Harringay online

Harringay, Haringey - So Good they Spelt it Twice!

Following further communications with Dragon Vets, we were requested to remove the complete thread since the complaint is subject to an investigation which could result in further action.

The full thread has been saved and will be available for reposting if it becomes appropriate.

We have taken this action since the legal advice was that we could very well be open a costly legal action. Having already spent several hours on this today, I can afford neither the time more the money to get engaged in a law suit. 

Site member Dave Morris spent seven years fighting McDonalds. I guess I don't have his stamina!

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Yikes. Very worrying for sites like this, which could be subject to bullying if they contain anything other than positive comments. Not saying that one or other side is right, but there shouldn't be problems telling a story of a dodgy transaction or of bad practice to your community (i.e. the people who want to know this sort of stuff).

Here's the protection available in the States:

Web sites are protected under federal law against being sued for publishing third-party content. Specifically, Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act provides that: "No provider or user of an interactive computer service shall be treated as a publisher or speaker of any information provided by another information content provider." This doesn't provide sites with blanket immunity for whatever gets thrown up on them, of course, but when it comes to a third-party individual's own, honestly expressed opinions online, it's pretty close.

The advice I was given was that there is no such protection here.

Here's what happens in the UK

I'm not saying things are fixed in stone and were there but world enough and time, I'd love to test the law. Of course if anyone else wants to, I'll happily help them set up a blog and so the means to do so. 

But, to quote the BBC:

The burden of proof lies with the defendant. Almost uniquely in English law, in libel cases the burden of proof lies with the author / publisher and not the complainant. In other words, you have to prove that what you write is true. The person you've targeted does not have to prove that you're wrong.


Having done the NCTJ libel law exam, I did think "uh oh" when I read the original thread.

Sad but you have to protect yourself and the site. And the original poster of the thread as well.

More info is available at the libel law reform website. Sign the petiton!

Libel Law Reform Campaign

I did worry about a few of the posts but there is still the option of referring complaints to the regulatory body

I've made an official complaint. If there wasn't anything in it I doubt they'd be so heavy handed. And the fact that so many others feel the same just adds weight.

I should hear from the official channels this week and hopefully have some positive news.

The power of HoL eh?

The fact that they're so heavy handed puts me off them. Nothing gained from doing that. I'm very dissapointed in Dragon Vets now. Removing the name of the vet in question should have been enough, this is public interest.

If there wasn't anything in it you doubt they would be so heavy handed?

So, you're basically saying that if your complaint was unfounded they would probably just let you post whatever you like and not take any action?!

That doesn't seem quite right to me.

If someone wrote something libellous about me or my business on the internet that was untrue and could damage my reputation or business I would do my utmost to get it removed.

Dragon Vets are quite rightly protecting themselves from what they clearly feel are untrue and damaging allegations.

 

I posted an account of a recent experience with them, there was nothing untrue in it, it was factual.

Dragon Vets don't appear to agree with you there though. 

I read the original thread and the many many subsequent replies and responses, there was quite a lot of opinion in there. They have an absolute right to protect themselves.

You've basically said that if Dragon Vet weren't in the wrong they wouldn't be quite so heavy handed. Personally, I think your post was pretty heavy handed itself. So carrying on the corollary....

Yes many of the subsequent posts were fairly personal. I agree they have a right to protect themselves, as I have a right to share my experiences with my local community.

Either way I have completely followed all the correct channels and I had made an official complaint before I posted anything on here.

I personally think giving someone a choice of paying £1000 or putting an animal to sleep is a little extreme when an injury visible to the naked eye and not requiring tests was seen in minutes by another vet.

I await the outcome of the official investigation and feel thankful I sought a second opinion.

Elle, thanks for your empathy and for the interesting link.

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