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Thread: Libel reform vows to slay anonymous trolls

  1. #1

    Libel reform vows to slay anonymous trolls

    Just seen this, which maybe of interest to this Site Owners and Forum Members:-

    Libel reform vows to slay anonymous trolls • The Register

  2. #2
    We generally take this approach already as barely a month goes by without a "You'll be hearing from my solicitor" type email. If someone takes issue with something written on this site:

    a) they are free and welcome to register and respond directly and publicly (they rarely do though)
    b) if they make a complaint about what is written we will contact the author and ask them if they will stand behind what they have written (e.g. provide real contact details, supporting evidence etc.). If they cannot/will not then we would generally remove the posts.

    That said, genuine feedback on products, services etc should not be stifled by disgruntled manufacturers, suppliers etc. and in the instance that a person is willing to stand behind what they have written and the material is clearly not libellous we would support them. It is such feedback that adds value to sites like ours which is why we would not let litigious letter-writers bully such content off our site!


  3. #3
    Alex, thank you for your detailed reply.

    I agree that the Administrators have responded well to over aggressive postings from Forum Members, by banning them, and/or removing the said postings or Threads.

    I too was on the verge of writing a "You'll be hearing from my Solicitor" type email, as I took a now ex Forum Member’s postings very personally, (I have no doubt that he was referring directly to myself in a defamatory way).

    Of course there are already Acts in Law that cover irresponsible actions on a Public Website and any forms of Electronic Communications like Text Messages, Emails, and Private Messages (on Forums), to cause alarm, or distress, or cause annoyance, inconvenience or needless anxiety is an offence under:

    1. The Protection from Harassment Act 1997. Protection from Harassment Act 1997

    2. Under section 127 of the Communications Act 2003.

    127 Improper use of public electronic communications network (1) A person is guilty of an offence if he (a) sends by means of a public electronic communications network a message or other matter that is grossly offensive or of an indecent, obscene or menacing character; or (b)causes any such message or matter to be so sent. (2) A person is guilty of an offence if, for the purpose of causing annoyance, inconvenience or needless anxiety to another, he (a) sends by means of a public electronic communications network, a message that he knows to be false, (b) causes such a message to be sent; or (c) persistently makes use of a public electronic communications network. (3) A person guilty of an offence under this section shall be liable, on summary conviction, to imprisonment for a term not exceeding six months or to a fine not exceeding level 5 on the standard scale, or to both. (4) Subsections (1) and (2) do not apply to anything done in the course of providing a programme service (within the meaning of the Broadcasting Act 1990 (c. 42)).

    As you can see from the last paragraph, even the Website Owners and Administrators are equally as guilty if they don’t react under these circumstances.

    So please keep up the good work, as I would hate to see this excellent source of knowledge taken away through some thoughtless individuals over exuberance.


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