Good news on the threat that bloggers will be liable to libel actions if defamatory comments are put up on their sites – the government has drafted regulations to protect us.
Mr Hencke’s assertion that WordPress won’t stop existing commenters from putting up new comments is only partially right. This function can be turned off, allowing the site owner to moderate the lot. I’ve done it – but I’ve forgotten how. Have a look at your dashboard, David!
The government has just tabled draft regulations under the new Defamation Act to protect English and Welsh bloggers from being sued if people put up unwanted libellous comments on their websites.
I am indebted to Rupert Jones,a Birmingham barrister who specialises, among other things, in media law for drawing my attention to draft regulationswhich have been tabled by the Ministry of Justice. The regulations have to be debated by a committee of MPs and peers before becoming law. As far as I can see these regulations do not apply to Scottish or Northern Ireland websites.
From my reading as a journalist it allows bloggers 48 hours or two working days after a complaint has been received to contact the person who put up the comment and make a decision whether to take down the comment. It also allows – if both sides agree – for the person complaining about…
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