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Yesterday I blogged about a blogger who didn't seem to realise he'd become a de facto publisher by putting his stuff on the Internet. He'd taken someone to court over a comment they'd made on his blog and - understandably - the judge considered that if he hadn't felt strongly enough to remove the comment from his own blog then it wasn't a court matter.

Today I want to redress the balance a bit and talk about a blogger who has certainly found his 'responsibilities' catching up with him. Michael Arlington of Techcrunch - I know it's not usual to write about the competition but this is an important issue - has been spat at whilst attending a conference.

When I read that I initially thought, OK, some people are plum crazy and they'll do this stuff for attention. They'll try to get coverage and when they don't, they might spit at you. It's unpleasant, it's unbalanced but it goes with the territory.

Then I read on. I read about the death threats and the police protection for the TechCrunch staff and I saw that the reactions of a tiny minority was affecting the staff's families as well.

Perhaps oddly this doesn't happen often in 'normal' journalism. I've got to agree that something odd is indeed going on here - and something does need to change. If some bloggers out there think - wrongly - that they're exempt from the laws and common sense that govern standard journalism and publishing, then some readers need to bear in mind that the bloggers - responsible ones as well - are peope with rights as well as responsibilities.

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Last Post by tiger86
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That is indeed very sad, not only that people are taking matters into their hands to a great extent under the "cover" of the 'internet', but also that there aren't laws in place to remind people that just because they are behind a computer screen, doesn't mean they are behind some protective shield from the law.
I hope Mr. Arrington comes back from his break with a more positive outlook on life.

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Thinka is right; people think they are under a "cover" when they are on the Internet. What they fail to realize is that we (admins of sites they go on) know more about them than they think and that they should blog responsibly or face the punishment. Blogging is relatively new and people don't realize that when they blog they are the press.

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