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.