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Aviation Herald Under Legal Threat  
User currently offlineenginebird From United States of America, joined May 2007, 343 posts, RR: 0
Posted (1 year 11 months 3 weeks 2 days 9 hours ago) and read 11562 times:

The Aviation Herald, a site many of us love and frequently link to on airliners.net, is under legal threat from an unnamed airline, most likely an Ireland-based low cost carrier:
The Aviation Herald

The threat seems to be related to the recent refusal of the Aviation Herald to remove a report of a B-738 descending below minimum height, citing a report by the official authorities of the country in question:
discussion of the incident on airliners.net

Please give your support to the Aviation Herald.

67 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offlinephishphan70 From United States of America, joined Oct 2006, 265 posts, RR: 0
Reply 1, posted (1 year 11 months 3 weeks 2 days 9 hours ago) and read 11461 times:

I guess we should all watch the comments on this thread as well if a certain un-named airline is going off on a legal binge. I, and I assume most of those that will read this, whole-heartedly support the objective, accurate, and thorough job done by the Av Herald.
Good luck squashing this baseless legal action.


User currently offlinecaptainmeeerkat From Russia, joined Aug 2010, 396 posts, RR: 1
Reply 2, posted (1 year 11 months 3 weeks 2 days 8 hours ago) and read 11434 times:

As a contributor to the other site also, please can I also ask that the airline not be named here.

The AvHerald, along with airliners.net, are my two most visited websites.

I have been a staunch defender of theis airline's business model, their success and safety record, as well as giving them the benefit of the doubt when ill-informed moaners complain about their practices. I have defended them on numerous aviation sites in relation to some incidents when others were too quick to judge.

However, if they are trying to stifle free speech and stop the ordinary public from commenting about them, I will very quickly become an enemy of this company.

Safety culture only works in an arena of openness and mutual communication. We can't let idiot posters destroy this.



my luggage is better travelled than me!
User currently offlinenclmedic From United Kingdom, joined Oct 2009, 345 posts, RR: 0
Reply 3, posted (1 year 11 months 3 weeks 2 days 8 hours ago) and read 11304 times:

Quoting captainmeeerkat (Reply 2):
As a contributor to the other site also, please can I also ask that the airline not be named here.

Completely second you on this one - probably best not to allow any row to spill over in this direction!

Quoting captainmeeerkat (Reply 2):
Safety culture only works in an arena of openness and mutual communication. We can't let idiot posters destroy this.

And again, I couldn't agree more. If wanted to live in a society that buried safety concerns in the ground, and penalised those who raised them, I'd move to North Korea.


User currently offlinePlainplane From United States of America, joined Mar 2008, 849 posts, RR: 1
Reply 4, posted (1 year 11 months 3 weeks 2 days 8 hours ago) and read 11228 times:

Regardless of all the stuff always going on with them I always held a neutral opinion in the whole for/against the "you know what airline" arguments. Now this, officially makes me hates the "you know what" airline.

User currently offlinecapri From United Kingdom, joined Sep 2003, 452 posts, RR: 1
Reply 5, posted (1 year 11 months 3 weeks 2 days 7 hours ago) and read 11087 times:

As far I am concerned, I boycotted that airline since 2007. the worst people to deal with on customer level issues, they overcharge for anything and everything.

User currently offlinesomething From United Kingdom, joined May 2011, 1633 posts, RR: 21
Reply 6, posted (1 year 11 months 3 weeks 2 days 7 hours ago) and read 11056 times:

If even the slightest suspicion arises that a low cost carrier saves on maintenance/safety, their business could be ruined over night. Both, Ryanair and EasyJet have become established enough that a crash would ruin neither company but the backlash this would have on their businesses would be much greater than what LH or BA would experience in the exact same situation.

It is all too understandable that Ryanair therefore, has a greater than average interest in having any negative press concerning their safety removed.

