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UK Cracks Down On Internet Trolls, Puts Websites On the Hook

Seems Britain has had it with Internet trolls, as new laws are in the works to force websites to disclose the identities of commenters who post defamatory messages.

The Defamation Bill, which had its second reading in Parliament on Tuesday, would cut through a slow and costly legal process, while giving “trolls” a reason to think twice before posting unfounded allegations or damaging, libelous comments against others.

“The government wants a libel regime for the Internet that makes it possible for people to protect their reputations effectively,” says Justice Secretary Kenneth Clarke, “but also ensures that information online can’t be easily censored by casual threats of litigation against website operators.” Toward that end, the law is written to protect website operators who are in full compliance with the order. It even encourages sites to act as intermediaries to help resolve disputes between commenters and their targets.

Seems like quite an effort to tame the wild west that is the webs. But should the law go after trolls like this, putting the websites they frequent in the middle of things? If such laws were adopted in your country, would it make you twice about posting negative comments? Tell us what you think in the comments.

[via Reuters]


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Adriana Lee

Adriana is the resident writer-slash-culture vulture who has written about everything from smartphones, tablets, apps, accessories, and small biz...Adriana is the resident writer-slash-culture vulture who has written about everything from smartphones, tablets, apps, accessories, and small biz...


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