Vernon BC – A Vernon area man had some problems with the truth. On June 8 2014, Michael Fullerton of Coldstream had sent in a resume for an IT position to Rogers Foods, a local area company. A few days later on June 13, a contract employee at that company posted false information on the highly popular Internet site reddit.com about what was included in that resume. This particular discussion involved outrageous things job applicants had included with their job applications. If you visit the reddit posting you see that an insinuation is made that the operator of the Vernon911Truth.org website, which happens to be Fullerton, included a link to that website with his resume. Fullerton, a 9/11 truther or as he prefers to be called, a 9/11 skeptic, explains why this is a problem.
“I am not at all ashamed of my purely science-based 9/11 skepticism but that part of my life is personal and separate from my profession in information technology. It would be highly unprofessional for any professional to include controversial personal details on a resume. Whether these details are political or religious in nature is irrelevant. When I have interviewed people for job openings in the past, like any other employer I would reject immediately any resumes with overly personal information in them. Including such information shows that the applicant lacks judgement or maturity. So publishing a false claim that irrelevant personal details were included on a resume when they were not is a form of defamation which can damage a person’s reputation and result in financial loss.”
Fullerton initiated a BC supreme court lawsuit against William Emblau of Salmon Arm, the former employee that allegedly made the defamatory statements.
A successful complaint was filed however, with the Office of the Information and Privacy Commissioner under the Personal Information Protection Act. On January 4, 2016, OIPC investigator Monique LeBlanc stated that: “In my opinion, Rogers Foods did not adequately protect your information, which led to its unauthorized disclosure on a public website by the contractor.”
Fullerton is also interested in helping out others in the same situation. “Any time anyone publishes false information about someone with the intent to damage their reputation, whether this occurs in a newspaper, on TV or on the Internet, this involves defamation. At the very least you are entitled to general damages. You can get a lot more depending on how well you can prove that the defamation resulted in some sort of financial loss. In BC, successful defamation lawsuits range between $10,000 to $260,000 in awarded damages. The largest payouts tend to be those involving defamation on the Internet. This is due to the far-reaching and permanent nature of this medium. People need to understand the dangers involved in publishing falsehoods on the Internet. I want to help those that are legitimate victims of defamation which I would argue is a nasty form of bullying. I’m a fairly tolerant person but one thing I cannot tolerate is bullying.”
“Launching a defamation suit can be extremely expensive. Even if you win there is a good possibility that what you get in damages won’t cover your legal fees. But with a little legwork and help from people that have been through it themselves, it’s possible to save a lot of money by representing yourself in court. At the very least you can file a lot of the paperwork yourself and just hire a lawyer for battle strategy. Anyone in a similar situation can feel free to contact me for some free advice. Several years ago I won a lawsuit over a company squatting on an Internet domain name that had the same name as my company’s registered trademark. Since then I’ve helped several other people wanting to sue that same company. I also plan to write extensively about the current case when the lawsuit is over.”
The far-reaching and permanent feature of such malicious comments bears out in a recent high profile debate Fullerton had last year with Yale Professor Dr. Steven Novella on Novella’s Neurologica blog. In that debate, one of Novella’s supporters pointed to this reddit exchange as an attempt to discredit Fullerton’s arguments.