!!111" and whatever else. If it were a man disagreeing with a man, it'd be overlooked, like "Meh."
It's terrible that Gregory had to go through all of that, though. All of that, just for disagreeing with somebody. Makes you wonder about the concept of free speech these days...but, for that, I'd just be telling everybody what's common knowledge, so I won't go into that.
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Posted 1/22/16
And this is why I only speak my mind with my fellow anime watchers here instead on FaceBook or Twitter with tons of radical right/left wingers.
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Posted 1/22/16 , edited 1/22/16
Looking at the ruling and relevant sections of the criminal code (264, 810) directly:

http://www.canlii.org/en/on/oncj/doc/2016/2016oncj35/2016oncj35.html
http://www.canlii.org/en/ca/laws/stat/rsc-1985-c-c-46/latest/rsc-1985-c-c-46.html#sec264_smooth

The Charges

The charges were criminal harassment under section 264 and violation of a bond to keep the peace and be of good behaviour issued under section 810.

What the Prosecution had to Prove

The overall challenge the prosecution had to overcome was convincingly applying sec. 264.2.b.

The first part of this was to show repeated communication. That was a challenge as a consequence of the way Twitter works making the issue complicated. Communicating with others on Twitter can indirectly throw communications into another person's line of sight despite their efforts to cut off communication with the speaker, and the prosecution would have had to show that this qualified as indirect communication with Guthrie and Reilly in Elliott's case. Basically they'd have to show that Elliott was taking advantage of how Twitter works to continue to communicate with Guthrie and Reilly even after they attempted to cease communications with him.

From there the prosecution had to show that the communications landing in Guthrie and Reilly's line of sight were not merely vexing, disquieting, or annoying, but rather sincerely were severe enough to constitute harassment. That means the communications would have had to cause the women to be troubled, continually worried, and badgered. Basically the prosecution had to show a pattern of significantly disruptive or frightening behaviour on Elliott's part.

Next, the prosecution would have to show that Elliott either knowingly or recklessly engaged in this pattern of behaviour and was personally responsible for it. It's not enough for the communications to be frightening or badgering, they also have to be deliberate or the result of failing to take reasonable measures to prevent harassment from occurring.

Finally, the prosecution would have to show that Elliott's behaviour was not only frightening, but reasonably so in all of the circumstances at issue. Elliott would have had to be threatening, not merely frightening. The fear cannot merely exist, it must also be substantial. The thing that makes this part hard to deal with when looking at Twitter communications is that a lot of communication can occur in a very tiny amount of time, and so the circumstances can change very rapidly. The law requires that the fear be substantial in all circumstances, hence the challenge facing the prosecution.

As for the charge of violation of a peace bond, that was bundled into the harassment charges. Guilt for those constituted guilt for violation of the bond.



The remainder of the Framework section describes the particulars for determining whether Elliott is personally responsible for the communications in question and engaged in this communication knowingly, or satisfaction of the first and third prosecutorial challenges. It also explains why the "knowingly" angle was chosen over the "recklessness" angle for satisfaction of that third challenge. I would provide a summary for these sections and discuss their broader meaning for the case, but this post has already become long enough for the present audience.

Besides this, at this point I'd like to have others look at my reading of the charges and framework and confirm my understanding of both thus far.
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Posted 1/22/16 , edited 1/23/16

BlueOni wrote:

Looking at the ruling and relevant sections of the criminal code (264, 810) directly:

http://www.canlii.org/en/on/oncj/doc/2016/2016oncj35/2016oncj35.html
http://www.canlii.org/en/ca/laws/stat/rsc-1985-c-c-46/latest/rsc-1985-c-c-46.html#sec264_smooth

The Charges

The charges were criminal harassment under section 264 and violation of a bond to keep the peace and be of good behaviour issued under section 810.

What the Prosecution had to Prove

The overall challenge the prosecution had to overcome was convincingly applying sec. 264.2.b.

The first part of this was to show repeated communication. That was a challenge as a consequence of the way Twitter works making the issue complicated. Communicating with others on Twitter can indirectly throw communications into another person's line of sight despite their efforts to cut off communication with the speaker, and the prosecution would have had to show that this qualified as indirect communication with Guthrie and Reilly in Elliott's case. Basically they'd have to show that Elliott was taking advantage of how Twitter works to continue to communicate with Guthrie and Reilly even after they attempted to cease communications with him.

From there the prosecution had to show that the communications landing in Guthrie and Reilly's line of sight were not merely vexing, disquieting, or annoying, but rather sincerely were severe enough to constitute harassment. That means the communications would have had to cause the women to be troubled, continually worried, and badgered. Basically the prosecution had to show a pattern of significantly disruptive or frightening behaviour on Elliott's part.

Next, the prosecution would have to show that Elliott either knowingly or recklessly engaged in this pattern of behaviour and was personally responsible for it. It's not enough for the communications to be frightening or badgering, they also have to be deliberate or the result of failing to take reasonable measures to prevent harassment from occurring.

