UK law is changing and its impact on the internet is yet to become clear. The recent controversy over the possible inclusion of blogs in the new exemplary damages provisions in the Crime and Courts Bill illustrated some of the issues and concerns.
While changes to libel law have been hailed as creating a wider space for free expression, the Lord McAlpine controversy showed how ignorant many social media users are about libel. And worse still, many users of Twitter and other social media believe it gives them the freedom to abuse and threaten other users, women in particular.
The first session of the day will look at the issue of libel, what changed in the recent reforms of libel law and what issues remain controversial. David Osler, a journalist who was accused of libel in 2010 in a case that was thrown out of court, and Dave Morris, one of the defendants in the infamous McLibel case, will be joined by Mark Scodie, a solicitor with Bates Wells Braithwaite ). Judith Townend, a freelance journalist and researcher who runs the Meeja Law website will chair the session.
There will also be a session on the law surrounding abuse and threats online, looking at some of the recent revelations of vicious abuse and threats against many users of Twitter and other social media, women in particular. Jennifer Perry, an expert on digital stalking, and former Met Police officer Hamish Brown MBE will discuss the issue in a session chaired by Professor Yuri Obata, visiting International Researcher at Goldsmiths.
Opens (with refreshments): 10:00
Libel (10.30-12.00) - chaired by Judith Townend (Meeja Law)
Online abuse and threats (13:00-14:30) - chaired by Professor Yuri Obata (Visiting International Researcher at Goldsmiths)
Regulation (15:00-16:30) - chaired by Angela Philips (Media Reform Coalition)
Followed by a networking session with refreshments.
Tickets for the event are £30 for a standard ticket, £10 for unemployed people and OAPS and free for members of the NUJ and students and staff at Goldsmiths, University of London.
For further information please contact Donnacha DeLong ([email protected])