The case raises difficult issues about free speech in an era of online misinformation and disinformation.
When Penn State climate scientist Michael Mann first threatened to sue two conservative bloggers and their publishers for defamation in 2012, they seemed to welcome the opportunity for a face-off in court.
Michael Mann (Penn University) enduring the long hard slog, to defend his reputation after allegedly being slurred by apparent denialist trolls.
That investigative project has never materialized, even though Mann’s side has produced more than 1 million documents in the defamation suit he filed, now entering its ninth year. The material includes emails, correspondence, notes, drafts and discussions with co-authors—including all the background material for his seminal 1998 and 1999 papers charting this century’s dramatic temperature rise, the so-called “Hockey Stick” graph.