A recent article in the Yated causes me to ponder: When is it appropriate to publish LH?
The Chofetz Chaim lists 7 conditions that must be met in entirety before one can relate derogatory information about another:
1. Absence of any doubt as to the truth of the incident.
2. Absence of any possible factor to render the action permissible.
3. The necessity to admonish (if possible) prior to relating the incident.
4. The narrative must be accurate.
5. Beneficial intentions.
6. Use another method whenever possible.
7. Punishment must be according to Torah Law.
Several recent incidents have once again shown the power of the internet and how it can be used and abused to further one's agenda.
There was a story about a politician who used the power of an online newspaper to elect/promote himself and downgrade his opponent.
There was a story about a rabbi who promoted his own candidacy for higher power and allegedly concocted stories about great rabbis of previous generations that they orally approved of lenient Halachik practices.
Google recently upgraded and labeled certain parts of Israel as "Palestine".
The upshot of all these shenanigans shows remarkably how much power is the hands of those who hold the reins of the Internet. I have advocated many times that the Agudah should maintain a web presence. Grab onto those reins. I understand their opposition, but I believe that they should - somewhat akin to their position vis a vis present day Israeli elections. "We will oppose the Zionistic state, but now that it has become a reality, we need to deal with it."
Furthermore, I think it is high time we had a "Blog Posek". Similar to Shmiras HaLashon hotlines, one would send questionable posts to be screened prior to posting. Having a picture of the Chofetz Chaim on your blog is nice, but actually keeping away from LH is nicer.