Blogs, the law and the spartacus effect

Mick has been assessing the impact on blogging’s UK profile by the Prescott affair. Mick (a victim of suing threats) argues that, while a blogger has no more legal protection than a journalist nor a large media company to pay the bills, bloggers have two matters in their favour. Their ‘comparable’ poverty reduces the financial incentive/reward for suing and the “No I’m Spartacus” effect, blogdom uniting when one of its number is threatened with legal action by a prominent person. Newly announced Labour leadership candidate, John McDonnell, is presently experiencing the Spartacus effect. He threatened a Labour researcher with legal and disciplinary action for a mild blog criticism of his office hours policy. Guido has highlighted the story and the comment on his site so the criticsm has just gone from an audience of a few dozen to twenty-five thousand. However, Mick urges caution for bloggers so that the greater invulnerability doesn’t lead to abuse and a loss of credibility