It seems that Blogosphere’s quixotic ‘relationship’ with the UK’s abysmal libel laws has reached a new low.
Harry’s Place is currently ‘offline’ as a result of what appears to be a wholly vexatious threat of libel action levelled at the company which hosts it DNS entry as a result of its having revealed that Jenna Delich, a lecturer at The Sheffield College, member of the University & College Union and supporter of an academic boycott of Israeli academics, circulated the following message to a number of union members via its activists e-mail list:
In support to your link this may be a long but also an interesting reading:
No comment necessary. The facts are speaking for themselves.
Yep, the perverse ruling in Godfrey v Demon Internet strikes again and another British ISP caves in to a spurious threat of legal action.
The facts certainly do speak for themselves here. Delich’s ‘interesting reading’ was sourced from the website of David Duke, a former Grand Wizard of the Ku Klux Klan and is, itself, merely a repost of an article which orginally appeared at ‘Signs of the Times‘, which is your classic ‘alternative news’ website, i.e. run by bunch of conspiraloons and chock full of laughable articles. For sheer bull goose lunacy can I recommend this gem, by Laura Knight-Jadczyk, which claims. amongst other things, that the destruction of the World trade Centre, in 2001, may have carried out using a super secret orbital beam weapon and, in one of the finest pieces of specious circular ‘logic’ I’ve seen in many a long year, that a super secret intelligence community, which is, in ‘reality’, working for their secret alien overlords, is responsible for faking alien abductions in order to discredit, amongst other thing, the 9-11 ‘truther’ movement, which appears to include a disproportionate number of self-styled abductees, and more generally for faking alien abductions in order deflect public attention away from whatever it that the real alien overlords, rather the fake ones, might be up to.
There is, of course, simpler and more coherent explanation for this ‘phenomenon’ – the author should not be let loose with a biro, let alone a computer and internet connection, without first being dosed up to the eyeballs with Prozac and Lithium.
Quite obviously, the provenance of Delich’s recommended reading is a little dubious, although given her sources we should, perhaps, be grateful that she hasn’t hit upon another of SOTT’s ‘special reports’ which claims that Israeli researchers are developing ‘ethnic specific bioweapons‘ that would harm Arabs but not Jews – even though this was roundly debunked almost ten years ago.
Absurdly, the bone of contention here appears to be nothing more than an errant hyphen. In the article which revealed Delich’s gaffe, HP published a blurry photograph of Delich which sported the caption, “Sheffield-based academic, Jenna Delich – links to far right websites associated with the Klu Klux Klan”, when it should, of course, have read ‘“Sheffield-based academic, Jenna Delich, links to far right websites associated with the Klu Klux Klan”.
The hyphen could be viewed as introducing a measure of ambiguity as to the precise meaning of the word ‘links’.
If you’re minded to take the photograph, and its caption, entire out of its original context then you could, at a stretch, argue that the word ‘links’ may be being used as a noun in the sense of indicating an association between Delich and David Duke, rather than as a verb indicating that Delich had made a connection to David Duke’s site by sending UCU members a hyperlink, in which case you might also reasonably conclude that its takes no small amount of intellectual dishonesty to try to level a claim of libel on the back of premise that so fucking thin its practically mono-molecular. The full article is wholly unambiguous in explaining the nature of Delich’s act of linking to Duke’s website and that’s more than enough to make any suggestion that Delich has been libelled a complete nonsense.
As mentioned at the start, HP is currently offline but has an short archive of posts relating to this nonsense stashed on Blogger, where you should be able to follow the action as it develops.