Media owner Julian Willock has stated that he is in favour of a ban on ‘blogs’ (online comments) on all news sites in the BVI.
Willock made the comment on Real Talk with Karia Christopher after being asked if he takes any responsibility for harsh comments bloggers make that affect the mental health of those they are directed at.
“I would like to see in the BVI where all news sites ban all blogging, that’s my personal opinion. But no one else will go down that road with us (VINO) to ban all blogs. Blogging is a part of the culture, they are very ridiculous at times, very inaccurate and distasteful,” Willock said.
He added that he remains unaffected by people who often use his own news site to leave negative comments about him.
“Imagine my company owns VINO and I see negative blogs about myself. I have never asked the editor to remove comments about me. If they can blog about Peter and Paul, they can blog about me. I’m not thin-skinned. But the blogs have been a problem, you have people who don’t even read the story, once names are up, they just go blogging,” Willock stated.
The controversial former Speaker of the House of Assembly also posited that he believes a few of the same people are responsible for blogging on news sites on a daily basis.
“I will submit to you that you have about 10 to 15 of the same people blogging everyday on all the sites. I urge all those who are owners of news sites to ensure they check these blogs before they post them. Companies could be liable for blogs that are malicious, libelous and defame persons’ good name and character,” Willock stated.
People in the BVI — especially public figures — have often bemoaned the harsh and critical comments that readers leave below stories on news sites. Many have called for a ban or censorship that would limit what people are about to say about others, especially since the BVI is considered a small society.
Elected leaders have also criticised blogs on news sites. Still, they often use these same blogs as supportive evidence when making statements in the House of Assembly and on public platforms.
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