Internet 'trolls' face being named under new bill

Websites such as Facebook and Twitter will receive greater protection from lawsuits if they identify internet "trolls" accused of defaming others under a bill being debated in Britain's House of Commons on Tuesday.

Lawmakers are debating the Defamation Bill, which proposes to reform libel laws so that websites such as the popular social networking websites will have an incentive to turn in anonymous users who post slanders on the Internet.

The bill will also increase the responsibility on claimants to prove they have been or will suffer serious damage to their reputation before they can take their case forward -- offering another measure of protection to websites against threats of litigation.

The Commons debate comes the day after a man who sent a threatening email to Conservative MP Louise Mensch was banned from contacting a host of celebrities.

Frank Zimmerman narrowly escaped jail when a district judge suspended a 26-week prison sentence for two years after he sent an offensive email to Corby MP Mensch.

Under the current law, websites such as Facebook are considered responsible for what users publish on their website.

That leaves them open to threats of litigation from people claiming they have been defamed by content posted on such websites by other users - often anonymous "trolls".

The Government is proposing to change the law so that "website operators will have a defence against libel as long as they identify the authors of allegedly defamatory material when requested to do so by a complainant," Justice Secretary Kenneth Clarke said.

The hope is that this will allow people to protect themselves against defamation without forcing websites to censor their content as protection against "casual threats of litigation", he said.

Editor’s note:Yahoo Philippines encourages responsible comments that add dimension to the discussion. No bashing or hate speech, please. You can express your opinion without slamming others or making derogatory remarks.

  • Viernes Santo in Kalibo VERA Files - The Inbox
    Viernes Santo in Kalibo

    Photos by Little Wing Luna, VERA Files Text by Mitch Meñez Kalibo, Aklan--Viernes Santo or Good Friday is the most solemn of all the days in Holy Week. It commemorates the Passion and Death of Jesus on the Cross. The … Continue reading → …

  • Hugas Dugo VERA Files - The Inbox
    Hugas Dugo

    Text by Kimmy Baraoidan, VERA Files Photos by Chris Quintana and Kimmy Baraoidan Pakil, Laguna--In the small town of Pakil, Laguna resides a group of men who call themselves Hugas Dugo. Most members of the group are residents of the … Continue reading → …

  • Lenten procession more than just a spectacle VERA Files - The Inbox

    Text and photos by Kiersnerr Gerwin Tacadena, VERA Files Baliuag, Bulacan--This town is hosting what could be the country’s biggest Lenten procession consisting of more than 100 religious statues riding on carriages or carrozas. But concerns are being raised that … Continue reading → …

POLL
Loading...
Poll Choice Options