Legal limit to internet freedom of speech…

THE best reason in the world to play the ball, and not the man. I hope our more ‘passionate’ contributors will click the link…!

  • TL

    Yikes! Lucky for us Mick would pull any post that had us flirting with a court case. Thanks Mick, for protecting us from ourselves ; )

  • topdeckomnibus

    Yes Gonzo. But it has made me think. As I put links to my sites on my various rants. It may be that if the link is published the site does become responsible for the content of the site.

    Slugger O Toole is very good for trawling (for information) and is also good for hanging the chin out and letting the little guys get to beat you up for a while … a bit of a change from beating yourself up !

    With charities, like Cheshire and Ryder Homes who I am conncerned about, I gather that they have trademark on founder names and would be able to take action even though the founders are dead.

    To some extent the McGill Decd site had been a challenge to them. (The nurse who died at the home of Leonard Cheshire and Sue RYder 1972)

    The preventable terror site (Deal bombing) was intended to slap Kent Police with a gauntlet so people might actually make something of the fact they won’t take me to court. But also behind that site is some informations I have laid against Kent Police in treason law.

    The assertions I make, on the McGill site, I have based on my interpretation of inquisitorial rules of evidence. For example this is why I have deposed, affidavit on site, that the Regional Crime Squad in Wales developed lines of inquiry on the suspicion of identity theft through death registration mapractice. The ex RCS man had bottled, under alleged Gwent Special Branch intimidation, so that left me the option of deposing the First Hearsay myself.

    I am quite happy to face trouble myself. But would not want to bring trouble on a site whose threads use links.

    I was at the end of “Beating at the corners” anyway.

    I have invited Suffolk Police whether they will enter High Court mediation.

    But you make a good point.

  • Pat

    Obviously the thing to do is ensure that your rantings have factual basis and can be argued as being in the public interest which it would seem this womans rantings were not.

  • Rory

    What I don’t understand is is how Mr Smith, if indeed he was not “a nonce, a sexual offender, a racist bigot” or, “a Nazi” ever got to be a candidate for the UKIP in the first place. I should be looking for an inquiry into the competence of the Portsmouth North selection committee if I were a UKIP member.

  • Valenciano

    As I am the moderator of one of the sites in question where the offending posts appeared I would dispute that the site itself would be responsible. Indeed while the case was in progress I received an e-mail from Mr Smith asking me to prevent parties from deleting posts in question as they were evidence in the legal case. My understanding is that the site is only responsible if they are informed about potentially libelous material and fail to take action by deleting them.

    To give a bit of background on this case Mike Smith, Williams (aka Gosforth) and Neil Wells (aka Sceptred Isle) along with 2 or 3 other individuals who were not party to the legal action began a long running flame war on the now defunct conservatives yahoo group in the summer of 2002. This spread to other forums most of which are defunct except for the following dead ones

    http://groups.yahoo.com/group/conservativeparty
    http://groups.yahoo.com/group/britishgeneralelectionforum

    At the beginning Wells/Williams vs Smith + others engaged in heated arguments about political topics. This happened even though Wells was a hardline English Nationalist, Williams an ex-BNP voter and Smith an invitee to the BNP/LePen dinner and so politically there wasn’t a great deal seperating them and the main flaming began after a rather academic discussion on the exact date of the abolition of slavery in Elizabethean England of all things!

    The posts then dropped all pretence of civility and became increasingly nasty reaching a nadir with one of the posters alleging that the others mother is a “syphilis ridden whore but dead cheap” http://groups.yahoo.com/group/britishgeneralelectionforum/message/6620
    with Smith variously suggesting that Williams was a KKK member, an “evil racist liar” and “totally deranged.” in still existant electionforum postings.

    Ultimately there was little difference between the posts however Smith instigated his legal case on the grounds that as a named individual and someone with a reasonably high profile (as ex-Tory chairman of Portsmouth and minor local politician) he could be libelled, whereas the others having hidden their real names behind pseudonyms, couldn’t be libelled even though he had made numerous similar allegations about them.

    I suppose the moral of the story is – don’t hide behind a pseudonym if you are going to engage in sad flame wars with named people (better still avoid flame wars!)

    Oh and by the way prior to the court case against Williams, Wells settled out of court last year agreeing to pay 25000 pounds in damages plus 13000 legal costs. Ouch!

  • Mick Fealty

    Nice one Valenciano. Many thanks for the inside dope. That is very helpful.

  • Pete Baker

    “better still avoid flame wars!”

    Indeed. We try to keep them to a mimimum. Now, if we can just get the commenters to do the same…

  • missfitz

    Rory, thought all those things were preconditions for UKIP?

  • missfitz

    those posts make us all look civil and loving

  • Pete Baker

    Only the ones that remain after the edit, missfitz.

  • Rory

    Yes indeed, MissFitz, I thought they were also preconditions. Mutton-chop whiskers and the wearing of loud checks is also mandatory at least round this neck of the woods.

  • GrassyNoel

    Perhaps that’s why Minister McDowell was so quick to issue humble apologies yesterday..he was so flustered he may have briefly forgotten he was OUTSIDE and not INSIDE the Dáil when likening poor little aul’ Richard Bruton to Goebbels (which if I may say so was ridiculous and shabby).

    May I also re-iterate, Mick, that it is fortunate for many of us that use pseudonyms on Slugger that we have chosen to do so, as if we were to use our real names, many, many comments on many threads would have been credited to the wrong people on this site over the last six months, and ask is this problem likely to be sorted any time in the near future?

    GrassyNoel