The question is now how legitimate Ryanair's request to have the particular news item on the avherald.com removed. If the account given on the website is factually inaccurate or even erroneous, Ryanair may prosecute the website for libel. If, however, the BFU report and the avherald's representation of said is correct, Ryanair has no legal recourse against the website.
BFU reports in Germany are public domain and the BFU itself is an objective, state-owned investigation bureau. It seems unlikely that their report is partial or even inaccurate. The avherald may use information provided by the BFU, but has to distinguish between what the BFU states, and what their own interpretation of this data is.

It would be the discretion of a judge whether the avherald.com gave a factual account based on the BFU findings, or if its account contained elements of personal interpretation (any assessment, appraisal, opinions etc.) that could skew public perception of the incident at hand.

In either way, Ryanair is doing something unbelievably risky here. ''The cover up is always worse than the crime''. It almost doesn't matter what the actual situation was. If some tabloid like the German ''Bild'' is printing a headline that ''Ryanair close to crash - And now they're hiding it'', their reputation is ruined. Why can't they just put a press release on their website stating what exactly happened (and why) and that every report to the contrary are false?

Even if their strategy proves successful, the stakes for what they can possibly gain here seem disproportionally high. The average flyer doesn't care much about a ''near miss'', especially not in the long run. A company that goes to great lengths to make things disappear though, is an impression that is bound to last.



..sick of it. -K. Pilkington.
User currently offlineAeroWesty From United States of America, joined Oct 2004, 20783 posts, RR: 62
Reply 7, posted (1 year 11 months 3 weeks 2 days 2 hours ago) and read 10549 times:

Quoting enginebird (Thread starter):
The threat seems to be related to the recent refusal of the Aviation Herald to remove a report of a B-738 descending below minimum height

When I read the excerpt from the legal demand, it said it was comments to the report, not the report itself that was questionable. If the comments were libelous, then of course they should be removed. If not, then the AvHerald has every right to let the comments stand.



International Homo of Mystery
User currently offlineBlueBus From United States of America, joined Feb 2011, 81 posts, RR: 0
Reply 8, posted (1 year 11 months 3 weeks 1 day 23 hours ago) and read 10291 times:

I don't get it... why not name the airline? Let people make their own overall judgements of the carrier.

User currently onlinemandala499 From Indonesia, joined Aug 2001, 6955 posts, RR: 76
Reply 9, posted (1 year 11 months 3 weeks 1 day 20 hours ago) and read 10131 times:

Quoting phishphan70 (Reply 1):
I, and I assume most of those that will read this, whole-heartedly support the objective, accurate, and thorough job done by the Av Herald.
Good luck squashing this baseless legal action.

Accurate is subjective. The attitude of the primary author there, is in some instances, despicably 'against criticism', even when providing corrections to errors (based on AvHerald's policy of only using 'official data', which in some countries, official data is often erroneous and regulatory approved 3rd party data is more accurate... unfortunately, AvHerald would buy none of that... well, not after deletion of a lot of comments). However, we understand that nothing is perfect. I do not find it the most accurate, but I find it as the one-stop place to look for accident/incident information.

Quoting captainmeeerkat (Reply 2):
I have been a staunch defender of theis airline's business model, their success and safety record, as well as giving them the benefit of the doubt when ill-informed moaners complain about their practices. I have defended them on numerous aviation sites in relation to some incidents when others were too quick to judge.

Ryanair does have it's army of haters... at least we can look beyond the hate and see the reality.

Quoting something (Reply 6):
The question is now how legitimate Ryanair's request to have the particular news item on the avherald.com removed.

Errr... it is the comments by the users who prompted Ryanair to threaten legal action against AvHerald unless those comments are removed... they are not requesting the news article to be removed.

I personally support Ryanair's request to ask for AvHerald to remove those 'unwarranted comments', sites like AvHerald, and other aviation sites, do not need to foster those 'unwarranted comments', they belong in the tabloids or A.net's rival I nicknamed "aviation fight club" (where the forum is just... supposedly filled with professionals but the stuff written there are just VICIOUS and full of hate)... Ryanair might actually be doing AvHerald a favour... HOWEVER, if Ryanair then continues to ask for the incident article to be removed, or begin to regularly harass AvHerald to ask for objective items to be removed, then, I guess we'd all join the army of O'Leary haters...    Best of luck to Simon!

