I have been giving the subject of freedom of speech some thought today for some strange reason.

In my book, freedom of speech means just that – speech is free, subject to certain conditions.  I am free to express my thoughts and opinions provided they are just that and not statements of fact.  I can however state facts if they are common knowledge and in the public domain. 

I can for example say that I think James Reilly is an absolute cunt and that I wouldn't let my grandkids near him, because that is my opinion.  If I said that I had proof and stated categorically that he was a kiddie fiddler, that would be libel so I don't say it.  Equally people can [and have done] call me a cunt and I ignore them.  If they state as a fact that I'm a kiddie fiddler I will sue them.

This little web site is stuck in a little box of magic tricks somewhere in Dublin, or maybe Carlow [I’m not sure which] but I do know it is somewhere in Ireland.  As such it is subject to the laws of Ireland, Europe [*spit*] and International law.  It is not subject to the laws of Great Britain or the U. S. of A.  My terms of service state just that.  I abide by those laws in that I don't load up porn, pirated shit or any of the lovely stuff to be found on the Dark Web.  Anything else is fair game.

So I write an opinion piece on Elton John and David Furnish, not commenting on their shenanigans and threesomes but on their attempt to cover up the lurid details to "protect their children".  I heard about their latest escapades entirely from the infamous injunction, and found the details on International sites that are outside the jurisdiction of England and Wales.  As such, that information is common knowledge and British [excluding Scotland] injunctions don't apply.

But then the Web Sheriff rides into town demanding I cease and desist and not only remove all mention of Elton John and David Furnish, but that I delete all files containing their names, including all cached files both at home and on the server.  Who the fuck do they think they are?  And how far do their threats extend?  Are they going to complain because I have mentioned the [redacted] names yet again?  Am I forbidden to ever mention Elton John for the next hundred years?  If that applies to every mention of his name then they are in for a bit of overtime, as according to Google, his name appears in 149,000,000 results.  It ain't going to play well with his public persona either.

I did a little research on the Web Cowboys, and the best explanation I came across was in Encyclopedia Dramatica. So this self appointed guardian of the Interweb proclaims itself to be the "Internet Protector to the Stars" and is going to police the Interweb and harass anyone they are paid to not like?  They must spend their time just Googling the Interwebs just looking for people to harass?

They seem to be quite well known for their blanket bomb approach.   They are demanding that Google removes links right around the world, despite the injunction only applying to England and Wales.  Solely because of their efforts to hide the story, they are keeping the story running.  I have no interest whatsoever in Elton John or David Furnish.  As far as I am concerned they are just two people who got up to a bit of naughty, and my attitude is so fucking what!  But because of the Web Cowboys the story will roll and roll, and it is all because of those threats.

So the Web Cowboys can fuck off into the sunset.  I have no time for threats, intimidation or bullying.

I'm siding with the Indians.


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Web cowboys — 17 Comments

  1. Sounds like a bunch of troll dandies. They probably enjoy fucking off into the sunset, as they are basically self proclaimed space cowboys of the internet. 

    • Welcome K!  I don't really care who they are, but they obviously rely on intimidation to get their way.  Their threat is quite funny actually, as they are telling/ordering me to take down material about their client but can't say who their client is.  Maybe I should delete all mentions of Santa Claus in case he employed them?

  2. I am often reminded of that wonderful American epithet

    "Fuck you! and the horse you rode in on"

    Very apt for use with cowboys 😀

    As for Sir Melton Mowbray and Daisy Furnishers maybe they should stop packing fudge for half a second and think how their shenanigans will hold them up for criticism

    They should just take it like a man if they get caught with their trousers down if they haven't already 😉


    • So our Twosome decide to have a Threesome and only then worry about the kids?  Would you piss in the livingroom and then worry that the kids will see the puddle?  I hope all this frantic [and fruitless] attempt to cover things up is costing them a fortune.

