David T of Harry’s Place is being sued by George Galloway and one of Mr. Galloway’s collegues, Kevin Ovenden. They are demanding Â£50,000 for a comment left on another blog. The comment he made wasn’t nice or correct, but as Richard Bartholomew put it:
The legal threat seems to me to be badly conceived. Iâ€™m sure that Galloway and Overden are against the anti-Jewish hadith in Hamas Covenant, but while itâ€™s there anyone who meets a Hamas governmental official risks being tarnished by association. Blame Hamas for that. And of course itâ€™s annoying when a political opponent extrapolates a supposedly logical chain from oneâ€™s activities or position to the conclusion that in some deeper â€œobjectiveâ€ sense one is in fact supporting something else, but thatâ€™s life and to be allowed to do it is essential to public debate.
A lot of people have a lot of criticisms to make of David T and Harry’s Place. Fine. However, it is irrelevant in this context. The comment was clearly a joke, and should in no way be the cause of a libel action. Bloggers are only able to operate because of a modicum of freedom of speech, and for every frivolous libel action we fail to stand against, our future as bloggers becomes that bit grimmer.
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Filed in: Blog,Civil liberties