Recent cases involving Avvo.com (a lawyer rating service) and gripe sites indicate that reputation management is a hot legal issue in America. Mark D. West’s recent book on the Rules of Scandal in Japan and the U.S. puts these developments into an interesting comparative light. From an excerpt published in the Michigan Law Quadrangle:
Japan seems to place more emphasis on honor, constructing ‘defamation’ as a deeper, broader, or more common injury for which more people might seek redress in a courtroom. . . . [For example, an actress sued] a publisher of a woman’s weekly over an article that claimed she . . . yell[ed] “Shut up!” at her dog, [did] not clean leaves out of her drainage ditch, and never apologiz[ed] to anyone (she won).
I guess defamation suits mean never having to say you’re sorry. But as Dan S. has shown, there is more than one way to shame a misbehaving dog owner.