Blogger To Testify About Comment Made On His Blog

(via Digg)

In an understandably vague entry, blogger Jeremy Shoemoney of, wrote:

it appears that I am going to be deposition [sic] and logs from my blog will be subpoena [sic] for use in a case where 1 person [allegedly] slandered* another on my blog.

In the past I have had discussions with at least one blogger regarding my views on comment moderation and deletion. I make no secret of the fact that I will happily delete a comment if I do not like it and first time commenters have to be approved before their comment can appear on my blog.

My main reason for doing so is simple. As the owner of this site I believe that it is perfectly within my rights to ensure that the contents of the site (including comments) are to my liking and within what I consider to be acceptable standards. Certainly my definition of acceptable standards is subjective however everything about this blog is subjective. In as much as I can try to be objective the fact remains that all that is written in this blog is from my perspective and I would not attempt to alter to that because it would go against the notion that this is a personal blog; more specifically my personal blog.

Shoemoney’s predicament reinforces my stance on comment moderation and deletion. Given that most blog authors can elect to disable the comment facility, I consider it a privilege to be able to comment on a person’s blog, a favour granted to me by the blog owner. With this in mind I can’t even begin to imagine how frustrating this whole episode must be for Shoemoney. It is one thing to be taken to court for your actions it is a whole other issue to find that you are being asked to give evidence because somebody else chose to abuse this privilege. Knowing that one can not even document the details of the case or anything related to it in their own blog must only add to the frustration.

What would undoubtedly anger me had I been in Shoemoney’s situation, is the knowledge that the alleged defamotary remarks could have been made without involving Shoemoney. Assuming the defendant is/was a blogger, they should have elected to post the remarks on their blog. In the event that that the defendant is/was not a blogger, setting up a blog is an incredibly easy and free process. Certainly if a person is capable of navigating the comment section of a blog then that person is more than capable of creating their own blog and using their newly set up blogs to record whatever they chose to. While this may not have prevented the action being brought against them it would not have involved Shoemoney.

Shoemoney refers to this case as a ‘landmark case’, this may be true or it may not. Irrespective of the outcome one thing remains, a blogger gave people space to engage and interact in the hope that people would treat this space with respect. Sadly this did not happen and as a direct result this same blogger has been inconvenienced. This alone has led me to approach my comment section with more vigilance. I do not need nor do I want that kind of drama.

*Jeremy Shoemoney refers to this as a ‘slander’ case yet it was my understanding that ‘libel’ is the appropriate term for defamatory remarks made via a fixed medium…oh well…


  1. says

    Poor Shoemoney! There he was blogging as per regular when two people start fighting on his blog!

    I have a simple rule – comments are good but not when someone is being abusive. I do/will not get tired of blocking IP addresses and the delete button is my friend….

    This is a great post, MJY

  2. uaridi says

    Now isn’t that a nasty kettle of fish for some poor blogger. I wonder how this “landmark” case will change our freedom.


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