Charges of libel, copyright infringement definitely not brought against College

Update 3:01 p.m.: Fuller says, “It was just a prank [played by someone else]. Delilah Dess isn’t a real person.”

According to the Facebook profile of Jaime Fuller, manaing editor of The Campus from just a few minutes ago:

Delilah Dess, 58, of Brandon, VT [is] suing the college for copyright infringement, libel and defamation of character. No statement from the communications department.

Although this is a serious charge, this preliminary hearsay should not be taken as fact until more details are known.

MiddBlog will follow this story closely and be bringing you updates as more information becomes available. Send any tips to tips@middlebury.edu.

Update 2:43 p.m.: Dean Tim Spears, after confirming with College legal advisors and President Ron Liebowitz, says that the affair has not yet been brought to their notice.

Update 2:51 p.m.: Original source removes post from Facebook.


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18 thoughts on “Charges of libel, copyright infringement definitely not brought against College

  1. FYI…just called the Addison County Superior Court and no lawsuit has been filed by a Delilah Dess.

    keep the updates coming…

  2. wouldn’t it be better to just remove this posting instead of saying “not brought against college” ?

  3. As the editor-in-chief of The Campus, I would like to make it clear that neither I nor anyone else on the editorial board would ever release important news through a Facebook status update.

  4. As the original poster, I acknowledged from the get-go that the original post was only based on “hearsay,” taken from a Facebook page. Personally suspecting the validity of the information, I contacted Fuller as soon as the post was seen, and she alerted us that the charges were false.

    We apologize to the administrators who spent their time investigating the false claims or were otherwise negatively affected by the prank.

    Information, both true and false, makes its way into the discussion and media at different times. Regrettably, MiddBlog had the effect of perhaps magnifying a prank by posting this false information. MiddBlog is dedicated to serving as a forum for discussion on matters important to the Middlebury College community, and we count on the continued input and response from our readers.

    Casey Mahoney
    Lead Editor

  5. I think Aunt Des may be bringing charges of identify theft against Delilah Dess . . . .

    Did somebody say confirm and verify?!

  6. Stuff like this reminds me of the crazy early days of MiddBlog where rumors were rampant. At least Dean Spears’ humor has not changed. I’ve definitely become much more worried about statements like: “Information, both true and false, makes it way into the media at different times.” But I know Casey won’t let something like this happen again.

  7. Tim: it was “trust but verify” and it was Ronald Reagan. He said it in Russian (“Доверяй, но проверяй” — or Doveryai no proveryai”).

    You think Aunt Des is distant relative of Ronald Reagan??

    • I have it on good authority that, thankfully, Aunt Des’s gene pool was secured in Sparta, safe from any and all Gipper taint.

  8. I saw the light on the night that I passed by her window
    I saw the flickering shadow of love on her blind
    She was my woman
    As she decieved me I watched and went out of my mind

    My my my Delilah
    Why why why Delilah
    I could see, that girl was no good for me
    But I was lost like a slave that no man could free

    At break of day when that man drove away I was waiting
    I crossed the street to her house and she opened the door
    She stood there laughing
    I felt the knife in my hand and she laughed no more

    My my my Delilah
    Why why why Delilah
    So before they come to break down the door
    Forgive me Delilah I just couldn’t take any more
    Forgive me Delilah I just couldn’t take any more

  9. MiddBlog has extremely high standards for its posts. Like any media entity, it should be entitled to mistakes. The worse thing that a post like this can do is call attention to the fact that a Facebook account was hacked.

    The point here is: mistakes happen. Lea, your point is well-taken, but I would remind you that your work for a paper that has an entire week to gather information. As a blog, I think we should retain the right to post news as it breaks, and we shouldn’t necessarily shy away from any source, so long as it can be factually verified.

  10. Robert,

    Correct me if I’m wrong, but no one has said that Middblog should not post news as it breaks.

    However, taking a comment posted on Facebook and using it as the one and only “source” for a purported breaking news item is the height of journalistic irresponsibility.

    Failing to differentiate between the two is either intellectually dishonest or fundamentally ignorant.

  11. Yes, but being tentative about posting breaking news because of mistakes like this would be harmful to our unique niche in journalism as a blog. Sorry if you found the argument to be mundane.

    I was merely making the point that this sort of rhetoric (“intellectually dishonest or fundamentally ignorant”) is unwarranted and hurtful, given our excellent record. It is not something that you would say (I hope) to any of our contributors’ faces. I think there should be more civility if something like this happens to MiddBlog again, and that these exceedingly rare instance should not be used to bash it/its contributors or score political points for other publications that think they are doing a better job.

  12. I apologize to Lea/The Campus- I have completely misread her post (not realizing that the original source was the Campus’ Facebook page). (Speaking of mistakes!) My point about civility, however, remains. This is, unfortunately, the nature of online media. Sometimes all you can do is say “D’oh!” and hit the edit button (like I’m doing right now).

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