Greek TV station Head of News receives death threats from blogger

 by Martin Belam, 27 August 2008

You might recall that one of my regular moans about Greece is the lack of infrastructure and interest in the Internet. Although web usage has gone up from when I first arrived in the country, I still can't get broadband to my front door, and the Internet rarely makes the news. Occasionally there will be a bit a bit of police brutality or censorship by the Government/judiciary*, but pretty much the Internet stays off the news radar. [*delete as appropriate]

There is an Internet story in Greece this week though - police in Athens have arrested a blogger because of the online threats that he was allegedly making against a senior journalist.

State broadcaster ERT reported that:

"A 40 years old state employee was arrested in Athens by the department of electronic crimes because he published in his blog threatening messages against a 48 years old journalist. In addition he included defamatory comments against him. More specifically, the blogger called all Internet users to kill the journalist and his family because he did not approve of the journalist's work and the way he presented the news."

The English language edition of Kathimerini added more detail to the story:

"Police caught the blogger in the Athens district of Kato Patissia after monitoring his online activities for several weeks. The journalist - Mega Channel's head of news, Christos Panayiotopoulos - told police a month ago that he had been the focus of malicious criticism and death threats. Police traced the suspect after his right to online privacy protection was lifted by a prosecutor. Officers said the blog contained at least 10 references to the journalist over the past three days."
Mega Channel logo

There is one very interesting contrast to the way that the British media report on stories. In the UK, the media always seem keen to talk about 'MySpace' or 'Facebook' parties that get out of hand, or of eBay's role in personal data security breaches.

Facebook logo

By contrast, in this case, the Greek media don't seem to have any interest at all in reporting on which blogging platform the suspect was using, or assigning blame to a third party that was unwittingly doing the publishing.

1 Comment

I heard about this doesn't surprise me that things like this happen in Greece. It seems that the country is moving towards complete social disintegration. I am very disappointed with how things have been going in Greece. In this case, I would like to know what blog it was. None of the Greek media or blogs have reported anything yet.

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