  3. Well said, Grandad. You are so right. The stupid injunction only plays in England and Wales, Scottish law is different and it was splashed over their newspapers. The USA had it too. Everyone in England that wanted to know knows and Guido Fawkes did a full page about it. His server lives in the Irish Republic too. The Daily Mail ran a story with no names and then an adjacent article about this pair. It was so obvious.

    • I didn't know Guido was an Irish resident?  I thought his server was over The Pond in California or somewhere.  I know it's not in England or Scotland though.

      The irony [as I keep pointing out] is that if they had just let the story run it would have reached a few tabloid readers and then been forgotten.

  4. Its an unfortunate truth in tinternet land that strong tough talking principled views on freedom of speech with a nobody will stop me saying what I like, so fuck off,  vanishes when Ted and Alice next door find  out about the blog. If an employer found out it would probably means deleting the blog entirely.

    I don't  mean you Grandad, but  anonymous bloggers are anonymous for reasons so  tough talk on blogs has to be put in context.

    Freedom of speech is not freedom to read.

    • Surely it all depends on what I say about Ted and Alice?  As it happens, a few of the neighbours are well aware of this site [fuck RTE for sticking me in that damned programme!], but I don't know how often they read it, if at all.  As for employers – I don't have any, nor will I ever have in the future.

      There are a few topics I steer well clear of as there are people whose privacy I respect [even if I don't particularly like them].  Contrary to appearances, I do think before I write.  Sometimes.

      • Its a strange world in  blogland where anonymous bloggers will have their freedom of speech and say what they damn well like about anyone and anything but  would scream harassment/bullying/blackmail if the annonymous blogger was outed online or their neighbours or employers or colleagues found out about the blog.

        It is without any shadow of a doubt whatsover  bloggers get very touchy when the real world enters their hidden soapbox despite throwing as much shit as possible on public figures.

        Celebrities / public figures of course deserve it , but not purple carrot or whatever name they go under if the celebs or public figures threw a bit of shit their way.

        Freedom of speech online is not freedom of speech for everyone, its a perverted version that suits bloggers that make their own rules up as they go.

        • I agree entirely.  However there is a distinct difference between using anonymity and using a persona/pseudonym.  It wouldn't take a rocket scientist to find out all my details  I only know of one "blogger" who was paranoid about her identity [she told me in strictest confidence] and that was because a) she wrote about her bedroom antics [real or imaginary?] and b) was employed in a high position [no pun intended] in a well paid job. 

          If I get a reasonable request to cease and desist then I have no problem with that.  I only write about stuff in the public domain anyway, but when I get a threatening letter that doesn't even apply to me, and is based on an abuse of the law then I get a little annoyed.

          Incidentally, one little rule of mine that I should mention – I would never say something about a person unless I would say it to their face. 


    • I was tempted to reply to their mail asking what names I should remove [someone else did, and they replied they couldn't because of the injunction!], but frankly I have better things to do with my time than take cowboys seriously.

  5. Interestingly, a Twatter user who fell foul of Dick Puddlcote told me to remove all references to her and her twatter account. I ignored it.

    • If the twatter user made  real life references about Dick Puddlecote in several places then he would scuttling about blogland begging folk to remove them, of course that would be bullying/harassment by the twatter user.


      Dick of course can do what he wants under freedom speech , but it would be so different if the twatter user fought back

      • I can understand and fully respect Dick's desire for anonymity.  Normally I have no problem with anyone using a pseudonym unless of course they are fucking trolls, in which case they deserve to be sought out and kicked severely in the nuts.

        The Web is full of very strange people.

      • Ah, no, what happened was that she posted idiotic anti-smoking bullshit and Dick poked fun of her. She got on her high horse and demanded that he be thrown off Twitter. I blogged about it and got a cease and desist demand from her – telling me that she had reported me to Twitter. Um… I ain't on Twitter…

        She also included one of those notices not to republish her email. So I published it.

        So, yeah, we laughed and ignored her.

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