There's nothing funny about being defamed and accused of undertaking illegal activities, and that's precisely what Australia's biggest newspaper group is currently doing to The Inquisitr, and by extension myself today.
Over two posts Wednesday evening (Australian Eastern) we covered the raid by Anonymous against the Australian Government. Those posts relied heavily on information publicly available on another site (which was linked to in the first post) about the raid, and included statements of intent from Anonymous itself. The second post was an attempt to live blog the raid by monitoring sites Anonymous are known to frequent, Twitter, and by checking whether any Australian Government sites were slow to load or offline (you know, basic journalism.) Both posts were clearly written under my name, and quotes from the group were clearly marked as such, and in one case in a block quote gray enclosure.
Indeed, I even went as far as saying in the first post
I legally can’t say I’m in favor of what Anonymous is doing here, and I won’t be participating in the raid, however there will be many who support any effort to highlight the Australian Government’s attempt to introduce Chinese style censorship in a country that is suppose to be democratic and free.Incitement to commit a crime in Australia is illegal, and not only didn't I endorse the effort, I specifically said I had nothing to do with it.
So how it is then that the News Corp papers in Australia are running stories claiming that among other things that the "hacker" wrote the posts here at The Inquisitr. To quote the article:
A message posted on the Inquisitor website by the hacker, identified as Anonymous, stated that the action was in response to a Federal Government proposal to introduce mandatory internet filtering....It should be noted that the China reference was one that I made, they didn't actually split the quotes and my commentary, but instead lumped it all as "the hacker" talking.
The posting complains that the proposal to introduce internet filtering would block legal content, and take censorship to levels like that seen in China.
But it gets better, because then they extensively quote my live blog post as coming from the hacker.
The posting, titled "Anonymous vs the Australian Government", also gives a blow-by-blow account of the hacker's progress.News Corporation is fond of attacking new media, with John Hartigan himself having a particular dislike of bloggers and blogging. Yet what we have here is yet another case of even the most basic fact checking not being undertaken, and in the process The Inquisitr, and by extension myself (as the author of the posts referred to in article) being accused of undertaking serious criminal activities, activities which I would note are currently subject to an investigation by the Australian Federal Police.
"In two minutes from when I type this, Anonymous is declaring war on the Australian Government over its decision to implement Draconian internet censorship," the post said.
"Tick tick tick.
"Update: 7pm: and so it begins.
"7:05pm (AEST), Ministers page is slow to load, but still up.
"7:11pm weve confirmed on site (via a source) that the sites due to be attacked have been taken down from the coordination page, possibly before the raid.
"7:18pm pm.gov.au DOWN!
"7:21pm Kevin Rudd's page is down completely. Strike one to Anonymous."
Despite emailing the editor of News.com.au, The Australian Newspaper, and The Herald Sun, I've not had one response. The Editor of the rival newspaper The Age, who ran a similar story, not only immediately responded, but pulled the references to The Inquisitr in less than 30 minutes