Bullying the Bloggers

Periodically I come across stories where bloggers who have written, sometimes about seemingly minor subjects, have ended up on the receiving end of legal threats over their posts. Dave Walker, best known for his cartoons is the latest.

Yesterday a significant number of his posts were taken down, followed briefly by a post explaining why which has also now been removed. The subject of the posts was the sorry story of the demise of the SPCK bookshops, where Dave has become somewhat of a rallying point for news in the subject. Dave received a cease and desist notice from Mark Brewer of SSG, the organisation who took over the shops, who has threatened to sue if the posts were not removed. Needless to say the resources of a cartoonist are such that Dave has no way he could fight such a challenge, even though he and many others do not think he has done anything wrong.

Dave of course is currently down at the Lambeth Conference – here’s hoping that one or two of the journalists there pick up on this story. One or two other bloggers have picked up on the news as well – Matt Wardman has a nice little piece, and MadPriest who has had his fair share of disagreements with Dave has posted a great article under the heading Dave Walker – Cartoonist and Martyr. The Bishop of Buckingham has even highlighted what has happened, also referring to it as bullying and heavy handed.

Incidentally, if anyone is interested in seeing the posts in question, to make their own judgement about how libellous they may be, the Google cache will retain the posts for at least the next few days. From the listing, clicking the “Cached” link will return the copy of the page that Google hold.

In order to try and gather as much of the online response as I can together, I’ve set up a FriendFeed room, and am cross-posting links to there as I come across them.

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