Mandala499



When losing situational awareness, pray Cumulus Granitus isn't nearby !
User currently offlinekaitak From Ireland, joined Aug 1999, 12565 posts, RR: 35
Reply 10, posted (1 year 11 months 3 weeks 1 day 19 hours ago) and read 10023 times:

Quoting mandala499 (Reply 9):
I personally support Ryanair's request to ask for AvHerald to remove those 'unwarranted comments', sites like AvHerald, and other aviation sites, do not need to foster those 'unwarranted comments', they belong in the tabloids or A.net's rival I nicknamed "aviation fight club" (where the forum is just... supposedly filled with professionals but the stuff written there are just VICIOUS and full of hate)... Ryanair might actually be doing AvHerald a favour...

I agree; the problem with the AH is that although it's an excellent resource, there's no registration necessary and anyone can use any name to post anything. Hopefully they'll change that now and in that sense, FR is certainly doing AH a favour. It's a very useful sight and I'd hate to see it go.


User currently offlineBrouAviation From Netherlands, joined Jun 2009, 985 posts, RR: 1
Reply 11, posted (1 year 11 months 3 weeks 1 day 19 hours ago) and read 9982 times:

Quoting mandala499 (Reply 9):
Ryanair does have it's army of haters... at least we can look beyond the hate and see the reality.

Oh no, you said it out loud! MOL is going to kill us all.

Seriously, take a break and relax people. This airline deserves the publicity it gets. And what happened to the "there's no such thing as bad publicity?" mantra MOL has been using for years?



Never ask somebody if he's a pilot. If he is, he will let you know soon enough!
User currently offlinePHX787 From Japan, joined Mar 2012, 7851 posts, RR: 19
Reply 12, posted (1 year 11 months 3 weeks 1 day 19 hours ago) and read 9961 times:

Does Simon have an account on here?

Quoting capri (Reply 5):
As far I am concerned, I boycotted that airline since 2007. the worst people to deal with on customer level issues, they overcharge for anything and everything.

Another thread bashing this airline, but honestly i don't know why they have customers still after all the crap they pull.



我思うゆえに我あり。(Jap. 'I think, therefore I am.')
User currently offlineenginebird From United States of America, joined May 2007, 343 posts, RR: 0
Reply 13, posted (1 year 11 months 3 weeks 1 day 17 hours ago) and read 9875 times:

Quoting AeroWesty (Reply 7):

When I read the excerpt from the legal demand, it said it was comments to the report, not the report itself that was questionable.

The Aviation Herald is probably unable to patrol all comments to each of its articles. Just as we have seen many less-than-objective comments on certain airlines, aircraft manufactureres etc. on airliners.net...

The legal action threatened seems to be at least partly motivated by the airline's unsuccessful demand to have the following report removed, although it is based on the official report of the state-owned authorities:
report about a plane descending below minimum height


User currently offlineAR385 From Mexico, joined Nov 2003, 6461 posts, RR: 32
Reply 14, posted (1 year 11 months 3 weeks 1 day 17 hours ago) and read 9790 times:
Support Airliners.net - become a First Class Member!

Quoting PHX787 (Reply 12):
Does Simon have an account on here?

Yes he does. And he probably monitors many of the forums.


User currently offlineltbewr From United States of America, joined Jan 2004, 13169 posts, RR: 15
Reply 15, posted (1 year 11 months 3 weeks 1 day 13 hours ago) and read 9038 times:

As as Paralegal/Legal Assistant for over 30 years, I am aware of corporate confidentiality and have had to sign numerous agreements to hold confidential internal documents and their contents of a client corporation and of the attorney-client privilege as well as information as to my employing firm under the pain of civil and criminal liability, loss of employment and ruin of my reputation even if a 'whistle blower'. Whoever released this internal information of Ryanair probably violated their work contract and any confidentiality agreements they have with them and will be fired and face penalties.

