A Further Clarification of the Commenting Rules

Because of some unwise remarks that I’ve seen on another website, I’ve been poking around Title 18 of the United States Code. I found 18 U.S.C. § 875(d), which says:

(d) Whoever, with intent to extort from any person, firm, association, or corporation, any money or other thing of value, transmits in interstate or foreign commerce any communication containing any threat to injure the property or reputation of the addressee or of another or the reputation of a deceased person or any threat to accuse the addressee or any other person of a crime, shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than two years, or both.

IANAL, so I can’t give anyone advice based on what I’ve found, but it seems to me that it would be rather foolish to get on an interstate communications medium like the Internet and directly threaten someone with a statement like, “Do this, or I’ll accuse you of a crime.”

It’s one thing to accuse someone of a crime or to point out the consequences of a criminal act, but extortion is something else, and any attempt to use an extortionate threat will not only get a commenter banned here at Hogewash!, it will also result in his comment being forwarded to law enforcement.

UPDATE—FWIW, Md. Criminal Law § 3-704 appears to have even stiffer penalties.

51 thoughts on “A Further Clarification of the Commenting Rules

  1. would something like this
    https://twitter.com/2014Radio “If you are still on Twitter at 8pm ET, 7pm Racine time, meet your worst nightmare. Metaphorically.”
    https://twitter.com/2014Radio “”Baggy” can avoid criminal and civil harassment charges by being gone before then. With all his socks.”
    also be prohibited?
    I’m sure they are both a violation of Twitter’s TOS, which is why they been reported….

      • I did attend law school with a retired chemist that I had known in a previous life. He did quite well for his age of 70. The bottom line to law school is the bar exam. I passed the one that Hillary failed. I was always pleased about that.

        Enjoy the ham radio.

  2. Bill Schmalfeldt ‏@2014Radio 51m
    This is odd, @guntotingteabag — one of the Wiscourts things I found shows that you owe a debt… with your NIECE?

    Bill Schmalfeldt ‏@2014Radio 1h
    Hey, @guntotingteabag. Why haven’t you paid your bank debt? [redacted]. That’s a lot of money.


    “Publication of Private Facts

    In most states, you can be sued for publishing private facts about another person, even if those facts are true. The term “private facts” refers to information about someone’s personal life that has not previously been revealed to the public, that is not of legitimate public concern, and the publication of which would be offensive to a reasonable person. For example, writing about a person’s HIV status, sexual orientation, or financial troubles could lead to liability for publication of private facts.”

    “A plaintiff bringing a publication of private facts claim must show that the defendant disclosed a private fact. This means pretty much what it sounds like. A private fact is an intimate detail of one’s private life that is not generally known. Common examples of private facts include information about medical conditions, sexual orientation and history, and financial status. It may also include things like someone’s social security or phone number, if that information is not ordinarily publicly available.”

    Assuming, of course, that CBBS is correct about his “findings”.

    Note: the redaction was done per the commenter’s request.—wjjhoge

    • And of course, this all is also a violation of the Society of Professional Journalists ethics code, which Cabin Boy claims to follow (and if you appear to disagree, it’s a “libelous statement”):

      — Recognize that gathering and reporting information may cause harm or discomfort. Pursuit of the news is not a license for arrogance.
      — Recognize that private people have a greater right to control information about themselves than do public officials and others who seek power, influence or attention. Only an overriding public need can justify intrusion into anyone’s privacy.
      — Show good taste. Avoid pandering to lurid curiosity.


  3. “Other thing of value” includes anything you have the right to do. Oh, for example, free speech. On Twitter.

  4. I let myself be drawn into an argument with VOSF yesterday on “private” vs “personal”. The idiot thinks they are the same thing, and that if it’s been on the web once, it’s no longer private *nor* personal. My husband snorted loudly at that one. My bank balance is personal *and* private information. My phone number is personal but *not* private, seeing as it’s all over the web, or was until November with the end of my term as a member of the local representative town meeting. Publication of my private info, as opposed to merely personal, by anyone would get a swift call to the appropriate authorities.

    I was wondering about the interstate aspects also. Even though I’m sure that they are reading this, I’m sure neither believes that those statutes could possibly be applied to what they plan to do.

  5. BREAKING: Another dog and pony show that does little else than re-affirm Cabin Boy as the Lord of Adjudicated Harassers and Deranged Cyberstalkers. What a creepy, sad little man.

