Posts Tagged ‘uk’

British Activist/Blogger Wins Tweet Libel Award Against Columnist

Friday, March 10th, 2017
Monroe and Hopkins

Plaintiff Monroe and defendant Hopkins, L to R, Twitter profile pics

British news is reporting that Jack Monroe (@MxJackMonroe), who writes about hunger and food issues, has won £24,000 (US$29,200) damages award against newspaper columnist and TV personality Katie Hopkins (@KTHopkins) over two tweets concerning war memorials.

The right-leaning Hopkins tweeted Monroe in May 2015: “Scrawled on any memorials recently? Vandalised the memory of those who fought for your freedom. Grandma got any more medals?”

A check of Hopkins’s Twitter feed shows a theme of attempted-attention-grabbing invective. A recipe for risking liability, no doubt, in the UK with its heavy-handed defamation law.

UK Courts Give Go Ahead to Blogging Live from Court, But Give Preferences to Traditional Media

Friday, February 25th, 2011

The Lord Chief Justice of England and Wales has issued a document [pdf] of “interim practice guidance” regarding the use of “live text-based forms of communication … from court.” Blogging and tweeting, for instance.

The document generally supports allowing persons to tweet and blog from court to provide rapid reports of court proceedings. Unfortunately, however, the guidance draws a distinction between the “wider public” and “representatives of the media” in a way that may be used to discriminate against citizen bloggers:

[I]t may be necessary for the judge to limit live, text-based communications to representatives of the media for journalistic purposes but to disallow its use by the wider public in court. That may arise if it is necessary, for example, to limit the number of mobile electronic devices in use at any given time because of the potential for electronic interference with the court’s own sound recording equipment, or because the widespread use of such devices in court may cause a distraction in the proceedings.

I find this passage troubling. Today, at least in the Twittersphere, anyone with a non-private Twitter account is on an equal footing with a salaried newspaper reporter with a Twitter account. In fact, there are a lot of citizen tweeters who have many more followers than many newspaper or television reporters with active Twitter accounts.

Chris Reed: Think Global, Act Local

Wednesday, July 28th, 2010

A new scholarly article discusses cross-border jurisdictional issues that are relevant for bloggers. The paper is Think Global, Act Local: Extraterritoriality in Cyberspace. Its author is Chris Reed, Professor of Electronic Commerce Law, Queen Mary University of London School of Law, Centre for Commercial Law Studies.

Reed argues that, although countries can apply their own national laws to foreigners outside the country for what they do online, countries should refrain from doing so. From the abstract:

“Laws which are in practice unenforceable reduce the normative force of law as a whole and create the risk that otherwise respectable cyberspace actors will become deliberate lawbreakers. Instead states should attempt to reduce the reach of their laws into cyberspace except where doing so is the only way to protect an essential interest of the state.”

(Ha’p: Media Law Prof Blog)