Sunday, December 01, 2002

The Bitch done closed

Clearly, the current status of the popbitch message board is one of a site that has closed itself up rather than become "overwhelmed" -not so much too many people trying to post asa baord that has been swamped with people trying to look at it.

The whole episode has been kinda curious, though, don't you think? A few years back, tired of the excesses of the Sun, several millionaire stars clubbed together to form a group that would pounce on the paper as soon as there was a libel slipped through - it didn't take long before Elton John was maligned and the lottery-syndicate swung into action. Obviously, the humiliation of the paper didn't stop the tabs totally, but it did draw their teeth for a long while.

You have to wonder if the Michael Owen's Sister case is a similar exercise taking place in cyberspace. It's certainly curious the way the Daily Mail picked up on the tale so swiftly, and it's generated a lot of old media coverage - "we cannot say what those allegations were", as ILR put it; even giving Mark Lawson a chance to trot out the old, old lie that anyone who publishes anything on the internet is a credulous moron in the Guardian (shame on you, Lawson).

Of course, it could just be someone getting lawyer happy, but the speed and effort being taken to crush a story that was palpably bollocks in the first place is interesting.

But, David - if you're planning to use our "the editor system means that stories carried are implicitly endorsed by the website" line in court, could we have a huge refresher, please?

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