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Note: I don't seem to find any pertinent tags (such as "crowdfunding" so bear with me if the tabs are not correct)

I recently got of (potential) scam from a (successfully funded) campaign on Indieogo on which the creator disappeared and the campaign is still "InDemand" with potentially more people falling in the trap.

Since Indiegogo has shown no will to take real action in the dispute, I decided to write an article (not sure if I can link it here, but if that's the case please tell me and I will) with of course a disclaimer and a list of red flags (no whois information, lack of communication, campaigner's behavior and so forth).

May I get into troubles doing so?

  • Are you in the US? Just asking because of the international tag. – d.ariane Oct 17 '17 at 20:20
  • @d.ariane no. I'm in Europe but got example Indiegogo is in the US and the potential scammer (the campaigner) in Romania – dragonmnl Oct 17 '17 at 21:58
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The risk you run is being sued for defamation, specifically, libel: defamation in writing.

There are several things a person must prove to establish that libel has taken place. In the United States, a person must prove that 1) the statement was false, 2) caused harm, and 3) was made without adequate research into the truthfulness of the statement. These steps are for an ordinary citizen. For a celebrity or public official, a person must prove the first three steps, and that the statement was made with the intent to do harm or with reckless disregard for the truth, which is usually specifically referred to as "actual malice".

A few points to note:

  • The statement must be about something that can be objectively true or false: "X is a scammer" is such a statement - its true if X has been convicted of fraud somewhere in the world, its false if they havn't been. "X is a d%$k" is not such a statement - it is a matter of opinion if X is or is not a d%$k: it has no objective truth value.
  • Causing harm means that, among other things, it must be transmitted to someone other than the writer and the subject. You can say the nastiest untrue things you like in a private diary or private correspondence between you and the person concerned - its only when you put that correspondence in the hands of someone else that you may have committed libel.
  • The settlement they get will be related to the harm that has been caused - a person of already low reputation may only be awarded a small amount.
  • "Actual malice" is a particularly US thing: it applies nowhere else.
  • Jurisdiction matters: the US is a very hard place to successfully sue for defamation because of their strong freedom of speech laws. It is much easier to win in the UK, Australia, Canada etc.
  • Since the OP is somewhere in Europe and the defamee is in Romania, some mention of specific laws would be pertinent. For example since criminal defamation was repealed in Romania, is it still possible to sue? What if the defamer is in Hungary, with some rather harsh criminal laws against defamation? – user6726 Oct 18 '17 at 5:14
  • Indeed some information for Europe would be more helpful. To start, getting to the point 3), I clearly made good research in goodwill and listed a few red flags. On the other hand it's not guaranteed the article can't harm. so the question is more whether these conditions all must be true or just some of them and also whether for example point 3) is more relevant than 2) which I guess to some extent always happens – dragonmnl Oct 18 '17 at 9:39

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