Friday, December 04, 2009

R v Internet II: Trying so hard not to break name suppression

Yesterday at the R v Internet seminar, blogger David Farrar identified the entertainer whose name is suppressed. Crown Law Office was at the front table.

But David is the only blogger I know of who has unwittingly broken name suppression on two successive days. Earlier today he posted a blog post detailing how he broke name suppression. He posted a screen shot of the man's Facebook page (with several parts hidden from public view) on his blog. Unwittingly, he forgot to delete the Facebook title bar on the screenshot that showed the name of the entertainer. I also recognised the entertainer by the pic that was shown on the Facebook page he posted- but then I knew who he was.

However, there was another identifying factor that David forgot about. The man's Facebook page was searchable through identifying information in a comment on that Facebook page that could be cut and pasted into Google.


I say this not to bag David, because I know he is sincere in addressing issues around suppression and contempt, and has spend a lot of time doing so and creating awareness of the situation online - and lawyers need to hear what he has to say. It is simply to illustrate how difficult it is to discuss suppression issues online and how toothless such laws are when you do. Showing an appropriately blanked out screen shot of a Facebook page at a seminar is fine but doing the same thing online - with further restrictions - can man that people can cut and paste certain words on that Facebook page that lead to the artists identification. Kiwiblog is a widely read blog, and now the screenshot of the artists page has been deleted from Kiwiblog.

I would be breaching suppression even blogging this myself earlier , so I have refrained from posting this post until David amended his blog page again. The Facebook page had no less than 17 strategically placed boxes blanking out information, but it still wasn't enough. The actual page is was here and also reveals that Tau Henare is a fan of snickers. Did you know that?

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