I’m not one to support defamation law, and indeed neither should those on the left. It is, for practical purposes, a tool almost exclusively for the rich and powerful, used in many cases to stifle criticism, the McLibel case being one famous example.
In addition, on principle, it’s a bizarre law in that makes it illegal to encourage someone to do something which is completely legal. It’s quite legal to think bad things about someone, even if those things are not true. Whilst we have laws against encouraging illegal behaviour (like inciting violence), it’s nonsensical to have laws against encouraging something we consider an acceptable legal action in our society.
Encouraging someone not to break the law should not be illegal itself.
Indeed the idea that you’re allowed to think things, but no-one is allowed to talk to you about those things, seems frighteningly authoritarian.
But defamation law does exist. … Read the rest