Leave it to BuzzFeed to make a defamation lawsuit look cute!
A defamation lawsuit was recently filed against the wildly popular website BuzzFeed. Big shocker, it’s politically related. It’s not the topic that caught our eye, though. When BuzzFeed filed a motion to move jurisdiction from Florida to New York, the plaintiffs pulled out all the stops with their rebuttal brief title.
I think we can all agree that BuzzFeed’s popularity is accredited to their “listicles.” Our favorite is 18 Truths About Dating A Lawyer. In an attempt to give BuzzFeed a taste of their own medicine, the plaintiffs titled their brief with a “listicle” parody. I don’t know about you, but this medicine seems more sweet than bitter to me. Giving a creative nod to the website’s most popular attribute almost comes across as a compliment, not an insult. After all, imitation is the sincerest form of flattery.
You’ve Been Served
Lawsuits are hardly unchartered territory for BuzzFeed. You can read about one of their mostfamous on this list of 6 Famous Copyright Lawsuits by Shakelaw.com. This time BuzzFeed isn’t being sued over a copyright. Their rap sheet here involves the publication of the “secret dossier” of alleged Trumpian activities. The plaintiffs include Russian technology exec Aleksej Gubrarev and his companies, XBT and Webzilla. The (unverified) dossier lists several names being accused of having incriminating information on President Trump, one of those being Gubrarev. You can read more about it in this article by Forbes.
Defamation is defined as “the action of damaging the good reputation of someone; slander or libel.” In a statement given to McClatchy DC Bureau, XBT said “The dossier included libelous, unverified and untrue allegations regarding XBT, Webzilla and Gubarev. The lawsuits seek yet undetermined compensation for the damages suffered by XBT, Webzilla and Gubarev as the result of the publication of the dossier.” Well, it doesn’t get much clearer than that. When a word (libel) is pulled directly from the definition, you know they mean business. The same article from McClatchy quotes portions of the dossier, including allegations that XBT and affiliates “had been using botnets and porn traffic to transmit viruses, plant bugs, steal data and conduct ‘altering operations’ against the Democratic Party leadership.” Porn, viruses and stealing data…I can see how a tech firm would be concerned about these accusations causing damage to their reputation.
The plaintiffs are fighting Bluetooth and nail to keep it from getting moved to New York. Their biggest concern being if BuzzFeed is successful with their motion then they will receive preferential treatment because the “Big Apple” is home turf. You can read the detailed argument in their cleverly titled 22 page brief filed on March 27th, 2017. Sadly there was no actual picture of a kitten, so we would like to conclude with the BuzzFeed list of The 100 Most Important Cat Pictures Of All Time. You’re welcome!
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