The House of Commons debated the Defamation Bill yesterday; discussing wide sweeping reforms of the libel laws that could see internet service providers (ISPs) given greater protection from being sued in return for helping to identify so-called ‘internet trolls’.
Claimants will have to show they have suffered serious harm to their reputations, or are likely to do so, before they can take a defamation case forward.
As things stand, website operators are in principle liable as publishers for everything that appears on their sites, even though the content is often determined by users. Many operators of forums for instance, do have admin staff who are there to determine what could be deemed inappropriate and remove material accordingly. But, in the case of Twitter is that even viable?
The quid pro quo put forward by the government is you identify the individual/s and we prosecute them. Forgive me, but am I alone in thinking the Government are being somewhat naive? What happens in the case that someone masks their identity by using proxy? The ramifications are similar to ones I raised one of my previous articles.