Tuesday, September 08, 2009

Blogs and Blogging

I see that the council's draft 'Blogging protocol' has now been distributed in draft in advance of it being discussed in committee later this week.

Until today, I hadn't seen anything in writing and as I previously insisted it was a subject for discussion only. Unfortunately, a recent spate of rather crude 'political blogging' has accelerated its urgency and now we have a document which I'm sure the public will soon be reading with some interest.

From where I sit, it's an excellent piece of work which draws on both legal opinion and the councillors' code of conduct, to offer sensible guidelines on one's dual responsibilities as both councillor and 'Blogger' under the law.

What's particularly interesting is the personal responsibility that any Blogger holds for the publishing of anonymous comments, which may be reasonably considered either malicious or defamatory or both. It clearly sets out the legal hazards, risks and the remedies and as a reference document, will, I'm sure prove invaluable to councillors and anonymous bloggers alike.

There's never been any suggestion that I'm aware of, that councillors shouldn't 'Blog'. Rather, with one of two individuals clearly going 'over-the-top' of late with wild allegations and equally wild and inflamatory language, a reference work on the subject and its conduct is very welcome indeed!

It's just a little sad that we need one rather than exercising the more reasonable standards of common sense and courtesy that should remain an unspoken fact of public life!

11 comments:

Jean said...

Interesting. So are you allowed to clearly insinuate that Cllr Blogger has caused this fuss with his 'wild allegations', 'going over the top' and 'inflammatory language'? Or would that 'expose a person to contempt', 'injure a person in his office' or 'lower a persons reputation' and thus be counted as defamatory in itself?

A minefield, to be sure.

DrM. said...

I don't know, which 'Cllr Blogger' did you have in mind, there are so many?

I think it may be true to say, without fear of contradiction that the excitable outbutsts of a single individual may well have led to this position!

Jean said...

I do hope this doesn't take the fun out of blogging.

(Did I say anything wrong there? Oeer, this is worrying..).

Anonymous said...

Looks like it will be comment moderation from now on.

Anonymous said...

TDC no longer acknowleges emails sent to them, which is a disgrace. This is not consistant with open Government. I emailed the Planning Dept with a simple question on the 30th June. Still no reply, so make several phone calls, only to be told that the person dealing with is working from home for several weeks. One wonders if emails are no longer logged/answered to improve published targets.

Anonymous said...

Or else just regard this self opinionated tripe as not worthy of attention, and look elsewhere for items of interest.

Dubious qualification Dr Moores pontificating on what wonders he has been doing is really not that newsworthy, or is it just a question of ego.

DrM. said...

9:04.. I have forwarded your complaint.

The auto-responder was turned-off for a good reason that I won't go into here but suffice to say that your emails should reach the person involved and should be acknowledged by them within the proper period.

If you care to email me separately I will pursue it with the department involved for you!

DrM. said...

10:07 I see you are back again!

If you aren't interested in what's written here then I suggest you go somewhere else for your entertainment but from experience, you simply can't stay away.

As for "dubious qualification", I very much doubt that you would risk testing such language outside the illusory comfort of your anonymity so your courage is truly underwhelming!

This is my weblog, I write what I like and as I've said before, it's a diary and a place to collect my experiences, thoughts and ideas, no different really to tens of thousands of others. If you don't like it then stay away.

Ken Gregory said...

PS, 9.04

If you have complaints about the way you are handled by the Planning officers, please contact me, I may not give the answer you want, but I will give one.

Anonymous said...

Thanks ken,I will take the answer whatever it is,as for giving me one-your not my type!

Anonymous said...

But you never do validate your qualifications. That's why people still have a dig!

All you have to do is tell people where you got your IT degree in America before you got your doctorate.

Simples eeh!