While visiting Lorelle’s blog, I read her post titled, Get Angry – Blogger Sued For Comments On Their Blog which links to an article on how John P. is being sued for a comment left on his blog.
In the same post Lorelle provided links to articles about instances were others were sued, as well as The Legal Issues With Comments, by Jonathan Bailey.
Following the links Jonathan provided in his post, I landed on a series of articles written by Don Burleson which summarized internet laws even further.
My last stop was the Electronic Frontier Foundation’s site which covers “Bloggers’ Rights”.
Needless to say, what I read was not only fascinating but made me realize even though we all love to see comments on our blogs, what we share, who we link to, the comments we make as well as the comments left on our blogs can unknowingly become a liability.
The articles I read weren’t just about comments.
My reading journey taught other lessons as well:
- I learned about the Online Defamation (libel) Law.
- I read up on Section 230 which provides some protections to bloggers (in the U.S).
- I should not assume the information shared in comments, blog posts or other articles found online is accurate.
- Blog insurance is an option, but can be expensive.
- Using a pseudonym or posting comments anonymously may not protect a person from being sued.
- Laws can vary from State to State, AND Country to Country.
- Even though I live in the United States, I could be sued in a different country.
- Setting my blog up as a LLC (Limited Liability Corporation) may give me a layer of protection.
- If I link to a defamatory article, I could held just as responsible as the person who wrote it.
- I learned we need to stand along side our fellow bloggers who are fighting for the rights of all bloggers.
- Most importantly I learned I should not fear being sued, but should blog responsibly.
Reading articles about blog authors who are getting sued for comments left on their blogs makes me think, “What’s to stop someone from suing us for something we share on Twitter, Facebook or another social networking site, as well.?”
What’s happening now is just the tip of the iceberg.
As much as this will be an interesting topic to watch, being informed can help us all.
Knowing you could get sued for comments which are left on your blog, would you consider closing comments?
Do you see instances online where the potential for a law suit exists?
Have you looked into the legal ramifications of sharing online?
Or do you see what you do online as a non issue?
Care to share?
Disclaimer: I am not an attorney and what I share in my posts is not to be construed as legal advice.