The government’s new bill to reform media law like Vladimir Putin: read it here

Published: February 16, 2017 at 5:53pm

My favourite comment

You can read the bill here. Let me know what you think. My views are pretty much the same as Michael Zammit Maempel’s (he’s a specialist in the field of media law).

I won’t be registering this website as a matter of principle. If the government decides to get fresh with me on that basis, or exposes me to any burdens or penalties for having an unregistered site, it will find itself with a human rights battle on its hands.

But with luck we’ll be able to boot them all out this time next year. #bringbacktheguillotine




  • Minnie

    It’s Richard Muscat in Sicily all over again. And still some switchers will argue that it was “time for a change”.

    • H.P. Baxxter

      No it’s not. Richard Muscat was a prominent politician, so he was afforded a degree of protection that us common people could never have. It’s worse.

  • H.P. Baxxter

    Any website?

  • FP@DISQUS

    “I won’t be registering this website as a matter of principle.”

    This website is registered on my browser’s shortcuts bar as the first link, and that’s good enough for me. And I’m sure that it’s registered on the Prime Minister’s browser just as prominently, and that should be good enough for him too. #bringbacktheguillotine

    • observer

      And the second link on my :Favourites’ list I seek immediately turning to my PC early in the morning, even before sunrise.

      Just for the record, however, I don’t care a fig whether it is registered or not on Muscat’s browser – he can ram his browser up wherever he feels like.

  • H.P. Baxxter

    I read the bill, and it is far more terrible and dangerous than it already looks. The Maltese government is now officially Nazi.

    The bill bans opinions UNLESS THEY ARE APPROVED BY THE GOVERNMENT. This is called subjective evaluation and ad hoc law. This is how the Nazis decided who was Jewish or not.

    This is really serious.

    In present libel law, opinion is protected. This bill will do away with that protection.

    In future, Paul Vincenti could be charged with publishing a banned opinion when he sends in a comment against abortion.

    The members of Birdlife Malta could end up in prison if they campaign against spring hunting.

    You could all end up in prison if you comment on the prime minister’s wife’s dress, and she disapproves.

    I’m not making this up. Read the bill.

  • M.

    The problem is that too many people have become complacent, don’t want to show their face at political rallies, “don’t talk politics at home”, don’t read at all, let alone read newspapers, etc, that many of the generation who will be voting for the first time next election will probably only take things at face value, and vote for what suits them personally, rather than for the good of the country, not realising the seriousness of the situation Malta is currently in.

    • H.P. Baxxter

      Do you read the newspaper opinion columns? The columnists are the ones to blame -aside from Daphne of course – not the common people.

  • And the lawyer who advised them to do that is the very same one who drafted this obscene bill: Stefan Frendo.

  • H.P. Baxxter

    They will have a firewall. So you cannot use Facebook, Twitter and other social media sites unless they are run by the Maltese government. And Google too (because there’s GooglePlus where you can post any content). The Chinese have Baidu and Renren.

    And the respective heirs will sue me for “dishonouring the memory of a deceased person” on at least two counts: Mintoff and Manuel Dimech.

    • La Redoute

      China has Weibo, which covers all social media. Now’s a good time to invest in VPN shares.

  • H.P. Baxxter

    Just to be able to live in freedom, La Redoute. Are you that comfortable in Malta?

    • La Redoute

      I see you’re too young to remember Muscat in Sicily. The purpose of his going there was not to live in freedom (in Sicily?), but to transmit messages that the government disapproved of.

  • H.P. Baxxter

    Exactly.

    Have you seen one word on this in the papers? No. Lickspittles.

    • You won’t see anything about in the Times of Malta, because their legal adviser drafted in. And that’s a news story in itself.

      • H.P. Baxxter

        Nor in the Nationalist papers. Nor in the opinion columns written by Nationalist-leaning intellectuals on the Times of Malta. I’m furious.

      • Give it a rest. It’s only been two days and the bill has not yet even been tabled in the House.

      • H.P. Baxxter

        Snail’s pace, as usual. That’s how Hitler got to power.

    • M. Said

      Yes, I read through it, simply unbelievable.

  • No, it was presented to the press.

  • La Redoute

    I did understand your comment. I want to live in freedom wherever I live, even in Malta.

    • H.P. Baxxter

      So stop harking back to the heroes of yesteryear. This is here and this is now.

  • FP@DISQUS

    Not at all. I’m just quoting from the bill. Do you have to misread everything I write? We ARE on the same side here.

    Everyone knows that “news or content about current affairs” covers every comment criticising the government, and if the letter of the law says it, somebody WILL use it.

    • H.P. Baxxter

      I know we’re on the same side. I’m just upset at apathetic reaction by everyone outside this comments board, that’s all.

      • FP@DISQUS

        We’re of one mind on that. The PM’s family business has the potential to make a fortune and a half supplying all the material needed for the production of a couple of noisy “sparklers” each that so many people out there need stuck up their rear end.

  • FP@DISQUS

    “edited in Malta” simply means published by anyone while in Malta. If you think that can’t be enforced, you’re sorely mistaken. All they need to prove that is to establish that the person involved was in Malta when the comment in question was uploaded (and the upload time is obtained from the website logs).

    There are simple means to go around that, of course, which will make it more difficult for the Nazis to trace the true source of a comment, but it’s not impossible.

    • H.P. Baxxter

      Then define “published”. Daphne send an article, by email, to some bloke living, say, in Australia. The bloke has administrator access to her website. He uploads the article while sitting in his back yard in Sydney.

      Was it edited it Malta?

  • Jan Farrugia

    Ridiculous or not, that’s what free speech and freedom of thought and expression are all about. We read Trump jokes, Irish jokes, Pope jokes, Jew jokes, ‘how many Maltese does it take to change a light bulb’ type of jokes and Gozo jokes too. What’s wrong with taking a dig at our village president?

  • Jan Farrugia

    That will be published in the shape of a Legal Notice most probably pubished on the 14th of August when we’re all trying to stave off the heat, taking a deserved rest or just switched off

  • You can’t defame God.