Tag: Bradlee Dean

Sometimes, It’s What You Don’t Say

By Pamela Schwartz and Nicole Rowlands

With social media giving everyone a soapbox to Facebook, tweet, Reddit, and Pinterest, on, more often than not people are saying publically whatever happens to cross their mind. This has led to an increasing number of defamation suits. There are even law firms that specialize in online defamation.

So there’s big business in suing someone for defamation who may havesaid something she shouldn’t have. No news there.

What we didn’t know though, is that you could sue someone for defamation for not saying something about you.

The 2010 Best Picture Oscar-nominated film “The Social Network” was based on the true story of Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg, who was sued by the Winklevoss twins for allegedly stealing their original idea for the social networking site.

Enter Aaron Greenspan.

Our guess is you have no idea who Mr. Greenspan is and what he has to do with Facebook, Mark Zuckerberg, and “The Social Network.”

And that’s why he’s suing.

According to a May 14 Hollywood Reporter piece, not only does Mr. Greenspan think he has a legal claim to his role in the origins of Facebook, he also claims he was “defamed by omission” (and robbed of his glory) when author Ben Mezrich changed his name in the book “The Accidental Billionaires,” and Columbia Pictures omitted any reference to him in “The Social Network.” Mr. Greenspan alleged a tort called “defamation by omission” – claiming that leaving his name out of the film suggested that he was irrelevant to Facebook’s Genesis story — thus injuring his professional reputation.

The lawsuit was dismissed by U.S. Judge Robert Collins. If you think the idea that not saying something can be defamatory sounds a little farfetched, we agree. Still, this had us wondering, has anyone sued for defamation by omission (with a straight face) and won?



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