Westminster Confidential

The Ministry of Justice has just excelled itself with a daft plan to try and tackle libellous and abusive comments on websites.
A splendid blog on the Inforrm website by media lawyer Ashley Hurst from Olswang reveals that a so-called simple system to provide redress to force web operators to take down posts is anything but that.
As he himself states the ministry claimed it “designed to be as straightforward as possible for people to use” but there are in excess of 20 cross-references in a procedure spanning over four pages with 47 FAQs and 10 pages of guidance.”
Worse it looks as though it will do the opposite that it intends by encouraging more people to blog anonymously as people might have to get court orders to find out who is behind the post.
He points out “People blog and comment on websites anonymously for a reason: because they…

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