Chilling effect on the internet?

This story originally caught my attention when I saw a tweet from Niall O'Dowd as I boarded a plane for a week's holiday in the U.S. Virgin Islands (that's not relevant to this post, I just like rubbing it in).

Have you taken down the John Spain article? February 15, 2014

O'Dowd's tweet linked to a in Irish Central (his U.S.-based news website), outlining the circumstances under which a story by John Spain relating to the salary of the Chief Executive of the Irish charity REHAB had been taken down after legal threats from Ms. Kerins' solicitors.  I have made reference to Angela Kerins in a previous post  (REHAB this week released her salary, just FYI: €240,000.  No, I did not accidentally slip on an extra digit.)

O'Dowd stated that the site's host, Clickability, had been warned to take down the story, but didn't actually say that it had been taken down (which would have been, from a legal perspective, a very surprising decision on their part.)  After having read the story I was surprised to notice that the story O'Dowd was referring to was no longer on the site, particularly given O'Dowd's statement in the article "Thank God for the First Amendment" and so tweeted to him asking about it.  I received no reply, so was therefore interested to see this article in Tuesday's Irish Times.

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