back to article Oz says 41 hits a day turn bloggers into publishers

Bloggers whose online scrawling earns just 41 page impressions a day could be forced to apologise to those they wrong on their sites and issue corrections, under a proposed new model of media regulation for Australia. The 41 a day recommendation comes from the so called Finkelstein report, formally known as the Report of the …


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  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    And on Facebook and Twitter...

    41 "Friends" or 41 Followers.

    Logically, should be the same thing as Blogging.

    1. Chad H.

      Re: And on Facebook and Twitter...

      That would be 41 friends or followers per day.... Or each one of them viewing you every day.

      1. ArmanX
        Big Brother

        How about here?

        I'm betting that more than 41 people a day read our comments... are we responsible for issuing apologies? Or is El Reg? Because someone has to be held responsible for the utterly reprehensible stuff I read just the other day about how [emacs is better than vi | Windows/Linux/Mac is better than Linux/Mac/Windows | it's pronounced 'mouses' | airplanes aren't IT-related]!!

  2. Jonas Taylor

    Good grief; what heresy!

    Holding people accountable for what they say? Outrageous! This is the internet. We insult people for no reason and do so without fear of repercussion. In fact I'll have you know that I just spent the evening with your mother and she has a much better gag reflex than I was expecting.

    1. James O'Brien
      Paris Hilton

      Re: Good grief; what heresy!

      Love it!! Simple and to the point.

      Paris because we all know she does have a gag reflex.

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Why would anyone ever expect to be held accountable for their actions?

    What happen to entitlement?

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Hang on

    If they say 41 page views is enough to make you a news reporter, does that mean they are going to give you all the benefits of a news reporter? Freedom from attack by the police, access to news conferences, off the record briefings, PMs beholden to you?

    Because it might be worthwhile if that were the case.

    Otherwise I'll give such an entity credibility and ability to request anything only after they've succeeded in jailing Murdoch for life.

    PS, nobody tell them about twitter.

    1. Christoph

      Re: Hang on

      "the benefits of a news reporter? Freedom from attack by the police"


  5. Old Handle

    Seems like a strange decision to put the cut-off points for online vs. print distribution in such different terms. Actually, the per-issue definition is strange even in isolation. Why does a guy distributing 6000 copies of a particular rant need more oversight than somebody distributing 2000 each copies of 3 slightly different rants? If anything, I would think the opposite was true.

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Wouldn't bother me much

    I don't see why the wronged person shouldn't have a right to seek correction in the case of a blog.

    If I was clever enough to have my own blog that people actually read, I don't think it would be too onerous to respond to such requests. As long as the redress isn't simply removal of the offending material (ie censorship), then all the apology does is draw attention to the original material - not really the result a complainant would want.

    1. Wombling_Free
      Thumb Down

      Re: Wouldn't bother me much

      "right to seek correction in the case of a blog."

      You haven't been following Australian media, where a blogger is being sued by a troll because she said nasty things about the troll that were actually meant for a completely different troll. Said troll is now suing THE ENTIRE INTERNET (or near enough to).

      I guess we will have to do our apologies the same way the newspapers do it then - tucked away in very small print on about page 6.

  7. hayseed

    Glad I don't have to correct my posts

    like one where I misidentified which general had a large carriage house

  8. Ole Juul

    What's a pageview?

    Presumably the government has a way to verify all views individually. I see many times more pageviews than any reasonably likely number of human readers for my small-time offerings. Sometimes I doubt I would even need any text in a story.

    1. Code Monkey

      Re: What's a pageview?

      Tis true. I contribute to a blog and reckon at least half my stories' hits are me, concerned that I've made another typo.

    2. Peter Murphy

      More to the point, how does the Australian government count pageviews?

      Not all blogs have visible counters. Mine doesn't. Nor does the Australian government have the power to force my ISP to divulge hard figures. While I live in Australia, my website is hosted in the US.

      It is possible for the government to hit my website once and then refresh it 40 times more. But I reckon that's cheating.

      Fortunately, these are proposed recommendations, and I have the freedom to submit to the government that they pulled the number "41" out of their ass. Moreover, silly proposals often get withdrawn when problems are pointed out. Or die due to neglect. After all, Conroy's feared net filter has been lurking around for 5 years, but seems to have been shelved indefinitely...

      1. Craig 12

        Re: More to the point, how does the Australian government count pageviews?

        Easy, someone goes after you, you are automatically guilty until you prove it's under 41 :)

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  10. Leo Maxwell

    You can complain about the register everywhere but Oz?

    Who do I complain to?

    1. Chad H.

      Re: You can complain about the register everywhere but Oz?

      Since the Moderatrix is gone, I guess you can complain to Simon Travagalia - but I wouldnt recommend it.

      We're still waiting to hear back about what happened to the last guy that complained...

  11. Joel 1


    You have a blog that is little noticed, toiling away in obscurity. Then something controversial is posted, raising a hoo ha. The world and their dog read the post after it is mentioned on /.

    You breeze past the reader limit and are suddenly turned into a publisher and subject to regulation and sanction...

