We've written before about the libel fight that Simon Singh is fighting in the UK, where the British Chiropractic Assocation sued him for libel
for saying that some of the things that the BCA claimed chiropractors could do were "bogus." Singh, who has a PhD. and has written numerous books about science, was pointing out that the BCA was making claims that had little scientific evidence to back them up -- hence "bogus." Tragically a court focused on the use of that word, suggesting that Singh meant the BCA had engaged in deliberate dishonesty, rather than just aggressive marketing. Because of the amount of time and resources it is taking him to fight this, Singh is now giving up his column in The Guardian
, noting just how damaging a ridiculous libel lawsuit can be on individuals.
The only good news out of this is that the lawsuit against Singh has brought about two important forms of backlash:
- A large group of concerned citizens online have actively been debunking claims from the BCA, and getting official investigations started of any chiropractor that makes bogus (yes, bogus) claims about what chiropractors can cure.
- Singh's case has become a focal point in a new, much-needed, effort in the UK to reform libel laws in that country -- where existing laws effectively put the burden on the accused to prove that they didn't libel the other party.
It's awful to see Singh have to go through all of this, but hopefully his sacrifices will mean others won't have to face the same issue down the road.