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Regulating Bad Behaviour On-line
June 28, 2012
1:35 pm
David Harvey
New Member
Forum Posts: 1
Member Since:
June 11, 2011

This session will be held at 1:10 on Wednesday and is a chance to explore some of the issues arising from the second part of the Law Commission’s New Media meets News Media Issues Paper.

The first question may already be answered – does the existing law address issues of bad behaviour on-line.

Yes it does, if we understand what “bad behaviour” means.

So to complete the answer we need to consider what amounts to bad behaviour.

Next issue – is the existing law sufficient to deal with “behaviour” problems.

What harms are occurring.

What is the cause of the harms – is an aspect of the internet causative of the harm – or are we just blaming aspects of the internet for other more significant problems

What about the tension between freedom of expression and the perception of offence. Shouldn’t we be protecting the thoughts and speech that we hate rather than sitting comfortably in a world where everyone agrees with what is being said.

And is the internet environment a space for robust debate – are there different standards for internet expression?

Is there a difference between e-mail, websites, blogs, txt, twts, or should the same rules apply to all.

Then there is the solution proposed by the Law Commission – a Communications Commissioner associated with a Communications Tribunal to deal with valid and serious complaints in a speedy way.

How should such a solution operate.

What powers should such bodies have.

What about existing remedies – or are we just setting up another special solution to deal with a special problem in the same way the Infringing File Sharing provisions of the Copyright provide an additional (cheap) remedy for Copyright Owners.

Should a Communications Tribunal have the power to issue take-down notices directed to ISPs or content hosts.

These are a few ideas that occur to me and around which a useful discussion could take place. I hope that either Cate Brett or John Burrows from the Law Commission will be in attendance.

Please add to the suggestions above or challenge some of them and lets make the session as vital and interesting as possible.

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