Bloggers and the New Libel and Regulation Laws

We might think that the new press regulation standards wouldn’t affect us, the lowly bloggers, but you’d be wrong. Granted, these rules will only apply to those blogs that have multiple authors but there are genuine concerns about the challenge to free speech and freedom of the press in general terms.

Most of us won’t be affected as we don’t write op-eds about news items or generate news stories. But this sets a dangerous precedent in a time when this country already has some of the most stringent libel laws and campaigners are trying to loosen them up.

With so many pitfalls and grey areas still, legal challenges are being mounted and The Guardian has been advised that it could contravene The European Convention on Human Rights. Clearly, press regulation needs reform but this seems a step too far.

“Bloggers could find themselves subject to exemplary damages, due to the fact that they were not part of a regulator that was not intended for them in the first place.”

I would hope that common sense would be exercised here and that those of us that post political or news related stuff on our blogs will not easily fall foul of these laws and end up in financial ruin because of an off the cuff remark or for simply exercising our free speech.

On a more humorous note, spoof site NewsThump got straight on the case in finding an infringment.

I welcome your thoughts, as ever.

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2 thoughts on “Bloggers and the New Libel and Regulation Laws

  1. I wonder whether those writing the legislation had any concept of the ‘guest blogger’ or any understanding of solitary editors compiling paper.li magazines and the like? I doubt it, sadly this is just another example of knee jerk legislation that our MPs seem to specialise in when its more important to be seen to be doing something rather than the right thing.
    Hopefully, a few frivolous cases taken against particularly outspoken bloggers may allow our often rather crafty judges to pull the teeth on this particular dog of a law.

    1. I doubt it as this legislation almost seems to take zero account of blogging as a form of journalism to start with. Hopefully you are right and this will go straight onto the next bonfire of stupid and unworkable laws sometime in the next Parliament.

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