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Letter To The Editor: Posts On Message Board Were 'Defamatory'

A Cranford resident claims her identity was stolen on a web-based message board.

To the Editor:

It has been brought to my attention that someone has been posting on the message board Cranford Talk using my name Tina Renna. This person stole my identity and made disparaging remarks about the Cranford Police Department. They have come to my family’s aid in the past, and I have the utmost respect for the Cranford Police Department.

I do not post on anonymous message boards, nor do I read them. I am all for freedom of speech, especially when someone has the courage to speak out in person or to sign their name to what they write. I am also not against negative parity, but posts on this board concerning me have been outright defamatory in the past and I’ve written to the site administrator to no avail. I’d like the Cranford community to understand how this site is run. In my opinion it is a blight on the Cranford Community and does not reflect the true nature of its residents.

The below is an email received in 2009 from the Cranford Talk Administrator David Ferreira, who I understand doesn’t live in Cranford. It was in response to my asking him to have certian posts removed, to my knowledge they never were.

“CranfordTalk.org is an unmoderated messageboard where I only serve to provide the site maintenance. My role at the site only involves basic things like deleting spam, keeping the site readable, and responding to reports of illegal speech (such as death threats). I specifically do not make it my job to judge posts. In fact, I rarely ever read every post. As a result each user is responsible for the things they enter onto the website. As the provider of the forum I do not take responsibility for the things said by othersBecause of that, I rarely delete posts. With that said, if you feel that something has been said that contains libel, I will certainly comply with a court order to divulge the unique identifying information that I can access through my role on the site. Frankly though, a public figure such as yourself is exactly the type of discussion I would expect on the site by those who choose to remain anonymous.

If you would like me to take a look at the thread, please direct me to it, as I will not likely come across it on my own  In the meantime, to better understand how the messageboard operates, you should read the Terms and Conditions prepared by me at the following link.”

To sum up I’ve been defamed and impersonated on CranfordTalk.org and my only recourse is to spend my time to 1. File a civil action & 2. Read their “Terms & Conditions.”

