Lebanon Facebook arrests

Three people in their twenties were arrested in Lebanon yesterday for allegedly defaming President Michel Sleiman on Facebook.  
A warrant has been issued for the arrest of a fourth person,AFP reports:

The justice ministry said the case met the requirements for a slander and defamation lawsuit, adding "media freedom in Lebanon and any civilised country reaches its limits when the content is pure slander and aims at undermining the head of state."

"The inappropriate comments published on websites are subject to prosecution and punishment as they meet the requirements for litigation as stipulated in the media law and penal code," the statement said.

This is utterly stupid. Have they not heard of the Streisand Effect?

Before long, people will be queuing up to "defame" the president on Facebook, Twitter, etc. In fact, one of my Lebanese Facebook friends has already posted: "Fuck u Michel Sleyman ... Are you going to arrest me?"

Posted by Brian Whitaker, 29 June 2010.