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12 November 2010

Whatever You Say, Say Nothing

There is one advantage in living in a highly litigeous society. I cannot remember a time that I did not know the difference between libel and slander and I can remember back to about age 3.

The hyperbole enjoyed by Irish writers is, if you have taken time to notice, practiced by fiction writers. Anybody employed in print journalism carries in their brain the equivalent of a Gormenghast size library of legal textbooks which ensures that even the word "the" is examined for lurking ambiguities.

Freedom of speech is there, but in spots. Seeing that people are being arrested for Twitter comments, losing jobs and generally having their lives upended I am pleased that I did not send birthday greetings or share too much on that particular forum.

As for making jokes on Twitter... with the thought police out in force... you must be joking...

2 Comments:

Blogger David T. Macknet said...

It's interesting that the anonymity of the internet is gradually eroding. Sad.

11/13/2010 2:34 pm  
Blogger Tales from the Birch Wood. said...

I have to admit I found the "cloak and dagger" anonymity a bit strange when I started blogging and I don't have much problem with the recent changes where people are proud to be themselves.

However, the way that jokes are taken so seriously is worrying and there is a good article in the Guardian about how some legal experts are now being sent to "Twitter School".

"http://www.guardian.co.uk/law/afua-hirsch-law-blog/2010/nov/11/twitter-twitter-joke-trial"

I try not to make jokes online, especially as my tall tales tend to be a bit limp.

Being arrested for making offensive remarks is seriously scary, when you think about it.

It's just as well to keep blogging and tweeting, however, as it keeps everybody up to date with current protocols and what is considered good manners.

11/13/2010 7:03 pm  

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