The International Forum for Responsible Media Blog

Category: Government and Policy (Page 1 of 36)

A SLAPP-up Meal for Journalists and a Dog’s Breakfast for the Rest: The Government’s ‘Opening Salvo’ Against SLAPPs – Paul Wragg

Back in March, exercising rare concern for those exploited by the super-rich, the government issued an ‘urgent call for evidence’ that promised, based upon ‘third party and anecdotal evidence’ [42], ‘quick and effective’ action against Strategic Litigation against Public Participation (“SLAPPs”). Continue reading

SLAPPs: Government Response to Call for Evidence, More Questions than Answers

On 20 July 2022 the Government published its response to the call for evidence on Strategic Lawsuits against Public Participation [pdf] with a Foreword by Justice Secretary, Dominic Raab.   This document summarises the evidence on each of the 45 questions posed in the “Call for Evidence” and sets out the Government response to each one.   It is a disappointing document which includes no clear concrete proposals and is, in important respects, wholly inadequate. Continue reading

Newspapers leap to defence of “extremists’ loophole” in the Online Safety Bill, as Government plans to protect the press from accountability unravel – Nathan Sparkes

Yesterday in the House of Commons the Government was skewered over its plans to allow extremists or dictators to set up front organisations in the UK and brand themselves “news publishers”, to benefit from a wide ranging and poorly drafted exemption to the Online Safety Bill.  Several newspapers have rushed to defend the loophole because they themselves would benefit from. Continue reading

Grappling with Online Safety Legislation: How to Hold the Platforms Accountable – Hugh Stephens

When it comes to online safety—or its flip side, online harms—many countries are grappling with the problem. What is the role of government in establishing guidelines and regulations for the protection of citizens, particularly vulnerable segments of the population, from a range of harms perpetrated by anti-social and even criminal elements via the internet? What is the role of “internet intermediaries”, the internet distribution and social media platforms that the perpetrators use to attack their victims? Continue reading

MoJ proposals to strengthen journalists’ freedom to report is based on a fundamental misreading of ECHR judgment – Chris Pounder

The Ministry of Justice (“MoJ”) Consultation,  “Human Rights Act Reform: A modern Bill of Rights” (the “Consultation”), contains proposals that tips the balance between “respect for private and family life.” (A.8) and freedom of expression and to impart information (A.10) in favour of the latter (A.10). Continue reading

Domestic Disinformation from State and Political Actors is a Global Threat to the Democratic Order – Eliza Bechtold

Lying in politics is nothing new.  And while state and political actors have always enjoyed an outsized influence on public discourse, the digital age provides an abundance of new tools for these actors to magnify their voices in unprecedented ways.  Across the globe, these actors are leveraging the advantages of social media to disseminate disinformation for the purpose of improperly manipulating public opinion. Continue reading

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