The second issue here is libel and slander vs. the news media. I am not sure which country AvHerald is based under, indeed if incorporated in the UK or most EU countries, unlike the USA where there is strong press protections from libel and slander, it may be possible for Ryanair to sue AvHerald for libel/slander with the publication of such internal materials.

Most likely AvHerald will have to go to a subscription model to pay for moderation to keep out materials that may get it into legal trouble. Sadly too, it will damage it's ability to offer open and honest disclosures of potentially dangerous incidents involving the airline industry.


User currently offlinexdlx From United States of America, joined Aug 2008, 682 posts, RR: 1
Reply 16, posted (1 year 11 months 3 weeks 1 day 12 hours ago) and read 8656 times:

Ryanair is doing it to themselves..... the public light is on them....!

User currently offlinesteffenbn From Denmark, joined Apr 2010, 263 posts, RR: 0
Reply 17, posted (1 year 11 months 3 weeks 1 day 11 hours ago) and read 7950 times:

Quoting captainmeeerkat (Reply 2):
As a contributor to the other site also, please can I also ask that the airline not be named here.

What happend to this guys request?



A330, A319, 737,738,752,763,763ER,764ER,777-200LR
User currently offlineSepulTALLICA From Niger, joined Sep 2009, 238 posts, RR: 0
Reply 18, posted (1 year 11 months 3 weeks 1 day 10 hours ago) and read 7451 times:

Well judging by Update 3 on the AV Herald, O'Leary and his ambulance-chaser goons have given Simon until 17h30 UTC to come grovelling and apologizing. For what its worth, don't let them get to you Simon!

But seriously, why is O'Leary all butthurt now? He's renowned for his patronizing attitude towards Ryanair passengers and now that others take cheap shots at him, he gets all pissed?

Oh and some of those zingers against Ryanair were actually rather lulzy.



Chinokanganwa idemo; Chitsiga hachikanganwe. ✈
User currently offlinespoon84 From Switzerland, joined Sep 2009, 4 posts, RR: 0
Reply 19, posted (1 year 11 months 3 weeks 1 day 9 hours ago) and read 7170 times:

Everyone knows which airline we are talking about, I don't understand why we should not talk about them, anyway i'm not going to write it here.
I support 100% Avherald, it's not really possible that a company like this, is going to check what people (correct or not) is writting about them, so are they checking all the forum in the world???

I think that they got a lot of good marketing because people is talking with them, but act like that to a website that was always fair on analyze the incidents that involved them, I think it's not very fair, as we say, they should close an eye.

I remember another report about them about the short of fuel in Spain some months ago and as far as I remember, Simon explained so well, that after a while everyone started to comment in a constructive way and not only negative comments, they should remember this wonderful work done by Avherald.

http://avherald.com/h?article=454af355&opt=0


User currently offlineAR385 From Mexico, joined Nov 2003, 6461 posts, RR: 32
Reply 20, posted (1 year 11 months 3 weeks 1 day 7 hours ago) and read 6894 times:
Support Airliners.net - become a First Class Member!

Quoting ltbewr (Reply 15):
I am not sure which country AvHerald is based under, indeed if incorporated in the UK or most EU countries, unlike the USA where there is strong press protections from libel and slander,

I believe it´s based out of Austria.


User currently offlinetdscanuck From Canada, joined Jan 2006, 12709 posts, RR: 80
Reply 21, posted (1 year 11 months 3 weeks 1 day 7 hours ago) and read 6833 times:

Quoting SepulTALLICA (Reply 18):
But seriously, why is O'Leary all butthurt now?

Because, as was mentioned way up thread, O'Leary knows (like all LCC's) that he's more exposed to even the hint of safety shenanigans than almost any other Western airline on earth. Factually inaccurate statements re: Ryanair safety will go straight to his bottom line.

Quoting spoon84 (Reply 19):
it's not really possible that a company like this, is going to check what people (correct or not) is writting about them, so are they checking all the forum in the world???

Most large public-facing companies use automated systems to troll the web for any mention of their name (usually along with other keywords). "They" aren't checking all the forums in the world, but they're using technology to crawl pretty much the entire internet and then "they" look at the highlights.

Tom.


