Yesterday, the story about a blogger sued by a famous stylist rocked primetime news.
Abusive Free Speech?
The online libel case stemmed from the allegation of blogger Fashion Pulis, that stylist Liz Uy, did a disservice to Maine Mendoza a.k.a. Yaya Dub, for allowing her to wear a recycled gown during the #AlDubEBTamangPanahon event. Interestingly, the same blogger, was also arrested for online libel not too long ago, for a post he wrote about Deniece Cornejo’s alleged medical records.
(Online) libel is a law where an aggrieved party can seek redress from abusive exercise of free speech. In order to sue for damages, according to Jessica Schubert, one must “demonstrate that the libelous statement is not only false, but also caused, or could potentially cause, harm to one’s reputation. The statement must also cause others to dislike, hate or have contempt for the party against which the statement was made”.
Curtailing Free Speech?
Proponents against libel believed this can be used by the rich and powerful to intimidate and curtail free speech. The story of a blogger and mapping advocate who was sued for libel appears to support their point.
Effect to Blogging
The cases above are worth following since the resolution can set precedent on future cases, and may change the dynamics of local blogging and how netizens sharing on social media. Bloggers and social media users may have to subject their contents to a new standard.
What’s my take on the issue?
Two of my mentors, taught me these principles about “free speech”, and these has been my guide ever since.
- From a Pastor of one of the largest Christian churches in the world: “Make your words sweet, because one day you might eat them”.
- From a top Businessman in Asia: “When you point your gun, make sure it’s loaded”
What about you, what is your take on the issue?