Clare Curran responds to blogger intimidation claims

By Toby Manhire In Politics, The Internaut

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Clare Curran

Labour MP Clare Curran has responded to allegations that she has acted to clamp down on anonymous bloggers who are also party members.

Pseudonymous bloggers at the Standard blog have written that they are being targeted by Curran, Labour’s communications spokesperson, with a letter having been tabled at the NZ Council of the Labour party.

There have also been suggestions that login details provided at the Labour party blog Red Alert have been cross-matched with pseudonyms at Red Alert to access email information. Some Standard bloggers use (or used) the same pseudonym at both sites. Curran denies this.

(For a full summary of the claims, see Bryce Edwards’ roundup.)

In an email, Curran says:

I have raised with the NZ Council of the Labour Party my concerns about behaviour online by commenters and bloggers who are party members , some of whom are using pseudonyms which have contributed to other party members being attacked and our party being undermined. There are legitimate questions about the conduct of anonymous bloggers who belong to the party but may be bringing it into disrepute and it’s an issue the party needs to grapple with in the digital age.

I have sought discussion at the Council level about is what is an acceptable standard of behaviour, particularly when a member is expressing those views anonymously, in a way in which is intended to damage other party members and the party overall. I have also made some suggestions about how the party could deal with this issue professionally.

Not at any point have I sought disciplinary action against any individual.

In my correspondence with the Council I have not used any individual’s name, but I have used an online pseudonym as an example of how the behaviours are being manifested.

That person had previously identified themselves as using that pseudonym to me in an email conversation, and in subsequent face to face conversations.

 Update (11.30am): To clarify, Curran’s denial of any cross-referencing with Red Alert details came in a Twitter exchange last night:

None of this appears to have mollified many of the Standardistas – see this morning’s thread there.

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