The Brian Gorrell Story on Media in Focus

Since the Brian Gorrell blog has emerged a couple weeks ago, I tried to steer away from it because of its libelous nature. Obviously, tens of thousands of people are visiting this Australian guy’s blog about his Filipino ex-lover and the $70,000 money the latter owed him that it has gotten him much attention from the press. This evening, we taped the panel discussion at ANC’s Media in Focus discussing the social and legal ramifications of this phenomenon.

Anybody who’s been following his blog knows the scandalous posts and pictures will only attract libel suits. Lawyer’s of the parties involved have made their moves so far, though nothing concrete has been done. Google, the owner of Blogger.com where the BlogSpot blog is being hosted, has been sent a letter of request to take down the blog as well (not sure if it’s a C&D though).

What other bloggers who have been religiously covering this issue is that they might be also accountable about the spread of such libelous acts and can be held liable in Philippine courts. That’s according to Atty. JJ Disini who was also one of the resource speakers of ANC. Even JV Rufino, EIC of Inquirer.net, said he made sure all their articles (9 so far and counting) steer clear of identifying names, linking or publishing URLs.

Here’s what bloggers might be doing that could get them into trouble if they’re covering the issue.

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  • Publicly mentioning names of people being exposed in the blog.
  • Posting pictures of the people being named by Brian Gorrell in his blog.
  • Publishing the URL of the blog or linking to the blog.
  • Quoting a libelous sentence on the blog or re-publishing/summarizing allegations thereof.

The personalities and families of the people being exposed in the blog are desperate to end this and looks like they’re doing everything they can to stop people from talking about it and they will include bloggers too.

Watch Media in Focus on ANC this Thursday to learn more about this issue. We tried real hard not to name names or mention the blog. The only name we can really talk about in the segment was Brian Gorrell himself.

Updated: To those who are unfamiliar with my previous battles with libel cases in the Philippines, please refer to this, this and this. In fact, I still have another one right now in Civil Court.

Please read them first so you’ll know where I’m coming from and how ridiculous our system is.

[tags]brian gorell, brian gorrell blog blogger[/tags]

Abe is the founder and Editor-in-Chief of YugaTech. You Can follow him on Twitter @abeolandres.

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