UK judge: Social network sites differ from press

January 27, 2012

(AP) -- The British judge presiding over a wide-ranging inquiry into media ethics and practices has suggested that social networking sites such as Facebook and Twitter should be seen differently than traditional publishers.

Lord Justice Brian Leveson said Thursday that there was a distinction between what he described as "pub chatter" between friends on such sites and organizations which publish material for public consumption.

Leveson's inquiry was set up in the wake of Britain's scandal and has the power to recommend far-reaching changes to the way the country's media are regulated.

The judge also is considering whether nontraditional forms of media, such as blogs, should be submitted to any eventual new rules.

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