Defamation When Reporting Suspicious Behavior

by Anita Setnor Byer, Founder - sci-Shot2/19/2014
frustrated business man

The Supreme Court recently gave airline employees ‘breathing space’ to report potential threats to security officials without fear of civil liability for a few inaptly chosen words. According to the Court, airline employees reporting suspicious behavior “should not face financial ruin if, in the heat of a potential threat, they fail to choose their words with exacting care.”

In reversing a pilot’s $1.2 million defamation verdict, the Court sought to encourage employees to report suspicious activities in a manner that is consistent with the Transportation Security Administration’s ‘when in doubt, report’ policy.

sci-Shot agrees that the public should not hesitate to provide potentially valuable information about threatening or suspicious behavior to those who may need it. This is why we have taken steps to protect sci-Shot users who share their pictures and video of seemingly hazardous, harmful, or illegal incidents.

Anonymity: sci-Shot’s technology allows a caring public to gather information and get it into the right hands for reference when (or if) the information is needed. The user can remain completely anonymous, thereby eliminating the fear of reprisal because their identity is unknown.

Picture and Video Proof: Every reported incident is associated with media that supports users’ eyewitness accounts. App users will be able to show public safety stewards exactly what they are seeing so there will be no question of exaggerated or misleading accounts.

Corroborating Evidence: sci-Shot is a social movement app. It is not an Incident or Crime Report Line, so users don’t have to worry about allegations of filing false or misleading reports. sci-Shot users record their suspicions, and this is made clear to Subscribers who are required to assume responsibility for their use of users’ media. Subscribers who do not agree that users are providing corroborating evidence rather than primary evidence are not given access to sci-Shot’s database.

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Pay attention to your surroundings, and be part of a mobile community that cares about public safety. You'll be surprised how many things you witness every day. If you feel you are observing an incident that is curious while not presenting an imminent threat, snap a photo, take a video and use our mobile app so that public safety stewards can see what you see, when and if they need your eyewitness account.

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