I’ve spent some time with my friend Loïc Le Meur at this TED, talking through an interesting issue that’s gotten a good bit of coverage in the blogosphere – a recent French law against “happy slapping” that appears to have some dangerous implications for citizen journalism.
Loïc has been a very visible supporter of Nicolas Sarkozy, who is responsible for this controversial piece of law. Smart bloggers have been asking very good questions about whether Sarkozy fully understood the implications of this law, and how Loïc as an advisor could have let him make this mistake.
I had a lot of these questions myself, so I took Loïc up on the offer to make a podcast about the issue. He’d put a question to Sarkozy and had gotten responses aboput the intent and wording of the law. He’s got a long blog post and our videocast trying to explain what the law intended. I’ve asked some questions about the possible dark implications of the law and feel somewhat reassured by the responses, though Loïc and I are both concerned about the law’s distinction between people who are reporting as a “profession” rather than as amateurs, asnd I have some strong concerns that other countries will follow France’s example in a dangerous way. Anway, please do watch the video – it was an interesting conversation and, for me, a fascinating example of how bloggers can pressure people for answers and get substantive responses from very powerful people.