Monday, April 21, 2008

Blog Chill

Is there a code of Blogging ethics and liability somewhere? From the Star Phoenix:

...Kate McMillan of Small Dead Animals is one of several named as defendants in a statement of claim filed by Richard Warman with the Ontario Superior Court on April 7. Others include Ezra Levant, The National Post and one of its journalists, Jonathon Kay.

In the statement of claim, Warman alleges he was defamed on a blog known as He alleges those comments were linked to or commented upon on other blogs, including McMillan's and The National Post's.

Those who picked up on the original comments did not take steps to determine whether they were true, Warman alleges.

Warman also states it is not enough for a site to remove comments and postings that are questionable, as The National Post did. The newspaper pulled the piece written for its blog that Warman found defamatory.

In its place, the newspaper posted a retraction and apology. However, Warman alleges the article was linked to and copied by others online by that point and The National Post and Kay should be considered responsible for those republications. Editors for The National Post had no comment about the statement of claim...

Two questions here. First of all, does this mean all bloggers can get into trouble if they link to stories on other blogs that turn out not to be true?

Secondly, in the case of the National Post, they are being sued in spite of a retraction and apology, supposedly because the story was picked up all over the internet. Personally, I just don't see how a story can be contained in this day and age.

And should it be?

In any case, some of my readers have questioned my apparently heavy-handed comment moderation policy lately.

The reason should now be crystal clear.


Reid said...

I'm not criticizing you for your policy. You've got to do what you've got to do to CYA.

That said, the fact that more and more bloggers are putting strict(er) moderation policies in place means that those who are trying to muzzle free speech are winning.

Joanne (True Blue) said...

the fact that more and more bloggers are putting strict(er) moderation policies in place means that those who are trying to muzzle free speech are winning.

Exactly. Because the left hates free speech, and even though we have a Conservative government, the left is still in control of our bureaucracies.

Anonymous said...

Every day PMSH is in power is a day when we are less likely to get some agenda-driven leftie appointed to some position, and a day we are more likely to have someone biased in the other direction take their place.

We can't reverse 40 years of lib damage (beginning with Pearson) in 2 years of a minority government.

Which is why guys like Nicholls Pi$$ me off so much.... picking and choosing bits here and there to criticize. Frankly I couldn't care less if Canada's space company was sold off to China, but the optics are terrible, and polling indicates that the choice to block the sale was hugely popular with Canadians.

Similarly with the HRCs.... how sellable is it right now to make the HRC issue a public priority? So those criticizing the PM for not getting involved want him to commit political suicide? Do they think Dion will get rid of the HRCs? Or more likely appoint Barbara Hall as the HRC Czar to "rule us all, and in the darkness bind us".

We gotta think long term. It's OUR job to fight the HRCs, and not to expect "government" to take care of it for us. After all, isn't that one of the main ways we differ from the Libs/NDP? We don't see government as the solution to all problems.

Gayle said...

It is funny you are accusing the "left".

Last night I tried to post a comment on Stephen Taylor's blog. It was not obnoxious or rude - certainly not as rude as the one where I called some of the posters "pathetic" (which was quite rude).

I simply pointed out, as I have done here, that there is more reason to suspect the RCMP of leaking the raid than EC, and the fact Keith Boag first called the raid an RCMP raid actually supports the notion the leak came from the RCMP.

I then suggested Taylor was simply trying to build a case that everyone is biased against Harper as a means to exonerate Harper for each wrongdoing, or alleged wrongdoing. Again, nothing different from what I have posted here, many times.

I said nothing disrespectful and did not use foul language. I simply suggested Mr. Taylor was practicing the same bias he was accusing Mr. Boag of practicing.

That comment did not make it past moderation.

I do not think it is only the "left" who censor things they do not want others to hear.

That said, I am all for censoring obviously racist or hate filled statements. They really have no value to intelligent discourse.

x2para said...

so who decides what's racist?;
I think that employment equity is a scam, a "human rights commission" would probably say that statement is racist (along with some other ist's), despite the fact that the neo-socialist twerps on these commissions don't seem to know what racist actually means

Gayle said...

X - I guess I should have made it clear that I was referring to blog owners moderating and deleting comments they believe are racist.

It is up to the blogger, and if people do not like it they do not have to go there, which is exactly why I avoid certain bloggers.

Reid said...

Gayle @
Mon Apr 21, 12:47:00 PM EDT

Has Stephen Taylor ever stated his blog is about free speech? His blog is clearly a partisan CPC blog. You shouldn't go there expecting everything to be posted. I've had critical posts not posted. I didn't get mad. He has an agenda. And it's no different the Jason Cherniak's for example. I've had Jason not post comments I made that contained nothing but proof he, or the Liberals, were wrong on an issue. But that's what I expect there.

This is more about blogs, both left and right, that may be partisan but open for free speech. Not blogs like Stephen Taylor's or Jason Cherniak's.

