When I’m talking to lawyers about litigating on the Net, I like to remind them why an early American flag pictured a rattlesnake: Those you threaten might bite back. Cory
and Dan point up another example, when “Dr.” Gray’s libel-threats backfire.
Gavin Sheridan has been threatened by “Dr.” John “Men are From Mars, Women are From Venus, I am From Uranus” Gray for declaring that Gray was a fraud whose degrees came from a diploma mill. Gray’s lawyers demanded a retraction and reserved the right to sue for libel anyway.
Well, in an act of increasingly common Internet judo, Sheridan posted the nastygram, and the collective outrage from other Web-writers has spread the news of Gray’s bullying — and the dirt behind his degrees. Threatening to sue in order to silence a critic has simply spread the criticism much, much further.