Skip to main content

courting disaster

canada's supreme court, less cute than shown
it may have flown below most people's radar that the canadian supreme court is to render a decision today that could cast a huge legal pall over the internet in canada, effectively shackling professional journalists, amateur bloggers... pretty much anyone who knows how to post a link. because the decision they're making is on whether or not hyperlinking to a site critical of a person, business or organisation can constitute libel.

note, this doesn't mean that the person responsible actually had any hand in creating the critical content [which would clearly fall under libel laws]- the case hinges on whether or not simply directing someone's attention to it constitutes an illegal act. viewed in terms of print journalism, that would be like requiring that a reporter who seeks to mention the name of book on their subject be responsible for verifying all the research included in that book. of course, that would also mean that the reporter would be responsible for verifying all of the information included in works cited by that book. you can see where this is leading.

the fact is, however, that we wouldn't place those demands on even professional journalists, let alone amateurs writing for a local newsletter [which is, essentially what most bloggers are] in any forum other than the internet.

a while back, i posted a link to a story on republican presidential candidate rick santorum [there is no way in hell i'm posting a link to a google search for that guy's name until i know which way today's decision goes] to my facebook account. i had a few responses to the effect that the author's flippant and exaggerated commentary made it clear that he was prejudiced against mr. santorum [no argument there] and that therefore the whole article should be dismissed as fiction. i responded by posting links to "serious" publications verifying the story to make it clear that, while the presentation might not have been particularly professional, it was dealing with true events. here's the thing: i just copied the links from the bottom of the story i'd originally posted. they were always right there, should anyone have chosen to click on them.

if this debate had occurred thirty years ago, anyone seeking to verify a story would have had to go to their local library and hope that they could access the sources cited. but very few people would have done so and chances are that the article would have simply been accepted or dismissed, probably based on the pre-existing opinions of the person reading it. although it is many times easier to fact-check articles on the internet, there seems to be the expectation that anyone who posts information has a responsibility greater than any other type of journalist to provide and vet their sources. if this case were about a newspaper, or radio station or television station, it would never have seen the inside of a small claims court, much less the supreme court of canada.

this would be sort of ludicrously funny if it weren't for the fact that public money, our money, collected in the form of taxes and service fees, given in trust to our representatives in government, is being used to fund it. i expect the supreme court, much like the lower court whose decision is being appealed, will rule against the plaintiff. but that doesn't make it any less insulting that the case has made it this far, or that those of us who enjoy having a forum to air opinions are stuck holding our breath, waiting to find out just how stupid the legal system can get.

Comments

as long as you're here, why not read more?

jihadvertising?

i keep seeing this ad for tictac candies:



am i the only one who finds the suicide bomber clown at the end a little unnerving? all the nice natural things like the bunny and the [extinct] woolly mammoth and the fruit get devoured by a trying-to-appear-nonthreatening-but-obviously-psychotic clown who then blows himself up. congratulations, tictac, i think this ad has landed you on about a dozen watch lists.

oh and by the way, showing me that your product will somehow cause my stomach to explode in a rainbow of wtf makes me believe that doing consuming tictacs would be a worse dietary decision than the time i ate two raw eggs and a half a bottle of hot sauce on a dare.

long suffering

i've been meaning to write this post for a while, but, every time i get started, something happens that makes me rethink portions of it, to add or subtract or consider a different way of looking at things. the post was originally going to be my take on a #metoo statement, but i ended up making that post on my personal facebook page. [it's not that i don't love you all, but there are a few things i'm not comfortable putting in the entirely public sphere.] but beyond joining the #metoo juggernaut, i wanted to write something about the wave of sexual assault revelations that continues to swell over the north american media landscape that wasn't about me. then i realised that that was a little more complicated than just writing "so, lotta sex rapes happenin' these days, ain't there?" or whatever it was that i was going to say.

so i tried writing something about just a part of it: the media coverage or the entertainment industry or the politicians or …

making faces :: getting cheeky

blush might just be the last thing that a beauty lover comes to appreciate, seeing as it can be a matter of slight degrees that separates one product from another, and it's most difficult to tell from just swatching a product how it's going to look. and it did take me a long time to appreciate that, despite loving my refined pallor and believing that my natural rosy flush was more than enough of a blush for me, blush is my friend. it softens, sculpts, perfects and, although you might not see it at first blush [yuk yuk yuk], it is something that subtly harmonises with the other colours in a look to make it "complete". yes, it's the most tricky thing to pull off when you're wearing something that doesn't mesh with your own undertones. but it's also the thing that can take a face from gloomy to glowing with a swish of the magic wand known as a makeup brush.

highlighters are an even trickier lot, since many of the more brilliant ones have a tendency to e…