Sounds like a band, doesn't it - And here we have Bloggers and the Law (cue screams) singing their latest ...
Back to reality. There's been a bit of a fuss in the UK about press freedom, and there will be a new regulator but it's very unclear whether it has legal teeth or not.
Surely this has nothing to do with us? We're bloggers; they can't regulate the internet. We might write in the UK but Blogger has its home in the US - so suing is difficult under British Law. But, if it has nothing to do with us, that doesn't mean we shouldn't take notice of the regulations - even if it only means we think more carefully before we write.
Those who write about cooking or gardening or knitting - I've no idea if it's possible to be controversial. It is possible to argue over asparagus?
But writers can get aerated about all sorts of things. We have ideas and opinions and throw them about on our blogs. But that doesn't mean we don't have an ethical responsibility to pay attention to getting facts right, nor the impact our writing might have on people's feelings.
For instance, I think it's fine to complain that a book is full of grammatical errors and spelling mistakes and that this spoiled ones enjoyment. What's not okay is to suggest that the writer spent all day in bed, the evening snorting cocaine and wrote the book at two in the morning as that is the only justification for all the mistakes. We can (and should) challenge the writing but leave the writer's life choices alone.
So - if you agree with that (and you may not) - is it okay to write about one's ex-husband being a lying, cheating bastard who beat you up - when he's a weak man who chases a bit of skirt but has never laid a finger on you? (My ex-husband is none of those things.) Is it okay to suggest one's neighbours might be growing cannabis in the attic on the basis of them flopping about in the garden smoking joints?
We are bloggers. There is nothing to stop us but ethics. And ethics - that is what the new regulations are all about. They might not apply to us. But that does not mean we should have nothing to do with them.
Or do you think the internet is the place where we can, and should, be free to write whatever we like?