Monday, September 04, 2006

Slander in Comments - What are the legalities?

There is a really interesting post over on ProBlogger about people who use the commenting facility on blogs to slander. Darren has aked people to contribute their thoughts on what they think on the subject and it raises various legal points but interestingly some people think that it's silly for people to sue based on what has been put in comments.

I think that it's really dependent on the subject matter because suing is costly and time sapping so no-one should become sue-happy over their comments. But if a comment defames the author of the blog or people who have contributed into the comments box, to the point where what has been written could be perceived as something that could damage reputation or cause serious emotional upset, I say go for it, particularly when the offender continues to do it and doesn't take the hint.

Some people (mostly the offenders) seem to think that blogging is exempt from the normal rules of behavior and it really isn't. Yes it's supposed to be fun and community building, but there are people out there that do not know how to draw the line (blog trolls) and everyone has the right to be protected from people who have nothing better to do with their time but harrass and defame.

Friday, September 01, 2006

The Stop Blog Trolls Campaign Terms of Use

These terms have been written with a view to laying out clear guidelines regarding unacceptable behaviour from blog trolls/stalkers/cyberstalkers. Please support the Stop Blog Trolls Campaign by linking to this page or linking to it with the button in the sidebar. See details at the bottom of this post. This is a first draft and input and feedback would be hugely appreciated to ensure that as many aspects of blog trolling are covered to protect bloggers.

As a Supporter of the Stop Blog Trolls campaign, it means that there are certain actions that are unacceptable when you visit my blog. If you are a visitor to my blog, please read these terms before you decide to write something that may not be deemed acceptable. Remember: If you don't like my blog, you can just click 'Next Blog'.
  • Bloggers have a right to be able to maintain their blog with their content without being subject to harrassment from people who like to flame via comments and email.
  • Under no circumstances must you post comments that can be perceived to be of a harassing, libelous, defamatory, racist or hateful nature.
  • Do not write posts on your own blog of a harrassing, libelous, defamatory, racist or hateful nature regarding my blog or me.
  • If you're advised to stop commenting on this blog, cease and desist immediately. Do not continue to comment.
  • If you're advised to stop commenting, do not revert to contacting me by email.
  • I have the right to anonymity. If I use a nickname and for some reason you manage to discover personal information about me, do not post this information under any circumstances.
  • Do not misuse the commenting facility by posting under various guises to harass, libel, or defame.
  • Do not post material from my blog such as photos or text with a view to using it as part of content on your own blog or another blog you may have set up with the specific purpose of posting content that is of a harassing, libelous, defamatory, racist or hateful nature.
  • Remember that content on my blog is subject to copyright. Do not infringe copyright in order to troll.
  • Do not intentionally make false or misleading statements about me in my comments or on your blog, or a blog that has been set up to harass me, or on other peoples blogs.
  • Do not under any circumstances set up a blog about me to heighten your blog trolling campaign. This is libel and can be pursued under a civil action.
If you fail to abide by the terms of using my blog and to acknowledge that I support the Stop Blog Trolls campaign, please note that you may be subject to the following:
  • I reserve the right to remove comments that violate the terms of use.
  • Your IP address, comments, blog address and email address and any other communications from you may be listed as belonging to an offender on
  • If you contact me by email, please note that this is a criminal act under the Malicious Communications Act 1988 in England and Wales and varying state laws in America. For all countries, please check your local laws.
To support the Stop Blog Trolls Campaign, please display the button at the top of the sidebar with a link to this page - this is the image address - OR link to this page.