Tag Archives: girl with a one track mind

Zoe Margolis wins Libel Damages for a headline on her own article

The Daily Telegraph reported on Saturday that Zoe Margolis, who as Abby Lee wrote the “Girl with a One-Track Mind” sex blog and book, will receive damages from the Independent on Sunday over a headline attached to an article she had written herself. I can only find a printed version of the article:

Her Lawyer, Lucy Moorman, told the High Court in London that on March 7th the newspaper published an article by Miss Margolis, who writes under the pen name Abby Lee, but added to it was the headline, “I was a hooker who became an agony aunt”.

Miss Moorman said: “This headline was written by the newspaper not by the claimant.” The headline featured in the newspaper and on the website, she said.

The hearing was on Friday, and documented that a settlement had been reached:

On 7th March 2010, The Independent on Sunday newspaper seriously defamed Ms. Margolis by referring to her as a “hooker” in the title of an article that she wrote for them, published in both the paper and online editions.

The resulting effect of this libel was immeasurable, and Ms. Margolis was forced to issue legal proceedings against Independent News & Media Ltd.

These proceedings have now come to a conclusion and substantial damages have been offered to Ms. Margolis for the distress and impact to her reputation, both personal and professional, that this libel caused.

There will be a statement read in open court in a hearing tomorrow, Friday 21st May 2010 at 10.30am, court 13 at the Royal Courts of Justice, The Strand, London.

Ms. Margolis will be available for interview or comment following the hearing.

So far I have seen no report in the Independent. I assume that this will be coming soon.

The original report is here. There are a couple of interesting points:

An action has been pursued and damages have been paid by the Newspaper despite a correction and apology having been published within a week.

I find it slightly difficult to fathom what happened with the process of writing and checking the headline on the original piece. Perhaps the mention of “Belle de Jour, the blogging London call girl” in the second paragraph of the text, before the author herself was mentioned by name, had some effect.

7 ways to blog anonymously {updated}

Following today’s landmark judgement on one blogger’s right (or not) to anonymity, I thought it might be useful to post the following tips on maintaining anonymity online.

1. Use an anonymous email account to register your blog. Hushmail is one free service that provides encrypted accounts; RiseUp is aimed at activists; MintEmail gives you a 3 hour temporary email address and FilzMail gives you one that expires after 24 hours. You could also use these to post to your blog via email. Posterous is a great blogging service that allows you to do this.

2. Make sure your IP address isn’t logged when you register or post to the blog. You could use something like Anonymizer or Tor or Psiphon. Other services that mask your IP are listed on this forum.

3. Or you could use an anonymous blogging platform. Invisiblog was one but no longer exists. BlogACause claims to be “anonymous” but I’m trying to find out exactly how UPDATE: here’s how, apparently. In the meantime, this post recommends WordPress and something like Tor.

4. Use a pseudonym that you don’t use anywhere else. If you use a pseudonym, don’t use it on other services as well, as this will make it easier to trace you. If you’re struggling, this Random Name Generator will create one for you.

5. If you’re going to register a domain name do so anonymously with a service like The Online Policy Group.

6. Be careful what information you include. Although police blogger NightJack changed or did not include names in cases he was involved in, the details were specific enough for a journalist to track him down.

7. Don’t win awards. Or book deals. It’s safe to say that a major newspaper would not have been interested in the identities of NightJack or Girl With A One Track Mind if both had remained cult underground heroes. So just pretend you’re sub-literate, OK?

For more information, the following guides go into much more detail:

More links and tips welcome. My Delicious bookmarks on anonymity are at http://delicious.com/paulb/anonymity