9 Aug 2019

Businessman defamed by Cameron Slater buys Whale Oil website

From Checkpoint, 5:43 pm on 9 August 2019

A man defamed by Whale Oil blogger Cameron Slater has had the last laugh after purchasing the Whale Oil domain and taking over the website today.

whaleoil takeover by matt blomfield

The Whale Oil website as it appears today. Photo: RNZ

Businessman Matt Blomfield was the target of an online campaign that hit its peak when a masked gunman fired shots at his home in front of his children.

Mr Slater was ordered to pay Mr Blomfield $70,000 for severe humiliation, loss of dignity and injury to feelings, back in March.

The protracted episode is recounted in Margie Thomson's recently-published book Whale Oil, in which she warns New Zealanders about cyber bullying.

Matt Blomfield

Matt Blomfield. Photo: Photo supplied \ publicity

Those logging on to the Whale Oil site today are redirected to a page displayed as an epilogue to Thomson's book and provides a link for those who want to purchase it.

The new owner of Whale Oil - Mr Blomfield himself - said his main motivation was to remove the false claims and material on him and other people from the internet for good.

"I have been contacted by literally hundreds of people who have had various issues with Cameron Slater and the Whale Oil website over the past 15 years.

"To understand the rationale you have got to realise the enormity of how many stories are on that website. People from all walks of life who have been damaged by that website ...

"In order to fully close down the website and take it away so it is gone for good by taking ownership it means I'm not chopping down the neighbour's trees, I'm chopping down the trees on my own property so it makes it a much easier process."

Mr Blomfield said he hadn't decided what to do with the Whale Oil website, but first and foremost, he wanted to get rid of the stories online.