Finally, the prosecution would have to show that Elliott's behaviour was not only frightening, but reasonably so in all of the circumstances at issue. Elliott would have had to be threatening, not merely frightening. The fear cannot merely exist, it must also be substantial. The thing that makes this part hard to deal with when looking at Twitter communications is that a lot of communication can occur in a very tiny amount of time, and so the circumstances can change very rapidly. The law requires that the fear be substantial in all circumstances, hence the challenge facing the prosecution.

As for the charge of violation of a peace bond, that was bundled into the harassment charges. Guilt for those constituted guilt for violation of the bond.



The remainder of the Framework section describes the particulars for determining whether Elliott is personally responsible for the communications in question and engaged in this communication knowingly, or satisfaction of the first and third prosecutorial challenges. It also explains why the "knowingly" angle was chosen over the "recklessness" angle for satisfaction of that third challenge. I would provide a summary for these sections and discuss their broader meaning for the case, but this post has already become long enough for the present audience.

Besides this, at this point I'd like to have others look at my reading of the charges and framework and confirm my understanding of both thus far.


Where's the "reasonable person" standard for the feminist being disagreed with? The reasonable person in the feminist's position probably wouldn't react that much. Pretty sure that would have caused this thing to be instantly dismissed.

Weird that this would even survive a motion to dismiss.
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Posted 1/23/16
Some days I wonder why I decided to become a social creature instead of only speaking to people when necessary and staying home outside of necessary ventures and work. If I hadn't gotten married and had a daughter I would probably return to hermitage given the state of the modern world...
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Posted 1/23/16 , edited 1/23/16

Morbidhanson wrote:

Where's the "reasonable person" standard for the feminist being disagreed with? The reasonable person in the feminist's position probably wouldn't react that much. Pretty sure that would have caused this thing to be instantly dismissed.

Weird that this would even survive a motion to dismiss.


I'm not to the point where I can offer a fully-informed perspective on the appropriateness of the ruling or the circumstances. I created a summary and interpretation of the framework and charges to ensure I understood what was specifically being pursued and how. The "why" was a part I intended to examine later, but I'll give my reading of the Factual Background section as relates to Guthrie as far as I've time to read and interpret at this point. I'll sort everything into chronological order as best I can, but the justice's description bounces around frequently so I may get some parts out of order.

-The two began interacting in Feb. 2012 on Twitter with polite exchanges
-Guthrie eventually expressed interest in Elliott's offer to produce a poster for her feminist group at no cost, and the two talked over dinner
-Elliott seemed to be romantically interested in Guthrie, but no romantic relationship emerged
-Guthrie proposed a competition between Elliott and another graphic artist, and Elliott objected
-Guthrie decided to go with another graphic artist, but welcomed a later proposal from Elliott to initiate his involvement once more
-Guthrie began looking through Elliott's tweets, found that his views weren't compatible with her group's, and rejected his services
-Guthrie and Elliott experienced a disagreement concerning the language used to describe a television reporter
-Between May 3 and Jul. 6 Elliott began expressing romantic interest in Guthrie, offering her rides, alcohol, and invitations to holidays
-Guthrie politely rejected all of these offers and made references to a boyfriend
-Guthrie and Elliott continued to tweet about Greece and panhandlers

In early July a video game emerged where the player punches Anita Sarkeesian in the face repeatedly. Having looked up a video of the game being played the ruling's description of the violence as graphic seems spurious, but perhaps the justice means the damage itself and implied punching. I say "implied" because the game (inasmuch as it is one) is basically a bare bones slideshow that takes multiple clicks to move between photoshopped images of Sarkeesian with blacked eyes and a bloodied nose.

-Guthrie took offence at the game and tweeted to the creator/developer's local newspaper with a link to a HuffPo article identifying him
-Elliott objected to this tweet, indicating that he thought it to be too small to worry about and that Guthrie was just being vengeful
-Guthrie indicated to Elliott and someone who responded they didn't want the game creator destroyed that she wanted the creator impacted
-Guthrie blocked Elliott after a heated discussion about the prospect of the creator's suicide, stating that she'd had it with him

Up to this point neither Guthrie nor the prosecution is trying to say she was frightened or that she'd been harassed. Even up to the end of July they don't try to claim Guthrie was afraid of Elliott, though the period afterward while Elliott was blocked is provided by the prosecution as evidence of repeated communication and harassment. The volume of tweets sent is given as the pertinent information here.

That's as far into the document as I can possibly go right now. I'm just about halfway, and that's really not bad considering I've also been typing up detailed posts describing what the document says and providing interpretations thereof. I'm doing that both for the sake of checking myself and providing a step-by-step review of the ruling for those who don't feel comfortable using Breitbart as a source of information. The Guardian article from which I extracted the link to the ruling isn't covering the particulars of the case, and those are inextricable from the discussion you and the OP are wanting to have. So I'm just saying "Screw the media entirely, I'll read and discuss the ruling itself."

It's long, though, so I can't do that in one sitting. I'd say I'm doing pretty good for not being a lawyer or law student.
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32 / M / Floridamned
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Posted 1/23/16 , edited 1/23/16
This is why Canadians are touted as being so polite. Many times it's the law.

