Sunday, 17 February 2013

Court judgement makes Google liable for blogging comment

We've been waiting patiently to read some unique insights by Y Cneifwr into the crossfire litigation that makes up the James v Thompson case. He does not disappoint and his first-hand supplement to the matter of fact coverage published elsewhere provides for a far more informed perspective. The level of additional support provided by council staff is an especially revealing sidelight into events.

As things transpired, our attention was also drawn that week to other court proceedings which could make the case the last of its kind.

A landmark appeals court ruling decided that techno-provider Blogger - owned and operated by Google - could be liable it is does not promptly remove defamatory comments once it has been notified of them.

According to press reports, the case revolved around a conservative council candidate who was vilified on the London Muslim blog. Some of the comments including false claims about the candidate being a drug dealer and a thief. A previous hearing considered the comments defamatory but also concluded that no libel action could be heard because Google could not be deemed to be a publisher in its own right. 

This week's appeal overturned the judgement prompting a legal hotshot to state, "It is a blow to the technology platform providers because the court of appeal decided that Google is arguably responsible for the postings by the blogger once they have been notified of them and have failed to take them down.

It's not particularly great news for bloggers either. Google is inevitably going to err on the side of caution and remove anything remotely dodgy - and possibly close down persistent offenders. If the result is a chief executive's charter against criticism then we predict that others, including ourselves, will be joining Jac over on Wordpress.


  1. Thanks for the comments. I agree - WordPress is beginning to look more attractive by the day.

  2. Well, well; that explains a lot. Though given that I might have upset two or three thin-skinned individuals it doesn't make it any easier to identify who encouraged Google to administer the coup de grace.


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