by Mike Masnick
Wed, Dec 14th 2011 10:43pm
Having just discussed whether or not journalism shield laws should apply to random bloggers, it's worth noting an interesting case going on in Indiana, where the key question is whether or not such a law applies to comments on a newspaper website. The paper, the Indianapolis Star, is arguing that Indiana's shield law protects anonymous commenters in the same way that it protects sources. After all, anonymous commenters can be sources. Of course, it may come down to the specific language in Indiana's shield law. A more interesting question is should such laws protect anonymous commenters? I'd argue that the First Amendment should, generally speaking, protect most anonymity, so I'm not sure a specific shield law provides much more that's useful beyond that. However, if you were definitely applying such shield laws to comments, perhaps it should just be limited to cases or individuals who actually are acting as sources (i.e., providing news) in the comments.
If you liked this post, you may also be interested in...
- Nigerian Government Officials Abusing Cybercrime Law To Silence Critical Journalists
- Journalists Blaming Facebook For Decline Is Just As Tiresome As When They Blamed Craigslist & Google
- Will The Washington Post Give Back Its Pulitzer And Stand Trial With Snowden?
- MuckRock & Vice Announce Fellowship To Investigate Peter Thiel
- Deadspin Mocks New Owner Univision By Cleverly Reposting Deleted Mitch Williams Story As New Story About The Lawsuit