This is interesting and a little upsetting. I have just become aware that Gavin Atkins of The ShadowLands blog on the Asian Correspondent news service site posted a blog post containing what, in my relatively educated, but non-‘legal expert’ opinion, is a defamatory imputation that damages the reputation of myself and, what is the most upsetting, my mother. Here is the original blog post:
An article by Ross Gittins suggesting university students are not worthy welfare recipients has predictably not been well received in some quarters.
You might find the first paragraph of this rebuttal somewhat peculiar:
“I was helped out by my folks for the final year and a half of my PhD in a direct way. My mum also used to send me cash every now and then during my candidature so I could buy some broccoli.”
until you look it up.
Here is my response I just posted to the comments:
That is my blog you link to.
My mother actually sent me money to buy vegetables, which she called ‘broccoli money’ as a play on my childhood dislike of broccoli. She did not send me a little cash every now and then so as to buy drugs.
To put it mildly, I don’t really appreciate the imputation of your blog post. Perhaps you should read another blog post of mine to help you understand the possible implications:
I would’ve commented earlier, but my blog software only picked up your trackback now. I understand the cut and thrust of blogging sometimes has untoward effects, so I’d appreciate you keeping this post but appending a comment that clarifies that my mother did not provide me with money to buy drugs. This way those who have already read the post will know you were only joking.
Bloggers or journalists who bridge the gap between new and old media should really become more aware of legislation and common law pertaining to questions of defamation.
EDIT 20/10/09: Looks like the Asian Correspondent is recruiting high class bloggers like JF Beck RWDB who also took a shine to one of my posts.
EDIT 20/10/09: Gavin has apologised, so I am content.