Bloggers can still get sued, you know?Posted: April 15, 2008
Ah yes…. Such comfort this confirmation brings. At least I know that if I write bad about the government, my blog will get some attention. Perhaps because they’re looking for people to sue, or fine, or whatever, to “give warning” to the other “tale-spinning bloggers” out there, and make them think twice before they dare to do that again.
“I’m sorry mummy, I promise I won’t do that again…”
Or something close to that sentiment?
Here’s what our Information Minister said:
Alternative Media Not Untouchable – Ahmad Shabery
KUALA LUMPUR, April 15 (Bernama) — The alternative media are not as untouchable as the public might think they are, Information Minister Datuk Ahmad Shabery Cheek said Tuesday.
As such, he said, even though the people had the right to write whatever they wish through blogs and other online media, they could still be subjected to actions under the law if they spread slander online.
With technology available today, cyber forensics would be able to trace and detect the identity of online writers or slanderers even though they might use the anonymity of the Internet or a different name as a shield, he said.
To a question on the possibility of alternative media becoming more popular than the traditional media, Ahmad Shabery said it would depend on the reputation and credibility of the media concerned.
“The bottom line is reputation and credibility. If you have that and you report the truth, base on facts, the people will continue to read your articles. This is the new challenge for newspapers and for any form of media out there,” he said.
Full article here.
Nice, is it not? To hear our very own Information Minister say that whatever information is going out to the people, as a whole, is going to be monitored very carefully.
Actually, I believe we all know that by now. We all know that the people in the Ministry can slap bloggers with fines and allegations of slander and accusations of defamation and etc etc.. The list just goes on. We have all seen bloggers get detention, or get fined. We have seen bloggers get sued. We have seen bloggers being “asked”, or forced, if I may, to remove contents from their blogs.
Of course, being bloggers ourselves, we know all these things.
Does the Information Minister not realise that we are still doing all this blogging, IN SPITE of knowing all that?
And, correct me if I’m wrong, I have a feeling that the only “slander” that is being spread is that of the bad side of the Barisan Nasional. What of the “slander” of the Pakatan Rakyat? If there are blogs out there that are exceptionally cruel and vocal towards the BN government, then there are also blogs out there that are equally exceptionally cruel and vocal towards the PR. If only the ones who are “spreading slander” about the BN who are the ones being slapped with fines and what not, then what of the ones who are “spreading slander” about the PR? Surely they must be susceptible to the same kind of punishment, then?
Or am I to believe that the BN reps believe that whatever bad that is written about the PR is all true, and they share the same sentiments with these bloggers?
Not very fair, mind you. But then again, as I’ve said, politics never was ethical to start with.
But I’m afraid I’ve missed the point completely here. Because all I’ve written is purely based on “fiction” that bloggers “spread slander”. By fiction, I mean work that is not true. Meaning that there is no fact. Meaning it is purely a fragment of imagination.
Most blogs are based on news reports. Because bloggers aren’t news reporters you know.
And then, most blogs are just spaces for personal opinions anyway.
So where’s the slander?
These news reports we write opinions of, they come from the likes of the Star, Bernama, NST, and what have you. Of course, there’s the alternative news sources, like Malaysiakini. But they’re all NEWS.
There are probably one or two bad apples out there, and they probably need a ticking or two if they spread lies and stuff. But please, don’t stop when you see lies being spread about PR. Or you probably wouldn’t know if they’re lies or not. So let them speak. Let the PR speak, and let them tell you which are lies and which aren’t. There must be SOME level playing ground here. At least some.
But hey, I’m holding on to my right to freedom of expression. After all, I’m not one to “spread slander”. And this is, in the end, my personal blog, where I write about my personal views.