And where Joanne said "the left hates free speech" I would actually change that to say "progressives" hate free speech as it is typically so called progressives who are the first, and loudest, proponents of shutting down any speech they find offensive. Just my humble opinion based on my observations.

Gayle said...

I didn't get mad Reid. Frankly I was amused at his cowardice.

I merely used that example to point out that "free speech" is in the eye of he beholder, and that limiting said speech is not the exclusive actions of the "left", or "progressives" if that is how you want to refer to it.

Anonymous said...

I find it odd that people would not expect the Conservatives, who for all intents and purposes are only the current government of the day, to speak up in the defence of free speech. Isn't that part of their job?

And I find it equally disturbing that the "other" politcal parties are not taking the field on this issue to define the government of the day, the Conservatives, as not defending free speech. Or should I presume from the all party silence from all federal as well as provincial governments on this issue, that they are in favor of civil service supression of this basic tenet of our so-called democracy, by an un-elected, un-fettered civil service?

If it is presumed to be "politically disastrous" for the Conservatives to speak up, is it then just as politically disastrous for any other party to do so? From where I sit, it appears that this issue would amply define the boundaries politically for all parties concerned and that there would be true winners and losers on this subject. Best not to discuss it at all then, that way our true political opposition, the 4th Estate won't be able to define any party on this issue.

How much do we pay our elected law makers to manage the various un-elected institutions of our government? Looks to me like our civil service have usurped the authority of Parliament and our various Provincial Legislatures on this issue. It is beyond time for our elected representatives to speak out on this issue, Party politics be damned.

Gabby in QC said...

"That comment did not make it past moderation."

Don't feel too bad, Gayle, it happens to the best of us ;-)

On a more serious note, I disagree that Stephen Taylor's blog is highly partisan, with an agenda, and thus blocking opposing views.

Some commenters there use pretty virulent and/or mocking terms against the Conservatives, and their comments are let through.
Stephen, IMHO, tries to use an analytical and fact-based approach to his posts, not solely based on his own partisan opinion.

But let's be honest: who among us is not partisan? The degree and the nature of the attacks against our adversaries might differ, but there is still a difference of opinion that, however, should not descend to name calling or foul language.

My two - nay, three - cents.

Anonymous said...

So those criticizing the PM for not getting involved want him to commit political suicide?

By the same token, is it political suicide for the opposition parties to do so instead? Nothing stopping them taking up the issue, is there? Where are they on this issue and don't tell me Keith Martin speaks for the Liberals on this, he's a loner. I haven't heard Dion coming out of the closet on this in support of his MP, or any other political party leaders defining this issue for themselves.

That then tells me this issue is more defining politically for any of these parties than even the new immigration bill will be and none of them are showing any fortitude in reigning in our un-elected HRC civil servants, you know the ones paid by the taxpayer to work for us.

I just assume then that all the parties and our elected legislatures endorse the activities of the various HRC's. Nice country we live in.

Anonymous said...

Quote from Another Anon

"It is beyond time for our elected representatives to speak out on this issue, Party politics be damned."

This issue is the most important issue in our nation today. The HRC's must be reigned in or our country's noble heritage will be a thing of the past. Central control of thought has been done before elsewhere. It doesn't improve anything. The people will find other undercover and often nasty means to thwart the "progressive" entitled oligarchy. Freedom was fought for in the past and must continue to be protected in the future.

Barbara Hall and her ilk are the enemy of the people not it's protector. If she and her commission have their misguided way then God save us. Their original motivations seemed clear and honest and fair. Even Alan Borovoy one of their original facilitators has changed his mind based on the actions of these Star Chambers.
It is time for all politicians to support the Keith Martin bill. It is too important to leave to chance. I can only hope that the Conservatives are just leaving this until they get a deserved majority. Let's not play politics so carefully that this issue is not addressed.
Until this issue is addressed I will just post as Forced Anonymous.

Steph said...

Is it a risk that a comment that is posted on someone's blog could be used against the blog author? I had thought comments were only deleted if they were obscene or something, but is it also necessary to delete comments that may contain misinformation?

Joanne (True Blue) said...

Steph, that's a good question. The internet is still like the wild west, and bloggers are in uncharted territory. We need some firm laws drawn up so that everyone is protected.

Muschi said...

I think a lot of this could be solved by more responsible behaviour on the part of the bloggers themselves, both in terms of understanding what are statements of fact versus opinion in the post itself and taking an active leadership to mentor their commenters.

Zorpheous said...

The apology and retraction only mitigates the damages.

As to linking, yup, you can be sued. Ask Mark Francis, OpenPolitics and the others who are being sued by Wayne Crookes, and that case goes to trial in October, long before Kate will see the inside of courtroom.

Unfortunately there was one retard reporter who just reported that the Wayne Crookes case had been thrown out, which is incorrect, only select parts have been tossed, but the main case is still moving forward.