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Blogging and the Law: Where Should Bloggers Draw the Boundary with their Content?

August 31st, 2010 · No Comments

As stated in my previous post, I was invited to speak in the Asian Bloggers and Social Media Conference 2010 on 30 July 2010.

I was the 1st speaker of Day 2 programme. I arrived around 8.15am and there were no delegates yet.

As usual, it will be helpful for me to get a feel of look from the stage.

My speech started at 9.00am.

I was given the topic of “Blogging and the Law: Where Should Bloggers Draw the Boundary with their Content?”

During my introduction, I pointed out that internet is not a legal vacuum, namely wrongdoings / misconducts in cyberworld are also subject to the relevant laws.

I also analyzed the legal risk faced by a bloggers as opposed to journalist.

“…The difference between a blogger and the reporter at local newspaper is that in many cases, bloggers may not have the benefit of training or sufficient resources to help them to determine whether what they write is legal or illegal.

And also due to the fact that blogging is comparatively new, there are not many cases decided on the legal issues involving blogging activities. Moreover, many such issues are yet to be tested in court.

In view of the above, we as bloggers seem to be more likely to expose to legal liability than a journalist….”

I went on to analyze and to explain the current provisions in law in relation to blogging practices.

Broadly there are 2 types of law that apply to blogging activities, i.e. criminal and civil.

I had also cited many cases where bloggers were brought to the court of law under both criminal and civil actions.

After elaborating the relevant laws, I told the audience that bloggers should practise self-censorship.

“Blogosphere is just like a normal society or community, in order to preserve one’s right, others’ right or freedom must be limited. This is the basic rule of order.

Legal action is expensive and time consuming in this country. Not many afford to seek for legal remedy.

As such, it is necessary for blogger to practise self – censorship in order to build a healthy and trust-worthy online community.”

I concluded my speech by asserting my view that there is a need to formulate a more blogger-friendly law due to the interactive nature of blogging activities.

Receiving memorial award from the organiser after my speech.

During the refreshment break, I was interviewed by a journalist from a local news provider, News Straits Times. Please see the video posted at their Gadget website.

The next day my speech was also reported by another local newspaper publisher under the title of “Bloggers to practise social responsiblity

The Start, the most widely read English newspaper publisher has also interviewed me on the topic of “Tweet below the law

By the way, just to mention that since the owner of Air Asia, Tony Fernandes was also one of the speakers, I managed to take a photo together with him.

(He was holding my business card, hehehe!)

By the way, very soon I will be speaking at another bloggers’ conference. I will update you later.

Tags: Bloggers' Rights · Blogging & I · Malaysian Cyber Law

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