Tina Renna

Canford

 
Chris S. June 07, 2012 at 12:54 PM
While I can understand Ms. Renna's point of view, I have to also remind her of the constructive criticism of her own 'watch dog' efforts and the attention she naturally brings to herself in that way. She claims to be a Union County Watchdog; however, she only reports on purported misdeeds of Democrats and Democrat appointed officials, nothing about Republicans. That is not a watch dog, that is a partisan political commentator. The Democrats, like the Republicans, do not pass laws and ordinances in a vacuum. There is plenty of Republican decisions throughout Union County municipalities that have direct and indirect effects on other UC municipalities, and made by Republican majority bodies. How many Republicans were supportive of Dr. Brown who is the Administrator of Union County College which is being reported in another Patch article here? How many "Republicans" were at those country club dinners and events Dr. Brown was privileged to attend? Again, Ms. Renna needs to take a step back, and assess exactly what she is asserting with identity theft. If a crime was committed, she should report it to the police or retain an attorney specializing in trademark and patent law, not write letters to the editor. Unless she is going to do that, I suggest she assess her own political agenda and causes, and invest in a spell & grammar checker. Don: Was Thomas Paine and his "Common Sense" publication a "blight" on the original American colonies?
Rubbery Fenders June 07, 2012 at 05:33 PM
CranfordTalk.org is full of little obscene punks that feed off each other’s negativity. Every time a legitimate issue is posted one of these punks usually attacks with comments ridiculing the poster with foul remarks. Then the others jump on the bandwagon with similar trash talk. They use those juvenile emoticons while typing irrelevant putdown insults. I can just see them huddled in a dark corner of their parent’s basement giggling with their friends in between hacking websites & playing video games. This Administrator, David Ferreira, supports these punks by allowing the garbage they post. He is very opinionated & often posts comments on the board himself. He has banned users via their IP address from using the website if you disagree with him or anger him in so other way. This website is his little kingdom and he honestly believes he is performing a public service to the residents with this junk. The place is a snake pit. --- As for Ms. Renna, she is guilty of much the same as David Ferreira with her activities.
John Bury June 08, 2012 at 03:28 AM
Why should anyone care about this?
bpaterson June 08, 2012 at 05:10 AM
I disagree, John, I care. I would like to see a civil action filed against Tina for being too loose with her identity, allowing it to be stolen.
John Bury June 08, 2012 at 11:00 AM
I stand corrected.
Steve June 08, 2012 at 06:23 PM
Cheryl Hehl, the investigative reporter for the Union County Local Source, writes in the latest issue (June 7, page 12) that CranfordTalk is "a local blog that puts new meaning on getting down and dirty." So even local media, strong proponents of the First Amendment, seem to agree with Tina Renna and some of the posters' comments here regarding that message board.
Chris S. June 09, 2012 at 12:31 AM
Don: To say that Cranford Talk speaks for itself - I am sure that King George and his court may have said the same for Common Sense when it was being written. I will agree in small part that some of the content may become a little vile - I personally believe there is validity to some of the content posted there. As for Ms. Renna reporting her identity theft - I Was not asserting she report it to Cranford Police - there is a host of other law enforcement agencies with jurisdiction she could report it to. However, Cranford would have jurisdiction, via the Union County Prosecutor, to enforce violations of NJ State law from internet based crimes, like Identity theft. I would refer you to Title 2C of the NJ Code of Justice. While I regard some of Ms. Renna's work by itself to be of some validity - I think she is personally a reviled member of the Cranford Republican establishment. As for copyright law and the internet - I suggest you look at the work and service performed over the years by the company Cyber Trackers. Ms. Renna cannot have her cake and eat it to. In one breath she claims she is a public figure, in another she says she is not. Which is it? She takes on issues and signs her name to it ( for that she has some of my respect); however, she must be prepared for the fallout that can come from it. Perhaps Ms. Renna would be best served taking advice from Howard Stern, "If you don't like what you hear or see here, change the channel".
Chris S. June 10, 2012 at 12:58 PM
Steve: My question to Cheryl Hehl, and any other journalist, is how many times have they used anonymous sources in their careers for a story? Judith Miller of the NY Times went to jail to protect her source in the Valerie Plame case; Lanny Davis - a former Clinton White House senior official, admitted on Fox News yesterday that he was sometimes an "anonymous source" in order to get politically persuasive stories into the media. All of us are familiar with quotes in news media "A senior administration official speaking on the condition of anonymity...". And when those stories are published, there is usually some kind of counter comment from the other side. I do not agree in being vile or vulgar, but the Cranford Talk site should be viewed, and its content taken, in the same spirit of anonymity that we use when we read stories in other media sources; there could be come validity, or it could be totally for political reason, or perhaps a little of both. The 1st Amendment does not spell out "ideal circumstances", rather it is open to interpreation for individuals like ourselves to judge, and if its not within the realm, then there is a due process to remedy the situation. Ms. Renna chose to write a letter to the editor (her first amendment right), rather than utilize the court system - which is the remedy if her problems have legal credibility.
Hangman June 10, 2012 at 04:56 PM
If Cheryl Hehl is willing to write a revised article to that one, stating how she herself used to post on Cranford Talk herself, in an attempt to stir controversy that she could then report on, then I will give her journalistic reporting some credibility. And if you think I am making this up - ask Ms. Hehl (whose spouse is the former health inspector of Cranford for 23 years and just up and left one day to go to Rahway) if she would be willing to take a polygraph, or take an oath in a Court of Law that she has never posted on Cranford Talk herself under an alias. I'll label it merely a coincidence that Ms. Hehl is one of the only members of the media who gets return calls from political and career leaders in the Municipal Building of Cranford.
David Ferreira June 13, 2012 at 09:39 PM
I know that most of the posters on my Cranfordtalk.org Forum are immature little nats, including me too, but I’m gonna continue to let them post whatev they like. It’s MY domain and I will allow anything I want to be posted, including offensive and obscene crap, don’t matter the truth. The poster crew be my dudes and they can use any screen names they wish. It’s not MY business if someone’s identity gets swiped, I don’t care, that’s THERE problem! Start your own intanet, stupid, if you don’t like my junk. I enjoy giggling with my homeys while seeing people getting ripped wether they deserve it or not. My websight is da bomb, dog! Hehehe, later man. Ain’t no thang, playa. - Dave Administrator, CranfordTalk.org dave@cranfordtalk.org Twitter: @cranfordtalk
John Bury June 13, 2012 at 10:09 PM
Dave, You've never been more lucid. Here's hoping your comment doesn't get disappeared like is done on your site with those you don't like.
Mary Jay June 14, 2012 at 04:55 PM
Nice try to whomever posted as Dave. Really astute use of colloquial language, the poster must be at least 45 with gray hair and bad shorts, I'd say.

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