Monday, January 19, 2009

Happy birthday bloggers! TWL is 3 years old.

I know it's a day late and a dollar short, but...

TWL turned three this weekend. I thank all of you for helping this community thrive. And yes, I've gotten both compliments and quite a bit of pushback on the very existence of this blog.

I realize that some people push the envelope too far, but the underlying goal of a more transparent and accountable government is worthwhile (even if this blog highlights my perspective ;)). And it appears that the courts are moving toward upholding the anonymity of blogging.

Just last summer the AP reported on Delaware Supreme Court Chief Justice Myron Steele's view on anonymous blogging:

Steele described the Internet as a "unique democratizing medium unlike anything that has come before," and said anonymous speech in blogs and chat rooms in some instances can become the modern equivalent of political pamphleteering...

Steele noted in his opinion that plaintiffs in such cases can use the Internet to respond to character attacks and "generally set the record straight," and that, as in Cahill's case, blogs and chatrooms tend to be vehicles for people to express opinions, not facts.

"Given the context, no reasonable person could have interpreted these statements as being anything other than opinion. ... The statements are, therefore, incapable of a defamatory meaning," he wrote.

So hopefully the blogosphere will continue with many more birthdays to come... again, happy birthday!

Tim White