Friday, September 21, 2007

"Increase in Law Suits Againts Bloggers

There has been an increase of lawsuits against criticism written by anonymous blogger’s as the number of blogs in this country continues to rise. In particular there is currently a lawsuit pending in Paris, Texas to obtain the name of an anonymous blogger that has routinely made posts that have been considered overly critical of not only a local hospital, but businesses in the area as well. The article, “suit against blogger test the limits of speech, privacy”, states that the ruling Judge was strongly considering ordering the release of the bloggers real name so further legal action could proceed, due to the fact that his or her posts have been written with information obtained illegally from employees of the hospital in question. The hospital is claming that the damage to its reputation is so server that locals will only use the hospital in extreme emergencies and that they are having a difficult time keeping their facility staffed. This particular case is just one however in a growing number of cases against such bloggers. And as stated in the suggested article the courts are struggling to accommodate both the right to anonymous free speech, and the rights of those that are spoken out against.

I do believe that this article is worth reading. First of all it details the care that we as bloggers must take, not only to be objective in our posts, but to be ethical as well. While some might see the people that leaked information to this particular blogger as “whistle blowers” the information was still obtained illegally and care must be taken when using that information. On the other hand, the blogger isn’t the one that stole the information and I do believe that his/her right to free speech should be protected and his/her identity secret.


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