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British government plans to tackle Internet trolls
People who leave defamatory comments on websites or forums are being targeted in the UK. The British government is currently considering legislation making website operators identify 'trolls'.
Website commenters who post negative and potentially damaging statements about others may soon be identified to those they target. The Defamation Bill, which is going through a second reading in Parliament next Tuesday, could allow users to take legal action against those who abuse them online and compel websites to reveal the identity of the offender.
"Website operators are in principle liable as publishers for everything that appears on their sites, even though the content is often determined by users," said U.K. Justice Secretary Ken Clarke. "Our proposed approach will mean that website operators have a defense against libel as long as they identify the authors of allegedly defamatory material when requested to do so by a complainant."
However, some don't believe the new law will stop Internet trolling. The Daily Mail's Donal Blaney writes: "The Defamation Bill is - as the name suggests - only about defamatory statements. It will not cover comments that are offensive, unpleasant or constitute harassment, breach of confidence or an invasion of privacy - and the bulk of trolls' comments are in those categories as opposed to being defamatory as such."
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