Venting or letting off steam through blogging

It was only a matter of time before the British high courts ruled on "cyberspace" libel. As far as I am aware something of this kind has already happened in the USA - i.e see previous posting about posting annoying web messages or sending annoying e-mail messages without disclosing your true identity and how this is now a federal crime.

The ruling itself is described in the following article - Warning to chatroom users after libel award for man labelled a Nazi - (Owen Gibson, The Guardian).

In brief, the case was said to concern a "...political argument that erupted in a remote corner of cyberspace". The argument then "descended into vicious name-calling". The main point being such actions may now "lead to a spate of libel actions by contributors to internet message boards."

Of particular note (for bloggers) is the following excerpt:

"Legal experts said the case should be taken as a warning to the millions of people in the UK debating contentious issues on message boards, in chatrooms and on their own blogs that the laws of libel applied just as they would if the comments were published in a leaflet or newsletter."

As far as my experience of the blogosphere the ruling is alarmist. However, it may be worth bearing in mind if the purpose of your blog is to let off steam or vent about work-related matters, whether anonymised or not.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Perhaps I'd better stop commenting on the size of my line managers arse then ;-)