You may or may not know this, but the UK is well known for it's rather one-sided libel law. So much so, London is known at the libel capital of the world and regularly sees "libel tourists" - foreigners who travel to the UK just to take advantage of the one-sided libel law to quash any publication they feel is damaging.
I wasn't aware of this until I happened to find myself on the end of an email threatening libel action (reminds me, I really need to write about that email) following several very critical posts about a certain online shopping company's (capitalise the last 3 words yourself) appalling customer service. A quick bit of research on the internet soon found me staring at information which pretty much stated: as an individual without mountains of cash and an army of lawyers, there was very little chance I was going to have any hope of defending my words and standing up for the freedom of expression given current UK libel laws (assuming I had the time or energy to). Naturally, I winced and very reluctantly and begrudgingly made copies of my original posts and changed the published versions to cover my arse.
Today I was pleased to discover there's actually a campaign - The Libel Reform Campaign - set up to try and campaign for our MPs to debate this unfair portion of UK law and implement the suggested changes. The campaign is slowly gaining momentum and has already gathered support from the likes of Ian Hislop, Jonathan Ross and Stephen Fry, however as Tesco says: "Every little helps", so I encourage you to sign the petition, even if you're not a UK resident.
If you ARE a UK resident, please also continue through the submission process and let the website email your MP. The Rt Hon John Redwood MP, my local MP, now has an email from me asking him to back this on my behalf. The website provides a template email which you can change to suit your needs. I changed my email to include a little mention about my brush with libel law.
Who knows, if this campaign is successful, I might be able to restore my original posts :-)