Thursday, December 10, 2009

Blogger in defamation suit

Jayne Goh, the founder of the Association of Bloggers of Singapore which does not represent the majority of bloggers except a few founding members, has been judged by the High Court to have defamed a teacher, Janet Wong, for being corrupt. In her blog she 'alleged that Mrs Wong accepted bribes in return for allowing foreign students admission into her school. Jayne alleged in her blog that Mrs Wong demanded 'a $3,000 cash donation for each student placed in the school...and that entrance tests for such students were fixed'.

The case is now pending appeal or Jayne Goh would have to pay damages for failing to remove the article as demanded by Janet Wong.

What is important to bloggers is that the internet and blogging give bloggers a lot of freedom to write and express their views. But bloggers should be careful not to exceed the limitations of such rights to encroach into other people's rights. And posting scandulous or defamatory articles could bring about lawsuits which are very costly. Bloggers should feel free to express their views on issues and differences or disagreements are fair game. Comments that may be interpreted as personal attacks or affecting the integrity and reputation of individuals should be tackled sensitively and diplomatically.

We will have more news of this case since it is the first major case involving bloggers here.

The article is copied from Asian Correspondent.

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