User currently offlineKL911 From Czech Republic, joined Jul 2003, 5260 posts, RR: 15
Reply 22, posted (1 year 11 months 3 weeks 1 day 7 hours ago) and read 6788 times:

Quoting capri (Reply 5):
As far I am concerned, I boycotted that airline since 2007. the worst people to deal with on customer level issues, they overcharge for anything and everything.

So what? let them overcharge, as long as the total fare is still lower then anyone else I fly with them. And the only customer service you need and can expect for 5 euro tickets is a friendly crew and extensive bob menu on board.

Quoting xdlx (Reply 16):
Ryanair is doing it to themselves..... the public light is on them....!

Public? Normal pax are not reading the AH website..  
Quoting tdscanuck (Reply 21):
Because, as was mentioned way up thread, O'Leary knows (like all LCC's) that he's more exposed to even the hint of safety shenanigans than almost any other Western airline on earth.

It is therefor actually one of the safest airlines in the world.


User currently offlinecaptainmeeerkat From Russia, joined Aug 2010, 396 posts, RR: 1
Reply 23, posted (1 year 11 months 3 weeks 1 day 7 hours ago) and read 6764 times:

Quoting KL911 (Reply 22):
Public? Normal pax are not reading the AH website..

No but 100,000s visit the site every month and tell family, friends, colleagues etc etc- it spreads. Especially gossip like this.

FR relies on publicity for cheap marketing. Flashy and brash statements capture the imagination and it's talked about. In this instance, the talk will be quite negative.



my luggage is better travelled than me!
User currently offlineKL911 From Czech Republic, joined Jul 2003, 5260 posts, RR: 15
Reply 24, posted (1 year 11 months 3 weeks 1 day 6 hours ago) and read 6712 times:

Quoting captainmeeerkat (Reply 23):
No but 100,000s visit the site every month and tell family, friends, colleagues etc etc- it spreads. Especially gossip like this.

FR relies on publicity for cheap marketing. Flashy and brash statements capture the imagination and it's talked about. In this instance, the talk will be quite negative.

True, I visit the site a lot, and the FR bashing is unbelievable there. It is a website about safety, not customer service, but all bashers there claim to know all kind of safety faults at FR. Which of course are total nonsense.

If it was my company I would do the same to and probably I would even sue those people telling lies and damaging the company.


