Freedom is as freedom does

An interesting article in today’s Slate about bloggers’ rights and the recourse made to British libel laws by those who feel that a post has caused them scorn, derision, social alienation, or loss of face with “right-thinking” individuals. Johann Hari, the journalist who supported the war in Iraq and then, er, didn’t, and Russian billionaire Alisher Usmanov, part owner of Arsenal, have both called in lawyers to defend what they fondly imagine to be their good name against impertinent commentators. The good news is that it hasn’t worked. They might have been able to close down individual sites but the cause has been taken up by other bloggers and both Hari and Usmanov are now seen as enemies to free speech. This might be water off a Russian oligarch’s back but it can’t be welcomed by a liberal journalist.

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