Bloggers, Beware of Comments
According to Out-law, the English High Court has ruled that a man who did not delete an allegedly-defamatory post from his blog could not sue the poster in defamation.
Christopher Carrie, the would-be litigant, established the blog in 2007 to promote his self-published book, in which he alleges that he was sexually abused by the late Father John Tolkien, who died in 2003. Tolkien was the son of an author with whom you may be familiar. According to Carrie, Tolkien’s grandson Royd Tolkien posted a comment on his site, accusing Carrie of lying about the abuse to extract money from the Catholic church.
The court found that by leaving the inflammatory remarks online, Carrie had consented to their publication, which contradicted his assertion that the post caused him “substantial upset and distress”. The ruling is here.
Summary judgment: Leaving the post online for all to see does little to alleviate the suspicion that Carrie was trying to cash in by besmirching a famous surname.