By HOWARD BERGER
TORONTO (Apr. 27) – Countless people in this world apparently dislike Brian Burke. Such is their prerogative. There are, however, laws in our society that govern “First Amendment” privilege – those which apply to defamation of character. These laws have been routinely smeared by anonymous and cowardly ranting on the Internet. It’s about time someone looked into the matter.
Burke has filed a notice of civil claim with the British Columbia Supreme Court – a defamation lawsuit – against shadowy Internet figures that he alleges “spread lies” about an extramarital affair after his dismissal in January by Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment.
These worm-like factions – hiding behind pseudonyms; undaunted by the rule of democratic society – have run amok for nearly two decades.
BRIAN BURKE: GOING AFTER INTERNET SCUM.
To this juncture, the policing of on-line commentary has been impossible. Not all of it requires attention; there are many astute and honest people that utilize the Internet as they would any public forum. These individuals, however, are flagrantly out-numbered by the lowest common denominator in society – those, for example, that motivated the United Kingdom, in 1996, to ban labor-related activity by law enforcement (similar activity in North America, though potentially legal, has ceased).
When such action prevailed, anarchy ruled the day. Cities were desecrated by cretins that spread like vermin from their homes to breed chaos – looting stores; committing outrageous theft and other acts of violence. Order, as we know it, dissolved before our eyes. Tragically, this sorry collection has unleashed itself with impunity on the Internet. There is no guideline to follow or dignity to uphold. Convention is abused and disdained.
Whether or not we have the systematic ability to unearth these creatures is irrelevant. Technological advancement takes time – and effort. Not so many decades ago, the concept of landing a man on the moon bread nothing but fantasy. Laser; arthroscopic surgery didn’t cross the mind. That people would never again have to be stationary to place a phone-call could not be envisioned. Neither could a world-wide forum for desultory communication.
As such, Brian Burke – whether or not you admire him – should be encouraged and lauded for his attempt to expose the unexposed. One can barely imagine the wonderment of rooting out the creeps that scorn constitution and accountability. Such effort is long overdue.
FACEBOOK: HOWARD BERGER [THORNHILL ON]