This is the least original thing I have written (and that is saying something!) because there are at least 224 other blogs saying the same thing – Chicken Yoghurt is keeping track.
I’m a bit sketchy on the details, but basically a couple of people (Tim of Bloggerheads and Clive of the UKtoday) wrote a couple of things about one of those Russian oligarchs which he took exception to. His response was not to get the posts he objected to removed but to get the whole websites removed.
Not only that, but Tim and Clive host some other blogs which also disappeared so we have been deprived of Craig Murray, Bob Piper and Boris Johnson for no other reason than the fact they were hosted at the same place. No point me linking to themas they don’t exist at the moment.
Instead of the (presumably) intended effect of removing negative publicity and scaring anyone else away from the subject the exact opposite has happened: a large number of web sites now feature posts about Alisher Usmanov, bringing the original comments to a much wider audience much more prominently.
It could all come to nothing, or it could be some sort of milestone case in the issue of free speech and Internet-related legislation. It can’t be right that some bloke with enough cash to hire a ruthless lawyer can get entire sites closed down because he doesn’t like a couple of comments, with the collateral damage of other sites being closed simply by association. There are several laws involved which I don’t really understand beyond knowing that they need to change.
Being the 225th person to chip in, there is really nothing I can add, except to point out that Alisher Usmanov is an anagram of “Harass in volume” and “Evil sour shaman“. Which is nice.
The 224 who beat me to it are:
Curious Hamster, Pickled Politics, Harryâ€™s Place, Tim Worstall, Dizzy, Iain Dale, Ten Percent, Blairwatch, Davide Simonetti, Earthquake Cove, Turbulent Cleric (who suggests dropping a line to the FA about Mr Usmanov), Mike Power, Jailhouse Lawyer, Suesam, Devilâ€™s Kitchen, The Cartoonist, Falco, Casualty Monitor, Forever Expat, Arseblog, Drink-soaked Trots (and another), Pitch Invasion, Wonkoâ€™s World, Roll A Monkey, Caroline Hunt, Westminster Wisdom, Chris K, Anorak, Mediawatchwatch, Norfolk Blogger, Chris Paul, Indymedia (with a list of Craig Murrayâ€™s articles that are currently unavailable), Obsolete, Tom Watson, Cynical Chatter, Reactionary Snob, Mr Eugenides, Matthew Sinclair, The Select Society, Liberal England, Davblog, Peter Gasston Pitch Perfect, Adelaide Green Porridge Cafe, Lunartalks, Tygerland, The Crossed Pond, Our Kingdom, Big Daddy Merk, Daily Mail Watch, Graemeâ€™s, Random Thoughts, Nosemonkey, Matt Wardman, Politics in the Zeros, Love and Garbage, The Huntsman, Conservative Party Reptile, Ellee Seymour, Sabretache, Not A Sheep, Bartholomewâ€™s Notes on Religion, The Peopleâ€™s Republic Of Newport, Life, the Universe & Everything, Arsenal Transfer Rumour Mill, The Green Ribbon, Blood & Treasure, The Last Ditch, Areopagitica, Football in Finland, An Englishmanâ€™s Castle, Freeborn John, Eursoc, The Back Four, Rebellion Suck!, Ministry of Truth, ModernityBlog, Beau Bo Dâ€™Or, Scots and Independent, The Splund, Bill Cameron, Podnosh, Dodgeblogium, Moving Target, Serious Golmal, Goonerholic, The Spine, Zero Point Nine, Leninâ€™s Tomb, The Durruti Column, The Bristol Blogger, ArseNews, David Lindsay, Quaequam Blog!, On A Quiet Dayâ€¦, Kathzâ€™s Blog, England Expects, Theo Spark, Duncan Borrowman, Sennâ€™s Blog, Katykins, Jewcy, Kevin Maguire, Stumbling and Mumbling, Famous for 15 megapixels, Ordovicius, Tom Morris, AOL Fanhouse, Doctor Vee, The Curmudgeonly, The Poor Mouth, 1820, Hangbitch, Crooked Timber, ArseNole, Identity Unknown, Liberty Alone, Amused Cynicism, Clairwil, The Lone Voice, Tampon Teabag, Unoriginalname38, Special/Blown It, The Remittance Man, 18 Doughty Street, Laban Tall, Martin Bright, Spy Blog The Exile, poons, Jangliss, Who Knows Where Thoughts Come From?, Imagined Community, A Pint of Unionist Lite, Poldraw, Disillusioned And Bored, Error Gorilla, Indigo Jo, Swiss Metablog, Kate Garnwen Truemors, Asn14, D-Notice, The Judge, Political Penguin, Miserable Old Fart, Jottings, fridgemagnet, Blah Blah Flowers, J. Arthur MacNumpty, Tony Hatfield, Grendel, Charlie Whitaker, Matt Buck, The Waendel Journal, Marginalized Action Dinosaur, SoccerLens, Toblog, John Brissenden East Lower, Electronic Frontier Foundation, Peter Black AM, Boing Boing, BLTP, Gunnerblog, LFB UK, Liberal Revolution, Wombles, Focus on Sodburyâ€¦, Follow The Money, Freedom and Whisky, Melting Man, PoliticalHackUK, Simon Saysâ€¦, Daily EM, From The Barrel of a Gun, The Fourth Place, The Armchair News Blog, Journalist und Optimist, Bristol Indymedia, Dave Weeden, Up North John, Gizmonaut, Spin and Spinners, Marginalia, Arnique, Heather Yaxley, The Whiskey Priest, On The Beat, Paul Canning, Martin Stabe, Mat Bowles, Pigdogfucker, Rachel North, B3TA board, Naqniq, Yorkshire Ranter, The Home Of Football, UFO Breakfast Recipients, Moninski , Kerching, e-clectig, Mediocracy, Sicily Scene, Samizdata, I blog, they blog, weblog, Colcam, Some Random Thoughts, Bel is thinking, Vino S, Simply Jews, Atlantic Free Press, Registan, Filasteen, Britblog Roundup #136, Scientific Misconduct Blog, Adam Bowie, Duncan at Abcol, Camera Anguish, A Very British Dude, Whatever, Central News, Green Gathering, Leighton Cooke (224).