25 Post contains images eicvd : Well I have never had a bad flight with them, I guess many millions of people have had the same treatment as me. Could be a reason why they have cust
26 PHX787 : Well I guess if they give good customer service for the product they give, I guess that explains it.
27 BrouAviation : Something called freedom of speech? Well, of course you should know, because as a passenger who flies them regularly and seems to defend them at all
28 Post contains images mandala499 : Oh, update 3 is nice... shows that AvHerald gets a taste of it's own medicine... So, I get email, discuss it in public, and he throws a fit (it wasn't
29 Post contains images AR385 : Oh come on Mandala499, be nice now.
30 Stratofish : I am greatly shocked to read such a statement from such a well respected user that's been around here for so long and normally offers quality contrib
31 PHX787 : If this was my company, I would do everything possible to change company policy so that such issues never happen again. This company is acting like s
32 lightsaber : I don't have anything against the airline under discussion, but online discussion forums are under freedom of speech. While the airline should have a
33 AeroWesty : I don't know how you went from libelous comments to discussion using a quote from my post. Of course discussion should be protected free speech. Libe
34 enginebird : All of FR's emails to the Aviation Herald can now be read in full there. So we can all form our own opinion of the story...
35 Post contains links and images mandala499 : Well, I have to side with Ryanair on this one... It's not about Ryanair trying to impose censorship... it's only about asking to remove some defamato
36 enginebird : Well, FR only demanded the removal of comments for the first time, right after the Aviation Herald had refused to remove a fact-based story about an
37 LJ : I wonder how stupid FR can be. The comments on AvHerald have much more content than the average news article about near crashes, yet FR choses to sue
38 Post contains links enginebird : Exactly. The story is now on spiegel.de, and other news outlets have started to pick it up as well: spiegel.de (sorry, in German only) The headlines
39 Post contains images Stratofish : To me (and many others) they ARE trying to impose censorship. Also, by definition defamation is when someone actively publishes allegations that he o
40 ltbewr : This is another example of a growing conflict of corporations and governments vs. people's need and right to know. Corporations and governments are be
41 scarebus03 : I know that the Airline in question has been targeting other websites in relation to what is posted by 'anonymous' users so there seems to be a campai
42 captainmeeerkat : My point exactly. This is negative press for them - it actually draws more attention to the incident that they are trying to keep a little bit more q
43 YTZ : I sincerely hope this story gets picked up by the mainstream media. Nothing against FR. I just don't like corporations trying to stifle freedom of spe
44 KL911 : It has nothing to with freedom of speech. On AvH are a few people who are deliberately telling lies and damaging FR doing so. This has been going on
45 captainmeeerkat : What is has to do with is a company trying to murky the water by detracting attention from an obviously serious incident, themselves giving false inf
46 Post contains links enginebird : It has now even been taken up by Tagesschau (Germany's "channel 1" today's news) and its website tagesschau.de, one of the if not *the* most most tru
47 art : I don't see why the name of a company threatening legal action should not be mentioned. If Ryanair is doing so against AvHerald, that is what is happe
48 mandala499 : He demanded that the script blocking access from no-referer access, be blocked, claiming that it is illegal. Shows his 'attitude'. Well, guess what,
49 Braniff747SP : What happened to O'Leary's all-publicity-is-good-publicity mantra?
50 tdscanuck : I don't think that's actually his mantra...it's just what we infer by watching what he does. But, in fairness, all his oddball comments are about how
51 art : This seems to be working in terms of publicity: Bild and Spiegel have a combined readership (I guess) of millions in Germany. I wonder if they will c
52 Mir : They're certainly within their rights to ask that the comments be removed. Suing when they're not is another matter. Which is pretty much standard fo
53 Post contains images PHX787 : If FR offered a better product, then these so-called "likes" would not exist. Plain and simple. FR's higher ups bring all of this on themselves.....
54 tdscanuck : Welcome to the internet, you must be new here. For every possible commercial entity you will find people that HATE them and are willing to spew unlim
55 RubberJungle : This is where you have to be careful. Under UK libel law, an airline doesn't have to prove you're lying. You have to prove you're telling the truth.
56 lightsaber : How is the line defined? That is what I ask. I didn't see the comments in question, so I do not know what was said. Call a cigar a cigar, but do it i
57 Mir : And I could go into a huge rant about how UK libel laws are absolutely horrible and represent an assault on free speech that you'd expect from a 3rd
58 PHX787 : It's also dependent on where Simon's server is located. If he's using a domain-registry like GoDaddy, he, as far as I know through my experience, wou
59 AR385 : He is a bully. His usual behavior, to the ones who have first hand knowledge of it is absolutely the same as what FR is doing to him now. Karma is ou
60 AeroWesty : Libel has a legal definition enforceable in courts of law. That's where the line is drawn. Unless you want to pay any possible judgments against you,
61 RubberJungle : You'd be surprised how applicable they might be. Look up 'libel tourism' to find cases of foreign publications being sued through the UK system, even
62 enginebird : This is to both of you, even though I very much appreciate mandala499's assessments of incidents and accidents in his home region. I have no axe to g
63 art : Perhaps it is not mentioned on the AvHerald site but I do not see any evidence of FR attempting to suppress the publication of a factual story. It qu
64 Mir : What I'd like is to be able to say something that I believe to be true, or that is an opinion of my own, without having to worry about being taken to
65 enginebird : It is at least a strange coincidence, or no coincidence at all, that the demand to remove comments came very briefly after the unsuccessful request t
66 RubberJungle : That's understandable. The trick to avoiding trouble is making sure you're able to stop your opinion from giving a false impression of fact.[Edited 2
67 Post contains links PHX787 : He posted an update this morning (PHX morning) http://avherald.com/h?article=45a1cb11&opt=0
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