News commentary and predictions of political trends and what the future holds

English libel laws

May 25, 2013

Sally Bercow has been found at fault in a libel action in the high court – after a tweet where she asked why Lord McAlpine was trending, adding “innocent face” – suggesting although she may have known about why, she was not going to say.  She was reflecting less obscure media references to defamatory and false accusations about Lord McAlpine that have already been subject to successful defamation suits.

Freedom of speech has an evolutionary function on society.  Overly reactionary forces may work against the natural drift of progress causing decay and distortions like slavery or apartheid.

The insults freely flung about daily on social networks and chat boards seem to reflect the maturity of their audiences.  It is refreshing to see a public candidness without the need to follow celebrity having a voice.  Sally Bercoe’s voice is no more meaningful than any other in the Twitterverse.  So to single out Twitter as the most robust, sober and authentic forum certainly surprised me.

It is obvious that using social networks for libel is actually more stupid than any other form as the evidence is pretty hard to deny and can spread like wildfire.

Just hope I have not implied anything here. Innocent face.

Started as a comment: http://discussion.guardian.co.uk/comment-permalink/23841388

Disclaimer: this blog is published offshore in America.

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