Colin Craig, Chapman Tripp and the Streisand Effect (Updated)

They that live by the law, die by the internet

Just a quick note, because it's late and I've just written an 1100 words post on electoral reform.

But, courtesy of Danyl Mclauchlan's epic take-down, I learnt of Colin Craig's decision to threaten defamation proceedings against a relatively recently created satire website "The Civilian". The offending part of the relevant post was this "quote" (which, it really need not be said, is not real and entirely intended for satiric effect):

“Williamson likes to talk about big gay rainbows,” said Craig, “but it would help if he understood what the rainbow actually means. After Noah’s flood, God painted a giant rainbow across the sky, which was a message that he would never again flood the world, unless we made him very angry. And we have.”

Including this not real and entirely intended for satiric effect quote then earned the website's "editor" a letter from Craig's lawyers, Chapman Tripp. The said letter claims that this not real and entirely intended for satiric effect quote defames Craig, and states that:

"If you wish to avoid being served with defamation proceedings, you should remove this Statement immediately and permanently from your webpage, but in any event by no later than 4pm today, 23 April 2013."

It then goes on to demand the website publish an apology to Craig and provide him with a written retraction, as well as $500 towards Craig's legal costs.

I have but two things to say about this.

First of all, do you think that Craig might be a bit over-sensitive about how others see him – and is this a good thing in someone who is wanting to lead a new political movement into Parliament?

Second of all, I hope whomsoever it was at Chapman Tripp that advised Mr Craig about his legal options also drew his attention to the Streisand Effect. Because I think that the next few days are going to see it operating in full force.

UPDATE: Apparently Mr Craig has withdrawn the defamation threat. In a statement, Mr Craig stated:

"In accordance with a message passed to me by Melisandre from the Lord of Light, also known as R'hllor or the Red God, I have instructed my solicitors at Chapman Tripp to withdraw my threat of proceedings. However, I give fair warning. Henceforth I shall sally forth in person to meet on the field of battle all those who would mock me, and shall not rest until their dead bodies lie in mounds before me, their blood laps at the shores of my feet, and I sit in my rightful place atop the Iron Throne."

(Please note - the existence of quotation marks should not be understood to indicate that the above is a true and accurate reflection of either the words or beliefs of Mr Craig.)