Thursday, 31 July 2008

The blogosphere to be policed - UK

From the Telegraph

Under the proposals, the new internet watchdog would operate in a similar way to other industry bodies such as the Press Complaints Commission, which enforces a code of practice for the UK newspaper and magazine industry, covering accuracy, discrimination and intrusion.
The watchdog would not have any statutory powers to impose fines but would investigate complaints and most likely publish its decisions in instances when its guidelines have been breached.
It is understood that it would also be able to order bloggers and social networking sites such as Bebo and MySpace to take down offensive messages or photographs.

Oh my aching nerves.

It's quite simple. If you find a blog offensive, don't read it, and don't visit it again. What if there were proposals to police offensive books? If someone writes a crap book, it doesn't sell.

A source who has seen the report said that the committee wanted to give the public "a form of redress" "At the moment consumers don't know where to go if they want to complaint about something they have seen on the internet," the source said. "The absence of any industry body is leading to a great deal of confusion and to widely differing practices.

To use the book analogy again, if a book is published and it contains information that is libelous, incorrect or offensive, there are a few options. Revisionist history for example, critics and other historians publish books that debunk the errors. Authors get taken to court for libel or hate crime. And guess what? Similar laws already exist as a "form of redress" because the article goes on to state:
A British businessman was last week awarded £22,000 libel damages from a school friend who made false accusations against him on a fake Facebook profile.
Mathew Firscht launched the High Court action after inaccurate claims about his sexuality and political viewers were posted on the site.

So it seems there are adequate forms redress already.

As the Devil said in his Kitchen:
Blogs are governed by the same libel laws that newspapers are: that is a form of regulation. As for the idea that "internet users will be protected from abusive bloggers" it's a great pile of shit: internet users get protected from abusive bloggers by not reading the fucking blog. You don't like abuse? Fine, fuck off.
And if you find this blog offensive... well... that's free speech for you. You do not have the right not to be offended, OK?


Make no mistake, this is about sparing the blushes of our government; not only that, it's about blogs doing the media's job and actually finding out facts and throwing them back in the government's face. It is about stifling dissent.

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