Tag Archives: United Kingdom

Social Media Libel Cases on the Rise in the U.K.

By Sarah Klein

Be mindful of what you tweet, you may end up in court.

According to new data released from UK-based law firm Sweet and Maxwell, the number of social media-related libel cases is on the rise. While still low, the number of cases in the UK jumped from three in 2008-09 to seven in 2009-10.

“The rise in defamation cases linked to the internet is inevitable if Internet users like bloggers or tweeters fail to put in place the same kind of pre-publication controls that traditional media uses,” said Korieh Duodu, a lawyer at the law firm, in a statement to Silicon.com.

Once defamatory content is posted on such sites, it’s hard to have it completely removed. Users can quickly retweet the message to their followers, potentially reaching tens of thousands of people in mere minutes.

Social media experts suggest enlisting the help of a digital monitoring service to inform you when your name has appeared online. An easy (and free) suggestion is Google Alerts. Signing up will alert you when someone has mentioned your name.

While defamation causes for words spewed online remain relatively low for the general public, celebrities and sports stars filed 11 cases in 2008-09, and 30 in 2009-10, according to Sweet and Maxwell.


Can You Really Be Bored to Death? Researchers Think So

By Tyler Sutherland

The expression ‘bored to death’ is no longer just a saying, according to researchers in London.

New information to be published in the International Journal of Epidemiology in April suggests there is a link between how bored you are, and how early you’ll die.

Researchers took data collected between 1985 and 1988, which questioned 7,500 people aged 35 to 55. Participants were asked if they had felt bored at work during the previous month.

In April 2009, those participants who were still alive and reported to have been very bored at work, were two and a half times more likely to die as the result of a heart problem over those who did not report being bored.

The effect was reduced based on physical activity levels and employment grade.

Other experts said while the research was preliminary, the link between boredom and increased heart problems was possible, if not direct.

— With files from UPI

How to Report TV News (VIDEO)

This just in: Leave it to the Guardian’s Charlie Brooker to show you how to report a TV news story. In this hilarious two minute clip, Charlie shows the process to fill air time and tells it like it is.

Heads up on some colourful language in the video if you’re at work.


[flv:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YtGSXMuWMR4 https://www.chrisd.ca/blog/wp-content/uploads/2010/01/charlie-brooker-tv-news-video.jpg 480 295]

Thanks to CTV’s Chris Eby for pointing this out on his Twitter feed.

U.K. Man Threatens to Blow Up Airport on Twitter

By Tyler Sutherland

Here’s what not to do on Twitter:

A 26-year-old man in England, frustrated with airline delays, took to Twitter to vent his frustration.

Paul Chambers tweeted from the Robin Hood airport near Doncaster, “Robin Hood airport is closed. You’ve got a week and a bit to get your s*** together, otherwise I’m blowing the airport sky high!!”

Police arrested him shortly afterward and interrogated Chambers for nearly six hours. Authorities say one of the man’s followers reported the tweet to police.

The ordeal has made Chambers an instant Internet celebrity, having requests for interviews made by journalists from across the globe. The number of people following him has also increased.

The troubling tweet has since been deleted from the website.

— With files from DailyMail.co.uk

More Newsrooms Using Twitter for Daily News Gathering

It’s a technology that makes gathering news for reporters and journalists much easier than just a few short years ago. Twitter — the microblogging platform that gives you up to 140 characters to “tweet” what you have to say — is becoming standard in at least one U.K. newsroom.

Sky News — an online website owned by News Corp. — has installed TweetDeck on all staff computers to help reporters keep track of the news coming in via Twitter.

This may not be anything new here, as most Winnipeg newsrooms have been utilizing Twitter for well over a year, if not longer, and use it daily to spread their message to viewers/readers.

Julian March of Sky News Online, was quoted by a U.K. journalism website as saying the following:

“The big change for us in 2010 is evolving how social media plays a role in our journalism. We no longer ghettoise it to one person, but are in the process of embedding throughout the whole team.”

But, why TweetDeck over the general Twitter web interface? It’s simple. Itemized columns, with the ability to sort and track individual trends, groups and topics. Twitter has recently tried to organize their presentation to compete with the list of apps out there; most notably by the introduction of lists a few months ago.

While it appears Sky News is trying to lead the pack with their new practice, some critics are pouncing on them for their new innovative approach to gathering news. The website, as previously mentioned, is owned by News. Corp, which Rupert Murdoch heads up. Murdoch has said in recent months he wanted to block Google from indexing his websites, claiming it to be content stealing. He’s also anti-social networking if prior interviews are any indication. It’s safe to assume the decision to roll out Twitter newsroom-wide was the decision of a producer somewhere, and not News Corp. directly.

In either case, News Corp., or any news organization, can not calm the giant Twitter machine and how it’s affecting the transmission of information in real-time. That’s why most have embraced it and consider it to be just as essential, if not more important, than e-mail.

World’s Oldest Twitter User Turns 104

You can find some interesting people to follow on Twitter these days, but one user is gaining thousands of followers just because of her age. Ivy Bean (@IvyBean104) is 104-years-old and joined the popular social networking site just last year.

Bean, who resides in England, is also active on Facebook after the care home she lives in encouraged its residents to get online.


Graphic Imagery Hoping to Deter Texting while Driving

By Brian Schultz

Talking on your cell phone while behind the wheel is banned in Manitoba, although it isn’t being enforced yet. An even bigger danger according to some experts, is text messaging while driving.

A powerful PSA in the U.K. is making the rounds that shows the impact a distracted driver can have on not only themselves, but their passengers and other drivers.

Just a word of caution before clicking play, it’s pretty graphic.


One Surveillance Camera for Every 14 People

By Tyler Sutherland

CCTV - Surveillance Cameras

Earlier this month we told you about Britain’s plans to place surveillance cameras in the homes of select residents. Now it’s been revealed that Britain has more CCTV cameras than communist China.

It’s true — there are 4.2 million closed circuit TV cameras, which works out to be one per every 14 people. Scary stuff. Compared to China — and taking their larger population into account — the equivalent is one camera per every 472,000 people.

Here are some other fun facts about Britain’s overaggressive stance when it comes to CCTV:

  • 20% of the world’s surveillance cameras are in Britain
  • Cameras capture the average Brit on tape about 300 times per day
  • The amount of snooping by Britain’s authorities on its own citizens has increased by 44% in the last two years

People were complaining when the Winnipeg police first announced placing cameras in select downtown areas. We don’t have it that bad. If you’re concerned about CCTV locally, it wouldn’t hurt to read the guidelines.