  6. Schmalfeldt just tweeted this:

    Bill Schmalfeldt ‏@2014Radio · 4m
    @kylekiernan @guntotingteabag You got something to say, felon? Say it to me like a man. Coward. Pussy. When are you going to come kill me?
    5:53 PM – 15 Feb 2014

    Hmmm. Considering that he fancies me a rape, torture, mutilation and murder victim and he’s made it abundantly clear that he has my address…I’m more curious as to when he’s coming to kill me. Taking in to account that he’s written about brutalizing and murdering two prominent California attorneys (and he has their addresses as well), I’m concerned about when he’s going to end their lives. Bearing in mind that he’s issued rape threats towards a family in Dallas (and again, posted their address), I’m wondering when he will carry out that heinous act.

    Or in light of his “claimed” infirmity, will he have someone carry out his fantasies for him?

    • CBBS is only going to utter challenges like that when he’s damn sure that they won’t be taken up. If he really thought that Kyle or Gun would take him up on his offer, he’d never had said anything.

      One of these days if he doesn’t start being careful, he’s going to pull this crap on someone who either knows people who would happily take a road trip to MD to have a friendly chat, or who knows people who know people. Which is probably why he is so careful to stick to (as far as he knows) law abiding types as the objects of his obsessions.

      • It’s a fascinating piece of brinkmanship, given the “six degrees of separation” rule. To say nothing of attracting the rather horrifying number of people who are not terribly tightly wrapped.

    • Well you had better not tell yourself what he’s done. You don’t have any right to know and that knowledge might put Bill in jep.

    • Simply put, BS fails at many characteristics of being a decent person. He pals with convicted terrorists, he will “dox” people for no clear reason beyond personal animosity (never mind his failure rate on getting said dox correct), and he talks big but then figuratively wets himself the second anyone calls him on it. A creepy, sad man.

      Beyond this, he strikes me as someone who would get genuine pleasure if his wild actions led to a tragedy for his “enemies.” He thinks what he does is tough and hard-hitting because no one else goes that extra mile, but the fact is others don’t because most people have shame and know that lines aren’t to be crossed a will (you know, like the ethics code of the Society of Professional Journalists).

    • So last night he was crapping himself that some guy in FL was going to come “get him” because he published his info without knowing if he was Twitter Kyle or not. Tonight he has his beer muscles on….or is it his sleep med muscles?

      • He knows it’s not the same Kyle. Why else would he have been demanding to know if Kyle sent info to the doxed Kyle? Who sends a message to themselves? It’s an excuse to be able to abuse him.

    • Personally, while I don’t put it past Bill Schmalfeldt to go on a violent rampage, I do find it unlikely that his wife would chose to be an accessory by loading him into the van and driving him to his targets. I have read many accounts of depraved psyco killers. Aside from the fictional Norman Bates, I am not aware of a single serial killer who must ask, “Mother, may I?,” before murdering.

      Who is Kimberlin Unmasked?

      I will only note that I have never denied being Kimberlin Unmasked.

      • Heh. I don’t know why my claim to be Kimberlin Unmasked hasn’t been accepted by Team Kimberlin. After all, I am a disgraced former federal convict! (or perhaps they only accept the word of uncontrite and still criminally active idiots.

  7. As of today, where are we at in terms of Who Is Jerry Fletcher? Hasn’t about a quarter of the population of Wisconsin been accused of being the guy?

    • I’ve got $100 that Jerry Fletcher is KU. He’s just too damn good not to be. One of my attorney friends thinks it’s Howard Earl. I told him that Earl was too much of a hammer. Fletcher was more finesse. But he thinks that Earl possesses the hacking chops that has all these clowns chasing their tails.

      Now he wants to raise the bet to $500. [Redacted @%#!&].

      • I like the theory that Neal Rauhauser is Radical Wind trolling as a crazy feminazi raging against “penis-in-vagina”.

      • LOL to both of you! Any wonder that I come here to get a humor infusion every day? This is better at giving me a better outlook than the morphine! (and without the side-effect of dulling my senses) …
        Bets: I wouldn’t put it past Neal to be “Radical Wind”, after all, he used to post as “Stranded Wind” and the over-the-top writings of Radical Wind follow Neal’s style … I also wouldn’t bet a plugged nickle that Neal would troll BS out of sheer meanness …

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