CHINA / Regional

Professor wins suit against flagship blog site
Updated: 2006-08-04 17:43

NANJING -- A Chinese university professor has successfully sued one of the country's largest blog website,, after it carried defamatory remarks on a blog written by one of his students.

The Gulou District People's Court in Nanjing of Jiangsu Province on Wednesday ordered Blogcn to pay 1,000 yuan (US$125) to Chen Tangfa, associate professor of the School of Journalism at Nanjing University. The court also ordered Blogcn to post a formal apology on its website for 10 days.

A year ago last June the university teacher found slanderous and defamatory insults directed at him in a blog diary of a former student that was hosted by the website

Chen immediately called Blogcn's customer service department and asked them to remove the offending blog diary but his request was refused as staff told him they had no right to delete the blog of a registered user.

After further negotiations failed, Chen initiated his suit against Blogcn last December. The case was heard on June 14.

The court heard that Blogger K007 wrote defamatory comments that denigrated Chen's teaching and his teaching materials.

Chen says that while he can guess which one of his students was writing under the pseudonym K007 he didn't want to bring his student to court.

"My purpose in filing a lawsuit against the blog website is that I want to remind Blogcn that it has a role to play in supervising its on-line content," he told Xinhua.

He said that the case shows that personnel dignity overweighs freedom of speech, and it provides a significant example that bloggers can be controlled by law.

Yet K007 disagrees. His or her blog read on Friday shows the "insulting material" was deleted. The blog says K007 felt guilty and so deleted the comments about the teacher. "It's my own responsibility to wipe out the comments not the responsibility of Blogcn," K007 wrote.

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