- McLibel -

How did the use of the Internet changed the course events for the case?

Posted by: Wilhelmina ( Australia ) on November 01, 1998 at 16:22:44:

I am interested in finding out the way the internet was used to develop the case? Did the defendants find witnesses through their web page? Was their financial assistance because of the website? Did the website provide means of promoting the case that wouldn't have been possible otherwise? Any other ways?

I am doing research on the impact of the internet and would love to have some feedback (for my own interest too).


McSpotlight: As far as I know the website didn't bring forward any witnesses for the McLibel trial. Most witnesses had actually given evidence by the time McSpotlight was launched in February 1996 (The trial started in June 1994 and evidence finished in July 1996). However it was certainly useful in publicising the trial to a wider audience and bringing in donations to help with the costs of the trial and the appeal process.

Obviously it has had a very valuable role in ensuring that information that came out during the trial is available around the world to anyone who is interested and can gain access to the internet. For example the entire transcripts of the trial are available on site (in the McLibel section), so people can read the evidence and judge the matters for themselves (though with 313 days of transcripts it may take them a while to do so!). I don't think this would have been possible to do other than on the internet (and obviously on the CD of the McSpotlight website).

You could also check out our FAQ for more information about this site.

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