Posts tagged with ‘libel’

Twitter is not just a closed coffee shop among friends. It goes out to hundreds of thousands of people and you must take responsibility for it. It is not a place where you can gossip and say things with impunity, and we are about to demonstrate that.

Andrew Reid, lawyer for Former Tory Party treasurer Alistair McAlpine, to the Daily Mirror. Tweet revenge: Tory to sue 10,000 Twitter users who branded him a paedo.

The News: Earlier this month the BBC’s Newsnight aired a program about an unresolved sex abuse scandal that took place in UK children’s homes in the 1970s and 1980s. In it, Newsnight linked an unnamed Conservative Party member to the crimes but, oddly, never actually named him.

Soon, however, Twitter users were identifying Alistair McAlpine as the unnamed politician. Which he isn’t, or wasn’t, as the case may be.

In the aftermath, the BBC’s director general George Entwistle resigned and two BBC news executives, Helen Boaden, and her deputy, Stephen Mitchell have “stepped aside.”

Now, McAlpine intends to sue those who tweeted and/or retweeted the allegations. The Daily Mirror reports that 10,000 people have been identified.

Philippines Suspends Internet Law
The Philippine Supreme Court suspended a far reaching Internet law that went into effect October 3. The law passed new restrictions on online behavior and speech in an attempt to address child pornography, identity theft and other computer related crime.
However, journalists and free speech activists protested that the libel provisions bundled into the law would curtail free speech.
Via ABC Radio Australia:

However one provision that metes out heavy jail terms for online libel, tougher than for defamation in the traditional media, has caused an uproar.
Equally controversial is a provision that allows the government to shut down websites and monitor online activities, such as video conversations and instant messaging, without a court order.
Human rights groups, media organisations and netizens have voiced their outrage at the law, with some saying it echoes the curbs on freedoms imposed by dictator Ferdinand Marcos in the 1970s.
Philippine social media has been alight with protests, while hackers have attacked government websites and petitions have been filed with the Supreme Court calling for it to overturn the law.

Note that the law has been suspended, not struck down. This gives the government time to amend it.
Image: A protester in Manila rallies against a cyber-crime law in front of the Supreme Court building. By Noel Celis, AFP/Getty Images via the Los Angeles Times.

Philippines Suspends Internet Law

The Philippine Supreme Court suspended a far reaching Internet law that went into effect October 3. The law passed new restrictions on online behavior and speech in an attempt to address child pornography, identity theft and other computer related crime.

However, journalists and free speech activists protested that the libel provisions bundled into the law would curtail free speech.

Via ABC Radio Australia:

However one provision that metes out heavy jail terms for online libel, tougher than for defamation in the traditional media, has caused an uproar.

Equally controversial is a provision that allows the government to shut down websites and monitor online activities, such as video conversations and instant messaging, without a court order.

Human rights groups, media organisations and netizens have voiced their outrage at the law, with some saying it echoes the curbs on freedoms imposed by dictator Ferdinand Marcos in the 1970s.

Philippine social media has been alight with protests, while hackers have attacked government websites and petitions have been filed with the Supreme Court calling for it to overturn the law.

Note that the law has been suspended, not struck down. This gives the government time to amend it.

Image: A protester in Manila rallies against a cyber-crime law in front of the Supreme Court building. By Noel Celis, AFP/Getty Images via the Los Angeles Times.

Pazzi Italiani →

As the Italian government considers a law that would require Web sites to remove any content any person finds libelous, Wikipedia has shut dow the Italian version of its site.

The law requires publishers to remove content “within 48 hours of the request and, without any comment, a correction of any content that the applicant deems detrimental to his/her image.”

Via a notice currently up at it.wikipedia.org:

Unfortunately, the law does not require an evaluation of the claim by an impartial third judge - the opinion of the person allegedly injured is all that is required, in order to impose such correction to any website.

Hence, anyone who feels offended by any content published on a blog, an online newspaper and, most likely, even on Wikipedia can directly request to publish a “corrected” version, aimed to contradict and disprove the allegedly harmful contents, regardless of the truthfulness of the information deemed as offensive, and its sources…

…The obligation to publish on our site the correction as is, provided by the named paragraph 29, without even the right to discuss and verify the claim, is an unacceptable restriction of the freedom and independence of Wikipedia, to the point of distorting the principles on which the Free Encyclopedia is based and this would bring to a paralysis of the “horizontal” method of access and editing, putting - in fact - an end to its existence as we have known until today.