Website Company Threatens To Sue Guy Who Criticizes Quality Of Gordon Brown's Website
from the how-not-to-win-fans dept
Glyn Moody points us to a bizarre story of a thin-skinned exec at a UK company, called Tangent, who apparently has some sort of web content management system, which is used by many politicians in the UK, including former Prime Minister Gordon Brown, who uses it for his website. A guy named Luke Bozier saw the website, and thought it looked pretty bad for the website of a former Prime Minister, and wrote a blog post about it and tweeted:
Gordon Brown’s WebCreator website is not befitting of a former Prime Minister. Tangent should be ashamed.
Apparently, someone from Tangent was not impressed and sent Bozier an email threatening legal action against him if he didn’t remove the tweet:
I respectfully suggest you delete that tweet, issue no more similar ones and generally try to sell your products in a more professional way. I really don’t like the prospect of either a public slanting match or legal action, but if I need to protect my company’s business and reputation, I will.
Of course, even with the ridiculous state of UK libel laws, it’s difficult to see what’s libelous about expressing an opinion about the quality of a website, and then suggesting that the company behind the tools used to create the website “should be ashamed.” And, as the blog post linked above notes, this effort to silence Bozier to “protect” Tangent’s reputation, has done exactly the opposite:
The word on the web is now that Tangent, previously unheard of by most, is an aggressively litigious PLC which employs threats of legal action in attempts to suppress the free expression of opinion. This is the result of the utter folly in believing that spurious controls can be put on the sheer democracy of social media.
Instant, online justice is now served on those heavy handed and mindless enough to attempt to suppress freedom of speech through impotent legal threats.
It really is amazing that people issuing such legal threats still don’t realize how likely they are to backfire, though it is still amusing to watch.