British Libel Law Is Weird

For anyone familiar with British people, you might recognise, thinking about it, all these aphorisms that they have for things that you could, normally, say are pretty obvious. There’s ‘a brave idea’ or, as the video suggests, ‘tired and emotional’ or ‘gal pals.’ When you hear these things, particularly in the British media, you want to keep an ear out for the sound of lawyers moving carefully in the background. If you state something – especially something in the protected class under British privacy law, such as someone’s marriage status or their sexuality – and that isn’t provably and publically true, then you can get sued rather hardcore for it.

Media and culture reflect one another, rather than defining one another. These libel laws may have amplified behaviour that was already in place, or have been installed to emphasise what was seen as an acceptable cultural behaviour. It’s a bit chicken-and-egg when you delve into this sort of media study! The juncture of it is, however, when you hear people from another culture communicating in a particular way, maybe they have a reason to do so.

This is the less-angry version of another article, which I’m still debating whether or not I should write.

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