I signed into my e-mail account today and was greeted by this wonderful message in my inbox:
Dear FreeWebs User,
On [May 12, 2008], Freewebs received written notification that your website contained allegedly defamatory content.
After reviewing your site, Freewebs determined that the content was in fact defamatory or otherwise objectionable. Accordingly, pursuant to the Freewebs Terms of Service, Freewebs has suspended your website pending the removal of this content.
If you believe that the website was suspended mistakenly, and wish to have the content restored, please provide us with the following:
1. your name, address, phone number, and written or electronic signature;
2. identification of the material that was removed and its location before removal; and
3. a statement explaining under penalty of perjury that the material was removed mistakenly.
Upon receipt, Freewebs will review your explanation and, in its sole discretion, will determine whether to restore the website.
It seems that someone wasn't just content with having my Windows Live Spaces blog shut down, but wanted to go for my website too.
And I've got a pretty good idea who it was.
You see, on Wednesday, 14 May 2008 3:06 AM, I received an e-mail subjected, "Shroudeater Lies! - Rob Brautigam's False Allegations" from a mysterious source named "Friends of Bishop Seán Manchester". It was a copy-and-pasted version of my interview, with their "INTERPOLATED COMMENTS IN RED".
Either way, the anonymous sender has since been added to my Block List.
Anyhoo, I've written back to FreeWebs, in the hope that they'd recognise the concepts of "right of reply" and "free speech":
Good afternoon FreeWebs,
I'm writing in regards to your claim that my website is guilty of defamation.
I strongly contest this claim.
Firstly, the website you cite as being in violation is actually an interview with a public figure - a Dutch vampirologist named Rob Brautigam - who is, in turn, discussing another public figure - a famous English vampirologist named Sean Manchester.
The claims Brautigam makes is in regards to perceived fraud on the part of Manchester...who claims to be a vampire hunter. Yes, an actual vampire hunter. The vampire hunter's website can be accessed here: http://www.holygrail-church.fsnet.co.uk/Vampire%20Research%20Society.htm
Secondly, the interview was conducted as a response to public claims made by Manchester against Brautigam! (You'll note that the interview in question, cites these claims).
I would like to know what grounds you have, in regards for suspending my site, to claim that Brautigam calling an alleged vampire hunter a fake is grounds for "defamation".
What part of Manchester's character did the man assault?
Are you also validating that one position of a public disagreement is allowed to perpetuate allegations against one party...but that the other may not reply with their version of the story?
Here's the proof: http://ephesians6v12.mysite.wanadoo-members.co.uk/Brautigam.htm
It looks like your service has been fooled in a tactical manner, by biased parties who refuse to allow criticism on their part.
In fact, I'd be almost certain that the person who reported my website for perceived "defamation" did not even sign as the person being "defamed", i.e., Sean Manchester!
If you can specifically cite which portions of my interview were "defaming", I will happily address them.²
I eagerly await their response.
¹ FreeWebs Tech Support. "Site suspended due to defamation [dawwih]". Thursday, 15 May 2008 11:42:31 PM.
² Did a Wampyr Walk in Highgate Manager. "RE: Site suspended due to defamation [dawwih]". Friday, 16 May 2008 12:56:01 PM.