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Should bloggers and tweeters be subject to the same libel and slander laws as traditional media outlets?

20 Comments
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Of course they should. People believe they can say whatever they like on the net without consequences, which for the most part, is true. I became privy to what my ex-wife wrote about me on Mixi after our divorce through a friend. It was nothing but vindictive and slanderous lies, but there was nothing I could do about it.

21 ( +21 / -0 )

The truth should be protected, lies should have light shined upon them.

There are consequences for your actions, online anonymity shouldn't be a given.

16 ( +16 / -0 )

Yes, especially with all of the online bullying going on these days. There are nasty people who will really go beyond overboard if there's nothing holding them back.

13 ( +14 / -1 )

Co-incidentally, after voting on here earlier I looked at a site where I am a regular visitor to discover I have been libelled by another poster. A particularly nasty, vicious and potentially damaging to my career libel. I've asked the owner to take it down ASAP. If they don't I'll have to get legal advice.

People think they can post what they like online with zero consequences, they think they can always remain anonymous. I doubt the libeller would have published such a thing away from the internet.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Yes.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

I go by the advice of Thumper's dad and passed it on to my kids:

If you can't say somethin' nice then don't say nothin' at all.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

Bloggers and tweeters are already subject to the same laws provided they can be identified. The more controversial question is whether online platforms such as Twitter, Facebook and Youtube which host defamatory user generated content should continue to be immune from lawsuits or be held jointly liable like every other traditional publisher.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Bloggers and tweeters are already subject to the same laws provided they can be identified. The more controversial question is whether online platforms such as Twitter, Facebook and Youtube which host defamatory user generated content should continue to be immune from lawsuits or be held jointly liable like every other traditional publisher.

They should not be immune. I'm not on Twitter, but many people I know are, and they show me the most shocking lies, libels and disturbing posts that Twitter claim do not violate their rules. Look at all the rape and death threats prominent women in the UK receive, often twitter doesn't remove them until bad publicity and threats of legal action start.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Of course they should. There are some activities that some may not realise are libelous. For example, if you re-tweet something that is libelous, you also become guilty of libel. And there are cases where people have been done for this.

In the UK, for example, a politician simply tweeted, "Why is Lord McAlpine trending? innocent face" and did not even tweet the underlying libel, yet it was enough to fall the wrong side of the libel law.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

The offending post has been removed. I shan't be returning to that particular website.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

A simpler solution would be de-egotizing oneself from competing in the mindless gossip but that requires a bit more than average intellect. But, CENSORSHIP in any form has a way of biting the hand which demands it. There is ALREADY much TRUTH which cannot be said online or be removed for any number of rationalizations all of which are entirely politically motivated. CENSORSHIP also does more than imply that Human Beings are incapable of judging for themselves the truth or lie, it allows the CENSORS to steer 'the truth' by OMISSION. This is a pervasive technique in our media, NONE of whom we can trust to tell us the reality, and ALL of whom we MUST assume already are lying to us in one way or another. And those that INSIST they 'always tell the truth' are (usually demonstrable by just a little research) the least trustworthy in what they say and most obscurationist in what they leave out. Anything which restricts what we can say BEFORE we can say it, is fatal poison, however poisonous the comment may seem. Factual self-disabusement is ALWAYS the best way rather than to have any choice at all stolen from us as so many here suggest. And the bottom line, really, is that to take social media seriously at all is to admit that one's life runs on GOSSIP. Sad for ANYONE to have to admit to themselves.

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

Of course bloggers and tweeters should be subject to the same laws. They are publishing content, same as newspapers. The great thing about the internet is that it has brought this ability to the people. But it's stupid to think that just because more people can do it, that they should somehow be immune from the law.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

What does the question even mean? If the platforms are simply platforms, then yes, responsibility for their posts should be with the individual posters. But right now, platforms like Twitter actually act as publishers, censoring voices they do not like. While at the same time claiming they are not publishers, thus not responsible for their content. THAT is the problem that needs to be addressed.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

platforms like Twitter actually act as publishers, censoring voices they do not like. While at the same time claiming they are not publishers, thus not responsible for their content. THAT is the problem that needs to be addressed.

Right wingers: capitalist to the core, except when that conflicts with their ideolof

1 ( +3 / -2 )

— ideology

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Right wingers: capitalist to the core, except when that conflicts with their ideolof

Explain. How is making publishers subject to libel laws like everybody else anti-capitalist? Do you support libel laws for some, but not for others?

Libel laws apply to everyone, no exceptions. There are abuses of libel law, usually by large companies or wealthy individuals who want to squash critics, but that's another subject.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Explain. How is making publishers subject to libel laws like everybody else anti-capitalist?

He wasn't talking about libel laws:

platforms like Twitter actually act as publishers, censoring voices they do not like. While at the same time claiming they are not publishers, thus not responsible for their content. THAT is the problem that needs to be addressed.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

I think he was, though I didn't write the post, so I can't say. He said they were acting like publishers, suggesting that they should be subject to libel laws. Right now, they have immunity to libel laws because they claim they are simply platforms, like a telephone company, and not responsible for the content. By censoring content, they have moved into publisher territory, and can no longer seriously compare themselves to a telephone service provider. This would, of course, open them to a slew of libel suits for content they haven't censored.

They have to choose: are they a "telephone company" or are they publishers?

2 ( +2 / -0 )

He was talking about censorship by twitter, not libel.

That said, even if he wasn’t, I was referring to right wingers loving capitalism until it becomes a hassle.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

... meaning there is no way for me to explain what you’ve requested, as it was not what I had said:

Explain. How is making publishers subject to libel laws like everybody else anti-capitalist?

1 ( +1 / -0 )

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