I can say whatever I want, for now, without fear because I am not famous and hold little sway over public opinion. It is true that you all are reading this, and you matter, but since my readership is not yet at the level of Huffington Post, Oprah, or BigGovernment.com It is highly unlikely that I will be sued for libel.
Basically, fame plays a factor in being held accountable for sharing how you feel. For those who have seen Food, INC. and its reminder of what Oprah went through when she indicated her new found aversion to meat, you know what I mean.
From Adam Porter’s Basic UK Libel Law for Idiots ‘If something has been in the public domain for some time and no action has been taken then that means it becomes much harder for anyone to claim defamation.’
As I understand it that means that I can say that I won’t eat factory farmed chicken because Russia has banned US chicken for not adhering to food safety regulations in that country and also because I cut into a whole roaster once that was green on the inside, ONLY if I am unlikely to be influential. Interesting.
Could being able to create pockets of awareness eventually have an effect on driving changes in the market? Absolutely. If there are too many people to ‘blame’ and the information has been around for a long time, it seems that it would reduce the liability on any one person to make a statement that is truthful and yet potentially damaging to the services of a business that have negative environmental or social practices.
Imagine that instead of Oprah, 1,000 people trumpeted to their friends that they would no longer support X because of its polluting practices. X would in all likelihood not sue all 1,000+ people. It is no longer cost effective that way. Especially if it is truly detrimental to the business.
Based on this, I believe that we as individuals should continue to share our knowledge with others to help spread the word. Just be careful to go to a source article or document in order to make sure that what you are sharing with your community is not a rumor. Snopes is always a good one to check for the veracity of claims.