Thursday, 6 March 2008

WHEN IS A YOUR THANET BLOGGER NOT A THANET BLOGGER?


The answer, of course, is when you are a 'suspended Thanetlife blogger'.

This week, Your Thanet (which is actually a rather good free read midweek), gave Westgate's self suspended blogger space to explain how his views have changed as a result of becoming a Councillor. Regular readers of the past, suspended, possibly ended, Thanetlife, will know all too well how becoming a TDC Councillor can affect the parts of the brain that other activities cannot reach and the effect on an independent bloggers outlook of the world. There are some who have argued that Thanetlife had even become boring as a result. I personally would be happy to see all our ''quiet' Thanet blogs like ECR, OVIT and Thanetlife back in business again with normal service resumed and an end to The Thanet Blog War.Which reminds me!

The latest bulletin from the Wikipedia Front is that General, The Lord Matt has managed to stall the counter-offence by the e-reinforcements fed in from The 'Equations' Division by its leader Iain 'The Janes' a little known, but effective e-warrior but how things will go when the absent GOC of Moores Pine, returns, is any-one's guess.

I have had to tell my own Intelligence bods that using a certain source is a little bit like Churchill taking at face value, the outpourings of Lord Haw Haw. That said, the absent GOC of Moores Pine does seem to be able to remember the first names of some pretty powerful potential allies across the now smoke -free interior of a London watering-hole and if his name dropping capability is matched by his bomb dropping capability, The Lord Matt's forces need to make sure that their slit trenches have wriggly-tin side reinforcement and a good 18" of top cover.

7 comments:

Anonymous said...

I'm sorry, but credit where credit is due!

Some time ago, Dr Moores PhD, declared on Thanetlife that he was an Honoury Detective in the Met(?) He is now stating on his site that he was indeed given the Honourary rank of Detective Sergeant!

This is a rank that the normal police officer would aspire too after many years of distinguished service!

We must therefore acknowledge some massive advance into the field of policing if Dr Mooores has been granted this unique honourary rank. A rank that this humble member of the'Thin Blue Line' has never even heard of!

Bertie Biggles said...

It must be galling for a serving Constable, 00.09 to read of 'honorary rank' but I suspect Dr Moores might be referring to a throw away comment by a senior officer at an e-crime conference and either taking it literally or quoting it in jest.

Anonymous said...

Moores kills off his dull blog which nobody was reading anyway, takes down two much better and more readable blogs in the process, and gets a mention in the Your Thanet dispatches. Am I allowed to use the C word here?

Anonymous said...

The latest Moores piffle on silicon.com. Note that none of it is backed up with any kind of evidence, and that some at least is exagerrated (for example the suspension of Thanet life was never a 'front page headline'). Methinks he doth protest about 'influence without consequence' too much, and that this will come back and bite him on the bum. Enjoy:

Anonymous attacks by bloggers badly affected Simon Moores' public and private life. When he tried to stop them he discovered some surprising facts about the internet and the law.

In the autumn of 2005, I wrote a column welcoming the arrival of the citizen journalist as a much-needed boost to an increasingly moribund democratic process in the UK.

I had been running a blog, Thanet Life, for two years before its popularity encouraged me to roll up my sleeves and run as a local councillor in last May's local elections.

Perhaps thanks in part to my blogging, I won in my home town - a vindication, I thought, of this communications medium. But I've been proved wrong.

Last month, I reluctantly suspended my weblog. Why? Because I'd had enough of the constant flow of insults and defamation. Worst of all, my family was being abused in the street by complete strangers. "Councillor axes weblog" was the front page headline in the local paper.

Blogging has come a long way since I started in January 2002. Since then Google has bought Blogger.com and everyone who's anyone appears to have a weblog - Hillary Clinton, David Cameron, Bart Simpson and more.

The citizen journalist now has a reach quite undreamed of until relatively recently and can influence local public opinion - and perhaps in some cases even the national mood.

But there is a much darker side to blogging, summarised by one of my own readers who wrote: "It is not healthy for people to have influence without consequence." He's probably right.

Some of the attacks on me were launched in anonymous blog entries on Blogger.com.

Few people realise that with the rise of Google our own laws on defamation have flown out of the window. As a result, anyone who blogs anonymously in the UK can say anything they like about another person or business.

We have complex libel laws in the UK, which govern the press, business and the individual. Yet it seems Google will defend absolutely the anonymity of a blogger and the content he or she produces.

I asked Google to remove the offending material. Google, which is also a UK limited company, answered:

Blogger.com and Blogspot.com are US sites regulated by US law. Blogger is a provider of content creation tools, not a mediator of that content.

We allow our users to create blogs, but we don't make any claims about the content of these pages. We strongly believe in freedom of expression, even if a blog contains unappealing or distasteful content or presents unpopular viewpoints.

Given these facts, and pursuant with section 230(c) of the Communications Decency Act, Blogger does not remove allegedly defamatory, libellous or slanderous material from Blogger.com or Blogspot.com.

I am told that even a court order from a British judge is not sufficient for Google to change its mind. So we now appear to have a situation in the UK where our own laws governing defamation, decency, libel and the simple test and protection of truth are governed by the more generous interpretation provided by the US legal system.

So if I made defamatory, racist or homophobic remarks about an MP on silicon.com, I could be sued. But if I'm an anonymous blogger, it is acceptable because I'm apparently protected by US rather than UK law.
I reluctantly suspended my weblog because I'd had enough of the constant flow of insults and defamation.

This is a deeply disturbing state of affairs. Like the posting of inappropriate, violent and offensive content on YouTube, this situation requires proper and urgent debate from our politicians.

Margaret Briffa, an internet and ecommerce lawyer, tells me the position taken by Google not only makes no concession to UK or European defamation laws but is so one-sided in offering no help to the victim of unfair and vicious blogging that it seems to contravene the UN Declaration of Human Rights.

Complete freedom of expression is like opening Pandora's box. It's the online equivalent of cheap supermarket lager and people become drunk on it.

Are we then faced with an internet fait accompli in a global environment dominated by US law? Is our own legal framework governing decency and expression really so impotent and ineffectual?

Welcome to the brave new world of influence without consequence.

Bertie Biggles said...

I'd rather you didn't 09.14, old chap or madam, but your meaning is clear!

Thank you so much 14.19 for that very interesting piece from Dr Moores on www.silicon.com. It reveals an interesting 'mind set' and that he failed to get Google to intervene in Thanet Blog War.

I have yet to meet anyone who believes his version of why he pulled the plug and I still tend to believe it was all about too much interest being taken in his academic qualifications and the years before he joined Personal Computers Ltd in 1983 and began his IT career with perhaps a City & Guilds in Cobal programming? The style of the modern e industry strikes me as involving hyperbole and self promotion so that 'front page' news is strictly correct but fails to mention that is on a 'midweek freebie paper'! That said, I look forward to his return to Thanetlife and then I can go into retirement.

Anonymous said...

I used to love reading Thanet Life and I think it a great shame that it has had to be suspended because of rather spiteful individuals. By their snide remarks they have not only closed Thanet Life but two other sparky blogs as well.
I think you will have a long wait before Thanet Life see the light of day again, mores the pity.

Bertie Biggles said...

I agree with you about enjoying Thanetlife but you have to have a thick skin as a politician and even more so as a blogger. Lets hope they all come back before I start to take myself too seriously as well!