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The Benefits Of Libel Laws

By Andrew Doyle writing for UnHerd


Casual libel is now so commonplace that the consequences are no longer feared, even by media outlets. A fortnight ago, the official Twitter account of Newstalk, an Irish radio station with over 250,000 followers, made the plainly false assertion that J.K. Rowling has “a long history of opposing rights for trans people”. The tweet was eventually deleted, but it is revealing that it was posted in the first place. It has apparently been forgotten that false allegations of this kind often lead to successful lawsuits. Frankie Boyle famously won over £50,000 in damages when the Daily Mirror branded him a “racist” in 2012. And only last month, the Telegraph paid out more than £40,000 to Laura Murray, a former aide to Jeremy Corbyn, for describing her as an “anti-Jewish racist”. In legal terms, such statements simply do not fall within the scope of “personal opinion”.

Read the full article at UnHerd