Outrageous European Court ruling that bans bloggers free speech

Bad news for free speech? Well, yes it is. Vox Political is moderated because it receives a relatively small number of comments (in comparison with the mass media newspapers and TV news websites) and most of those are perfectly reasonable. The only reason I moderate before allowing comments on is because of one or two people who abused the system a few months ago. Obviously, any site getting hundreds of comments every day cannot do this so the logical response is to shut down their comment columns and refuse the right of reply altogether – all-out censorship. This is not an ideal solution.
What is?

10 thoughts on “Outrageous European Court ruling that bans bloggers free speech

  1. Darren

    Two rules for anyone posting anything that might cause offence to another person:

    1. Make sure that whatever you say can be backed up solidly with tangible proofs.
    2. Abide by the Golden Rule, as modified for public speaking – “Say what you will, but harm no-one without cause or proof.”

    We have had publication restrictions here in the UK since 2003, in the form of the Communications Act. Under this law it is an offence, described as “misuse of a computer,” to post anything into the public domain that is “likely to cause anxiety, fear or offence to a third party.” Several individuals have been prosecuted successfully under this law, and rightly so IMHO. One, for example, was a chap in Kent who posted material glorifying the hacking down of that young soldier in the street earlier this year.

    Why two certain national daily newspapers have not also been prosecuted for posting anxiety, fear and offence-causing material, in the form of openly prejudicial material concerning the poor, unemployed and disabled, is open to question.

    1. Kay Lowe

      Yes. The current law holds the person posting responsible for their words. This new ruling will hold the “owner” of the blog/website responsible. As the article says, this will apply even if they remove the comment after a complaint.

      Regarding the papers… well, if they targeted and individual rather than a certain demographic, the individual could seek redress. But it’s harder when there are no specific discrimination laws to protect that group from such attacks.

  2. George Berger

    Mike, the decision is indeed outrageous. Its crucial words are ‘might,’ ‘could’ and ‘negative.’ They are so vague that an authority can let them mean almost anything, to get a desired decision in a given case. I laws I have seen, I was convinced the vagueness was intentional, not sloppy writing.

  3. Joe Ohara

    Yep the march of Fascism gets another prop, gotta go need to clean my Jackboots and iron my Blackshirt. Prisoners don’t get vote, sensible says our Fuehrer Cameron. It’s against European law to disallow this right. Ain’t it strange how sometimes Cameron is a slave to European law (when it suits / benefits him or his wealthy friends) but not when he wants to create public division, spineless creep! In 1930 a Fascist Germany passed a similar law. How long before those on benefits are also denied the ability to vote!

  4. christine

    Pfffft nothing surprises me anymore,the fact the european courts of human rights is sitting back and watching cameron slaughter the british people or should I say the sick,disabled the unemployed and the workers who get a shitty wage. Now their taking away our free speach

  5. Thomas M

    There needs to be *some* limits on what can be said online (for example if someone said in their blog that I should be murdered,along with my home address and a picture of me and reward offered, I would want something done about it) but they should be as few as possible.

  6. Bob Hayden-Gilbert

    As Voltaire put it, “I do not agree with what you have to say, but I’ll defend to the death your right to say it.” Obviously, this has been replaced by Euro fascism, against which Britain fought the Second World War, and now we’re supposed to espouse it?

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