Man Arrested For Writing A Blog Listing MPs That Voted For Iraq War – What’s Your View?
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Last week at the time of writing a 23 year old man was arrested under the Terrorism Act 2006 because he wrote an on-line blog that listed the MPs that he thought voted for the Iraq war. It was alleged that the blog directly influenced a student to murder MP Stephen Timms. Please click here for the full story.
Now I ask the question, is this really fair? Is the writer of this blog really partly responsible for the criminal acts of another person who decided to murder this MP? Did he intentionally write the blog to put these MPs in danger or was the writer simply exorcising his right to free speech?
Many people will remember the infamous Hungerford massacre where Michael Robert Ryan suddenly decided to go out on a murderous shooting spree in what was the quiet village of Hungerford in the UK. Since Ryan legally owned a UK fire arms licence, the incident forced an urgent review of fire arms regulations in the UK. Apparently Ryan was obsessed by the Rambo film First Blood that allegedly directly influenced him to commit this terrible act. In this situation, was the producer of Rambo arrested for being partly responsible for causing this awful incident? Well obviously not. In fact the media has a massive influence on people and it also sometimes influences the crimes they choose to commit, but generally the person who commits the crime is the person truly responsible as they make their own choices.
Now if someone purposely writes a blog or releases media with the purpose of knowingly putting someone in danger, then this is obviously a crime, but it would certainly be difficult to prove. Was this actually the case when this person named the MPs?
I’ve tried to be offer both sides of this debate and I therefore remain neutral, but I was wondering if anyone has any views on this subject?
I will add if it is believed that it’s possible that the man arrested didn’t intentionally write the blog to cause serious harm, it would mean that bloggers like myself will have to be extra careful in future not to influence anyone to perform criminal or even murderous acts because of the information the author chooses to write about. Blogs are often opinionated and sometimes there are heated debates, this is normally accepted in a free democratic country, but it is of course very different and totally wrong if the blogger has purposely written the article so as to cause serious harm.
It is the intention of this article to do no harm in any way what-so-ever. The author has purposely tried to offer a very neutral and unbiased view in this article and it’s most definitely NOT the intention of the author to cause any type of reaction, however you agree not to take any actions or react in any adverse manner and to do no harm after reading this article or any comments. If you choose to leave a comment, it shouldn’t be offensive and it shouldn’t cause any harm what-so-ever. Our full legal disclaimer applies to this article, any comments and all other articles on this website.
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