Tuesday, August 30, 2005

Further correspondence

Natwatch2 has received a copy of the e-mail exchange between our harrassed reader and the now infamous P4P, mentioned in this previous post.

These have been edited to protect our reader's privacy, edits signified with [square brackets].
On 23/08/05, Nat Watch natwatch@gmail.com wrote:

We take no prisoners. All we ask of you is that you write us some articles and send us some photo's. You have until the end of the day to send in your first drafts.

Then we might stop emailing you at work.

and also
From: Nat Watch natwatch@gmail.com
Subject: Re: hi
Date: Tue, 23 Aug 2005 17:20:48 +0100

Clock's ticking...

To which our reader replied:
On 23/08/05, [Natwatch2 fan] wrote:

If you cause any personal hassle to me, rest assured that I will be showing off these emails which show your aggressive threatening bullying behaviour.

Perhaps you should call it quits now.

I hear of a website called http://natwatchwatch.blogspot.com/ that would be very happy to receive such emails of you displaying behaviour that you so readily judge in others.

You gonna call it quits, or what?

Which was followed by:
From: Nat Watch natwatch@gmail.com
Subject: Re: hi
Date: Wed, 24 Aug 2005 09:43:50 +0100

There are three things you've neglected to mention: a) You don't know who we are, and neither does anyone else. b) Our jobs are not at stake. c) We're not ashamed of anything we've said in these emails, we'll happily forward the full transcripts to Martin Shipton of the Western Mail. [Sentence removed] We don't want your articles, we just throught we'd offer you a way out, since you seem so reluctant, we'll have to consider our next move... If we've got "nothing" on you. Why do you seem so eager to call it "quits"?

Has Mr Shipton also received these? Our reader replied with:
On 24/08/05, [Natwatch2 fan] wrote:

[Three sentences removed] My job is not at stake. My bosses are too busy and too wise to listen to a malicious spineless anonymous coward like you. You would achieve nothing. You really do have an inflated view of your own self-importance. You have no status at all as you are nothing but an anonymous coward, threatening people behind a mask. Why don't you reveal yourself, coward? Shame on you. You are not in any position to be judging the behaviour of others.

When I say quits, I mean I want to be left alone. I don't appreciate threats from anyone. I particularly don't appreciate threats from an anonymous spinless coward. If you continue with your threats I will go to the police. Now don't you contact me ever again or give me any further hassle.

Got that?

This email was replied to in a slightly less aggressive tone with:
From: Nat Watch natwatch@gmail.com
Subject: Re: hi Date:
Wed, 24 Aug 2005 13:38:20 +0100

We merely asked if you would like to write us articles and become one of our correspondents. You are a very useful contact. In time, we may feel able to reveal our identtity to you. We have gone to painstaking lenghts to remain annonymous, our website is virtually untraceable. Surely it must be quite obvious to you why (and it's got nothing to do with you). If not, then fine. We won't contact your bosses because we have better things to do. We don't really want you to lose your job, becuase you're not really a proper Nat. If we don't hear from you again within 24 hours, we will delete the conversation from our email account. If, on the other hand, you are still intersted in contributing, please let us know. NW

Our now distressed reader replied with this message:
--- [Natwatch2 fan] wrote:

Right now I'm seriously considering getting the police involved. You have really pissed me off in a big way. You have absolutely no right to be demanding anything from me or threatening to cause me personal hassle in any way, especially from behind a position of anonymity. I don't see your behaviour being that different to someone sending anonymous threatening letters through my front door.

So give it a rest, you anonymous coward.

Strangely, nothing more was heard.


Blogger Banksy said...

I don't know who the correspondent was, but Natwatch certainly seems to have dropped someone in it with the latest posting re the marina plans.

8:25 AM  
Blogger anonymous said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

10:19 AM  
Blogger anonymous said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

10:20 AM  
Blogger Nic Dafis said...

It's not slander, it's libel. And yes, there are laws about it. Bur P4P is being very careful not to leave a paper trail.

11:49 AM  
Blogger anonymous said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

12:14 PM  
Blogger Banksy said...

Nic's right, it's libel not slander.

Should you want to deal with it the first step is to contact the company hosting the site informing them of the libellous content - if that's what it is - and asking for it to be removed.

As I understand the law, provided that company removes the content then their liability for libel ends at that point. Provided that they didn't moderate the site in some way.

As for whoever actually runs the site. Well, if they have committed a libel they could be sued. But bear in mind how expensive it is to get a libel action going - no legal aid available. And even in the event that the claimant wins, would the defendant have the means to pay any libel damages?

In other words, is it worth the effort?

Of course, if the site is run or funded by a political party then that party could be the target of any libel action. Proving that might be very difficult though.

1:04 AM  
Blogger Hammers - back where we belong said...

Mr Banks

Anyone would think you give painfully long media law lectures for a living

7:10 AM  
Blogger Banksy said...

Mr Hammer, given the fact that it's on my profile it does not mark you out as a genius to have worked out I teach law.

As to the length and pain of my lectures, well, I'll leave that to those who receive them to be the judge of that.

I would point out that four paragraphs on libel is a model of brevity compared to what you would get from most lawyers.

An an online blogger since, ooh, today, hammer?

Anyone would think you'd just set up that id.

1:10 PM  
Blogger Nic Dafis said...

I would point out that four paragraphs on libel is a model of brevity compared to what you would get from most lawyers.

Compared to what you'd get for free, certainly ;-)

1:00 AM  
Blogger Hammers - back where we belong said...

I enjoyed your law classes actually.

Was only being friendly - no need to go all X Files on me. Keep up the column stuff by the way. Very entertaining.

7:24 AM  
Blogger Hammers - back where we belong said...

Just think, only £17 and you can avoid listening to the bloody Chronicle printing presses droning on all afternoon.


8:15 AM  
Blogger Banksy said...


e-stalked by a former trainee.

My life is complete.

8:50 AM  

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