back to article Swedish bloggers give MEP a kicking over media pluralism

Sweden’s bloggers have blown a gasket over an Estonian MEP's proposal that they and their European kindred spirits should assume some kind of responsibility for their content, forcing the European parliament to rush out a statement saying there were no such plans on the table. If anything, the Swedish blogosphere’s hysterical …


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  1. Edwin

    is it a bad idea?

    Let's face it: most blogs are crap. Actually, almost all of them are.

    But if I call Joe Fay a paedo terrorist bastard on my blog, current legislation makes it extremely difficult for Joe to do *anything* about it - and I think most people would agree that's not entirely fair.

    Case in point:

    A few weeks ago, a Dutch reporter published a story in her blog about an incident she claimed took place at a cafe in Amsterdam. Her story was only marginally credible, and very clearly one-sided.

    Where is the cafe-owner's right to rebuttal? The comments section? Actually - there's a response in the comments section that claims to be from the owner. Only it's hidden amongst several hundred tw*t-o-tron responses.

    Under Dutch law, I suppose the cafe-owner could sue for libel. But what if the story was on a blog in another country? EU legislation would at least govern content in EU countries, which is a damn sight more than we have today.

    The Swedish b(l)ogosphere response calls for a second definition of freetard: freetard(2);n; one who believes you should be able to say or write anything you like, anywhere you like without consequences.

  2. Peter

    Here here

    Some form of minor regulation would indeed be beneficial I believe. So long as they don't try to push in anti-terrorism legislation (seems to be fashionable these days).

  3. Solomon Grundy

    Mommy he called me a wanker

    God people are such babies these days. Just because someone calls them a name they get all upset and want to sue, or to be able to control other peoples speech/writing.

  4. Anonymous Coward

    Sweden and the internet

    Thanks to their new 'law' allowing them to read any internet traffic which goes /through/ their country (not just the things destined for it), I would be quite happy to see Sweden cut off from the rest of the world. Let them have their own country wide intranet if they want but no more until they stop snooping, so for them to complain about anything internet related anymore (including this story) makes me completely ignore them. Come on MEPs do the same!

  5. Bryce Prewitt

    Can the Swedish do anything right?

    Well, about sums it up, yes?

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    RE:Solomon Grundy

    You dont seem to see that most people take something written down as fact. This is not just petty name calling, but something that can ruine someones life.

    To take a more every day example, most companys now do a quick google check. If it comes up with a lie that stops you getting a job at the moment there is nothing you can do.

  7. Anonymous Coward


    "Her story was only marginally credible, and very clearly one-sided."

    Erm, yes; it was her blog, wasn't it? Were you there to witness the event and have issues with how she reported it?

    Mikko's error still seems to be that anyone has time to read all the sh1te that's out in blogs anyway.

    Ok, I'll be leaving now.

  8. Steve

    Re: RE:Solomon Grundy

    "You dont seem to see that most people take something written down as fact."

    Then legislate against fuckwits not against speech.

  9. TeeCee Gold badge

    Re: Re: RE:Solomon Grundy

    The real problem with the blogonansphere is that it's dominated by fuckwits who don't give a rat's arse about anyone but themselves.

    Slagging someone off publicly with no just cause is indicative of nothing but that the author is an impolite, uncivilised, ignorant little fuckwit.

    Thus, your proposed legislation would end up looking suspiciously like that originally proposed by the subject of the flamewar in question.......

  10. heystoopid

    But then again

    But then again irrespective of any law created or drafted in any one country or state , the wowsers and including the mass media will say print or televise many forms of fiction , slander and outright libel to support the most outrageous and totally ridiculous claims to support own perverted take or corrupt view of reality in the real world we live in.

    In truth the old age of nationalism within any country being an individual state in today's world with individual rights is coming to an end as since the arrival of alleged but mostly one way free trade agreements , weapons of mass deception allowing wholesale destruction of any country , town or city at the push of a button in under twenty five minutes , just what are country borders now but an imaginary line on a map and billions of differing views transmitted at almost the speed of life taking on a life of their own in the intertubes !

    The old story applies too many lies will never fix a wrong , and as one fictional paranormal TV show would say "The truth is out there somewhere ?" .

  11. Jorgen L

    Ridicule if you like...

    but I actually HAVE read the report, and it oozes of technical ignorance, and a view on free speach that doesn't really belong in a western democracy.

    Of course the report concerns itself with a lot of things, the blogs are by no means the main focus, but all the same it is important to defend the right to speak anonymously on the net.

    There are a lot of people that for a number of perfectly sensible reasons do not want to write under their own name, but still are unreplacable sources of information, or can give unique insights on phenomenon seldom related anywhere else.

    That could for example be people whose employers would mind them writing on sensitive subjects, people giving insights into very closed organisations, people with controversial intrests or with controversial political opinions.

    Neither of this would exist if it wouldn't for the freedom of blogs.

    The error that both the report and the article does is that they don't recognise the enormous inpact this freedom is having on society and political debate. Thanks to the blogs, politicians and the old media can no longer decide when an issue is not to be discussed any more.

    Of course there is a lot of rubbish published as well, but people are getting used to actually thinking critically about what they read, and those who take any written word for truth are getting fewer. A blog gets it credibility over time, and bloggers are painfully aware of that, so they keep their act together.

    A regulation like this would serve to take away the freedom of speech for a lot of people, by trying to convert the internet to traditional media.

    Also the EU report is totally ignorant of the technical realities of the blog. Blogs dont follow the jurisdiction of nations, a blogger might sit in Brussels, writing his blog on blogspot in swedish. Who could force him to register? And what exactly is a blog? Any webpage? Or a webpage that calls itself a blog? Or a page with the word blog embedded in the url somewhere?

    When I see comments like those in the article and in the comments, I am not surprised that the UK accepts having the most CCTV cameras per capita in Europe, you guys seem to have great confidence in the thought of the "always benevolent and good state" that protects its citizens by monitoring them and protecting then from all bad things.

    Here in sweden there have been a "blog-quake" during the last few weeks against the wire tapping law. It created close to a political crisis for the government, and we have got a taste of a political power that we won't readily will let go of. Especially not by decrees from Brussels....

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