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So apparently bloggers no longer have right to anonymity - how long before forums go the same way?

(13 Posts)
LadyMuck Tue 16-Jun-09 19:59:13

Interesting story here regarding how the Times won the case where a blogger tried to take out an injunction to stop the newspaper from identifying him.

Wonder how far it will go? Presumably it would extend to public forums like this too?

Pitchounette Tue 16-Jun-09 20:24:04

Message withdrawn

Tortington Tue 16-Jun-09 20:28:51

but - how far could it go - if this is a precedent in law - then presumably if someone came on here talking about how they shagged donkeys and justine felt like selling it to the Sun - then she could and the next day you could read "CUSTY IN DONKEY SEX SHOCKER"

Tortington Tue 16-Jun-09 20:28:51

but - how far could it go - if this is a precedent in law - then presumably if someone came on here talking about how they shagged donkeys and justine felt like selling it to the Sun - then she could and the next day you could read "CUSTY IN DONKEY SEX SHOCKER"

EccentricaGallumbits Tue 16-Jun-09 20:32:34


future employers will be able to find out my predelictions for bumsex and fanjo topiary. and wine.

shock. horror. may need to namechangeeven more often than i do already so the buggers can't keep up.

AMumInScotland Tue 16-Jun-09 20:55:13

Well, MNHQ would only be able to pass on the email address you use to sign in, so you could always use a fairly anonymous name, maybe a hotmail one, if you were concerned about info being passed on.

Then they'd only be able to trace via ISP details of the PC you were on.... so maybe go to the library, and make sure they don't catch you on cctv...

It's getting much trickier these days to be "anonymous" - we put up with surveillance to a level I could never have imagined back when I was a child.

ABetaDad Tue 16-Jun-09 21:14:40

The truth is that this was always going to happen. Every time I post anywhere on any blog/Forum I apply the folowing rules:

1. Never post anything where there any chance that this post will libel someone or defame a firm.

2. Never use any profane language ever because swearing always sounds bad when read out in court.

3. Never hand over my email address or any personal details or real life location to any blog/Forum provider or anyone posting on the blog/Forum.

4. Know my ISP or empoyer may be forced to hand over my IP address and therefore I may have to listen to every single email/post being read out in court.

5. If in doubt, do not post.

Observing these rules just makes me feel reasonably secure.

BitOfFun Tue 16-Jun-09 21:18:15

Custy, you do exaggerate...'Twas merely a small mule, you told me shock

SolidGoldBrass Tue 16-Jun-09 21:25:44

The answer is, of course, start more blogs, on fairly innocuous subjects and give them random authority-bugging tags like Semtex! Bumsex! Drugs! Free Al-Quaida Beard with every box of tampons! The more people do that, the more the muppets will get bogged down frantically searching post after post on knitting, sleb twaddle, how cool 1960s Vespas are, grouting, the history of mothballs or whatever...
I used to have a super-offensive email tag full of swearing, drugs and porn references the last time this sort of thing was being touted...

SomeGuy Tue 16-Jun-09 21:26:11

The Times are bastards about this, they exposed a woman who wrote an anonymous sex blog, just out of prurience, there was no public interest at all.


I think the Times resent bloggers and enjoy destroying their lives.

BitOfFun Tue 16-Jun-09 21:32:29

Thanks SomeGuy, now I know who she is too grin

AMumInScotland Wed 17-Jun-09 13:44:12

I've just read the article in the Times about this specific blogger case, and actually I don't think he should have had any right to be anonymous - he was a serving police officer, giving away loads of traceable information about cases which were sub-judice at the time, and very easy to trace back from his comments to the actual cases, which could have prejudiced a trial.

He wanted to remain anonymous because to be named "could put him at risk of disciplinary action for breaching regulations". Well, yes, in that case maybe that was because the things he was saying should not have been said. If he was just expressing his opinion, that would be different, I think we should all have the right to do that without fear of the consequences. But publishing sensitive factual information, unless there is some vital public "need-to-know" is different.

SomeGuy Wed 17-Jun-09 14:00:50

I think the Times are doing far more to reveal information than he did.

'Another entry described an investigation against “David” a “local politician . . . with a seat on the council” who was found to have child abuse pictures on his computer. The blog said that “David” received a non-custodial sentence after a guilty plea.

In 2003 Bill Chadwick, a Preston councillor, pleaded guilty to possessing child pornography and was fined £1,000. But on the blog Mr Horton also revealed confidential details of other serious allegations against Mr Chadwick, which the Crown Prosecution Service decided not to pursue. '

So rather than an anonymised story, the Times reveal exactly who it was about, having spent hours tracking down this man, working out where he was, then digging through their acess to vast databases of past news stories and court cases.

Did anybody twig? I doubt it very much. The Times are simply manufacturing news.

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