Bologna: A lawsuit for an article yet the entire blog is blacked-out

After 4 days the prosecutor took better aim and blacked out only the disputed text. The barrister, Di Pietro defined the measure as disproportionate.

On the 6th April, the Prosecutor of Bologna at the request of that of Brindisi sequestered the blog, Butac (Fake news at by the kilo) managed by Michelangelo Coltelli. This site has been since 2013 a collection of unreliable news distributed on the web and on social media. Four days later, the 10th April, the Prosecutor took better aim and limited the confiscation only to the page containing the article subject to the lawsuit.

The sequestration had been carried out following a complaint of libel by Claudio Pagliera, a cancer specialist who considered himself libelled in an article published on Butac three years ago, in May 2015. The lawsuit was communicated to the manager of the Butac website at the beginning of February 2018.

“I don’t think I manage such a dangerous website” Coltelli told Ossigeno. And yet for a single disputed article they confiscated 3,700 articles.” FNSI commented on the confiscation and defined the measure adopted by the Prosecutor as “disproportionate” (Read here).

The opinion of the director of Ossigeno

“The prompt correction with which the Bologna Prosecutor defined a more limited confiscation is appreciated. Having said that, the director of Ossigeno, Alberto Spampinato, insisted that the blacking out of blog posts should be limited to particularly serious and urgent cases, to acts of incitement to hatred and to violence. In other cases the blacking out should happen after the judgement. It is true that blogs have a less extensive legal protection than online newspapers and are, therefore, more vulnerable to confiscation. But the preventative confiscation of an entire blog is difficult to justify as the barrister, Andrea Di Pietro clearly explains. And it is strange that a preventative confiscation is resorted to three years after the facts.”

RDM-ADP (wt)

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