  12. Richard 120

    Forum Posts

    So how different is posting on a blog to posting on a forum?

    Will we see a return of the Moderatrix? Or at least a return to the dark ages between the new "free post" system and the Moderatrix.

    This means we'll need an edit button.

  13. Paul Smith


    Very American reporting, don't you think?

    Attack the report by attacking the sponsors of the report: "the Greens, who felt that News Ltd was out of control..."

    Attack the report by taking bits of it out of context..."These numbers are arbitrary, but a line must be drawn somewhere...15,000 hits per anum translates to just over 41 a day."

    So as a journalist and reporter, does the author of this article feel that the Ozzy's are right or wrong in attempting to establish some way to hold media to account?

    1. Mark 65

      Re: Bias?

      I think they're wrong. What do you do to deal with an Australian focussed blog written and hosted overseas vs one written locally and hosted overseas vs one written and hosted locally? The first one will just tell you to FRO (fuck right off, in local parlance) and there's precious little you can do. The point being that bloggers just become anonymous and pay someone to post up their stories if you bring in control-freak shite like this. Bloggers aren't the media. They have no license.

      1. Graham Wilson
        Black Helicopters

        @Mark 65 -- Re: Bias? Be warned!

        "The first one will just tell you to FRO (fuck right off, in local parlance) and there's precious little you can do."

        Be warned, here's part of an abstract from the article "The cyberboundaries of reputation: implications of the Australian High Court’s Gutnick decision for journalists." from Bond University:

        "The High Court decision in the landmark Dow Jones v. Gutnick defamation case in December 2002 was eagerly anticipated. The unanimous decision that defamation occurs where Internet material is downloaded rather THAN WHERE IT WAS UPLOADED angered media proprietors and free speech advocates who predicted publishers would have to work to the lowest common denominator of the most restrictive laws throughout the world if they were to avoid litigation."

        The article is found here:

        Being anonymous by using aliases or an "Anonymous Coward" as here at El Reg, are just elementary obfuscations, when the heavies actually get involved then it's as if a searchlight were focused on one.

        If you want to do something silly or as overtly risky as that then you'd better use Tor or the likes thereof, and you'd better not fuck it up as did LulzSec. Right, some of the best hackers screwed by a simple mistake. Using real IP addresses are like Park Avenue with your home door at the end of it. Publishing in defiance is a very risky business.

        About the most outrageous and subversive thing I do on the Web is to post highly opinionated rages on El Reg, nevertheless, I always assume I'm known or can be easily traced because of my IP address; the same principle applies to the telephone or any other public media. Why crooks continue to get caught because of yacking on the telephone always perplexes me. Don't these fools realize that anybody and or everybody can listen or is listening.

        Anyway, they may have no license but that won't stop them finding you.

  14. Bernd Felsche

    A few facts:

    The private industry press council and government ACMA can take action against real publishers.

    Defamation is a crime under Australian law.

    Civil action against those making defamatory comments online date back to at least the late 1980's; from Usenet postings.

    85% of the comments received by the enquiry run by The Fink et al were obviously the result of astro-turfing by Avaaz and GetUp!. GetUp! is funded heavily by the Australian Union movement; which also pulls the ALP's strings. Avaaz is a foreign political movement; supported by GetUp! and the likes of Soros.

    The Fink's report was pulled together in a hurry. Apparently without any technical advice as to scale and feasibility. There's no legal way for the Australian authorities to track hits to blogs hosted overseas. (Maybe it's hidden in ACTA.) It is trivial, given the low threshold, for authorities to become overwhelmed with the number of web sites that require monitoring for "correctness".

    The proposed mechanism to adjudicate transgressions is by a panel of judges nominated by political masters. The judges nominate henchmen to do the nasty work. It's unclear if such with be as part of the judiciary; with formal injunctions allowed, or a bureaucratic machine which doesn't itself suffer consequences for bad decisions. Those with "incorrect" blog/web pages, have only 2 days to "correct" and to publish an apology.

    Political support of the report by the Greens isn't surprising. They're also in favour of "suspending democracy" and surrendering national sovereignty to save the planet.

  15. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    "15,000 hits per anum"

    Try "per annum". It's probably less painful.

    1. Mark 65
      Paris Hilton

      Re: snigger

      Surely a Paris icon, no?

  16. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I would like to retract all of my incorrect statements and...

    ...unreservedly apologize to all affected by my postings in the past, present and/or future.

    There ya go; job's a good'n.

    This covers off all of us.


  17. T J
    Devil use your REAL identity details for posting online???

  18. D. M


    I bet each of comment here would have more than 41 views a day.

    And what If I stick piece of paper outside (eg. garage sale sign), that would get more than 41 views for sure.

  19. Paul Smith


    If I want to claim that a blogger has defamed me and I want that defamation treated seriously, I have to show he got 15,000 or more hits a year. Why is this a bad thing?

  20. silent_count

    I agree to this if...

    they make said law apply to the "vote for me" pamphlets and letters these politicians spam us with.

  21. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    1984 all over again?

    Wasn't that set in Oceania?


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