Would like to point out that Stephanie Guthrie used the internet to incite a riot of hate leading to libel, the loss of employment, and his art being defaced. I don't know if there is a case to sue, but it sounds illegal to me.

As well as the only reason it got this far is because one of his accusers had friends in the police,

Paisley Rae, one of the women who accused Elliott, has mates at the Toronto PD, say friends of Elliott. Deputy Toronto Police Chief Peter Sloly personally credited Rae for helping him enter the world of social media. In early 2012, she was a panellist at a Canadian police conference on the then-nascent world of social media.

Furthermore, Twitter archives show that Rae has maintained a friendly relationship with Detective Jeff Bangild, the officer in charge of the Elliott case, since early 2012. In 2013, while she was still a complainant in the Elliott case, she was still giving Bangild public pep talks on his social media presentations. With a question mark hanging over whether Elliott should have been charged at all, it’s little wonder that Rae, with her close connections to Toronto Police, dropped out of the trial.-Milo Yiannopoulos

and Canada's questionable laws on subjective hurt feelings. It stinks.



Edit: As usual, BlueOni's efforts I am appreciating.
Posted 1/23/16

PrinceJudar wrote:


PeripheralVisionary wrote:

If it's with you.....


That's if you could survive my parents. 24/7 FOX news on (loud from the living room--you need a shut door and a gamer headset to drown it out). My mother is also watching it simultaneously on her tablet (Hannity specifically). All day, everyday. They'll also never shut up about it anytime you walk downstairs. If you disagree, don't bother, they'll yell right over you like a bulldozer. I haven't bothered in years.

It's like gee, I wonder why I can't stand politics. I hate election season.

I always find it funny how someone is like: "Hey let me tell you about FOX news"--I have to interrupt--no let me tell YOU about fuckin' FOX news.



Mind you they're great parents--just outside of politics.


They cannot be worst than my dad.
Posted 1/23/16

PeripheralVisionary wrote:


WeeabooWarrior wrote:


PeripheralVisionary wrote:

Breitbart? Why not this?

http://www.thestar.com/news/crime/2016/01/22/verdict-in-alleged-harassment-of-toronto-feminists-could-change-the-twitterverse.html

IF TS is to be trusted, it seems both sides could be childish.


Though this might really boils down to "Stupid internet fight that no one cares about" it seems, if not that it actually went to court.


Somebody really doesn't like right wing news websites. :3

Then again, I have a hard time finding actual good sources for news, but I use Breibart, RT America, CNN, for my main. Very Rarley do I use fox news or MSNBC, too much Propaganda.


I'm bias too. Truth be told, I just assumed it was an internet fight from the looks of it. Another truth is that hard for me to spot left wing bias. Like switching abortion for reproductive health. Although one might argue the latter is a more appropriate term in certain cases.


You can't BS me with Abortion and Reproductive Health, medical knowledge is evil :DDDD
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Posted 1/23/16

PeripheralVisionary wrote:

They cannot be worst than my dad.

Politically or generally?





Posted 1/23/16
God females get butthurt so fast
Like do you want a slap on the wrist?
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Posted 1/23/16
I was so happy to hear the verdict. I think it's still frightening for Canadian men that they might get banned from the Internet for several years if someone CLAIMS to have been criminally harassed, just so that the case can be reviewed before allowing the man back on the Internet.

[And remember, if the donations for his Defense Fund reaches $75K, Sargon will dye is beard pink.]
https://www.generosity.com/fundraising/gregory-alan-elliott-twitter-trial-support-fund
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24 / M / USA
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Posted 1/23/16 , edited 1/23/16

BlueOni wrote:



You are.

Honestly I've known these details specifically about the case for awhile. The precedent of the case would have been much more worrisome than the case itself.

I do not think I've been the only one to have been in a heated argument, the user was banned, and then that user evaded the ban multiple times using proxies to continue a personal assault of my character. Simply said, it's common place on the internet. If this case was to be seen as precedent--then perhaps I could have ruined the lives of at least 20 different people for the triviality (although only one specifically may have honestly deserved it).

It goes without saying they're both idiots. Elliot is definitely no 'shining angel' of an individual by any means, but the concept of having your life ruined over such actions online--seen as criminal--makes most squirm in honest discomfort because it contradicts our interpretations of what the internet is. That's the largest issue at play for the public eye.

It probably has a lot more to do with the immediacy of threat (online vs offline) that has a lot to do with the differing interpretation of internet versus 'in real life' harassment. Most people will take harassment by phone > harassment on internet forum without much thought because of this. One is more instinctively 'closer to home' and perceived to be more threatening.

Harassment is often defined by the intent of the perpetrator and the 'effect' on the victim. This is why the case ended up with the verdict it had in this particular case, so you are correct to say she had to prove it to be substantial.

As someone who enjoys the freedom of expression that comes with online culture--it is difficult to avoid cringing at what this case may have entailed. Though I'm sure the line of 'restraint' will come up time and time again when it comes to the internet. Most are of the opinion it ought to be more lax versus not. Although it goes without saying that there does indeed exist a line--just much further out than this.

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Posted 1/23/16

...the case was akin to a high school spat, except it’s adults on the Internet
pretty accurate
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