Legal Risks to Be Watchful for When Blogging

By Guest Author

This is a guest post by Elijah. If you want to guest post on this blog, check out the guidelines here.

What better way for one voice their opinion to the whole world than through social media and blogging? Thanks to advancement in technology, today one can voice their views and opinions in an easily accessible way at the convenience of their home or office. But just because there is freedom of speech and expression does not mean you should abuse the rights of free writing; there are some legal aspects that need to be considered before you post anything on the World Wide Web. Here are the top 3 risks that you should be very careful of when you want to start blogging.

1. Defamation

Defamation can be described as false statement or assumptions that can cause harm and embarrassment to another person or party. Unless you want to be involved in a vicious and unending legal battle, it is always advisable that you verify all the sources of information you use to ensure you give credible information; information that you can back up with tangible proof and evidence should it be required in a court of law. Telling the truth is one thing, but proofing it in a court of law is a different (and sometimes very difficult) thing altogether. Before you click ‘post’ in your blog, ensure you keep this in mind.

2. Intellectual property

Respect to intellectual property available online is equally very important. Intellectual property in this case can be in form of videos, images, or text which are protected by copyrights. Never publish anything that you don’t have full legal rights on. Should you use anything that does not belong to you, always ensure you provide appropriate links and the right acknowledgement of the author?

3. Confidentiality

Never divulge private and confidential information on your weblog, whether you have tangible proof or not, and whether you post anonymously or not. For instance, never post information about your employer on social media and blog. You could unknowingly or knowingly be giving out information that your employer sees as very sensitive business secrets. Giving out such insider information can interfere with the competitive edge of your employer. It goes without saying that a lawsuit could ensue. Actually, statistics indicate that most internet-related lawsuits are filed by employers and large business corporations.

Here are some quick tips and some accepted journalistic practices that will help you avoid problems on your blog.

  • Always get consent of all businesses or individuals you plan to cover in your blog. Try to give them an opportunity to respond to what you have to say before you post for the whole world to see.
  • Should you publish something and it turns out erroneous, and the concerned party asks you to publish corrections, always ensure you publish the clarifications and link them to the initial erroneous post.
  • In case you make a mistake, you should admit and offer your apologies at the earliest available opportunity. This way, you will have some bargaining power should a legal action be taken against you. You will also attract more loyal readers as you will be seen as an individual of integrity.

About the Author: Elijah is a contributor for Mega.co.uk where you can get some interesting information to make you save money on your holiday.



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13 Responses to “Legal Risks to Be Watchful for When Blogging”

  • Sydney @ Social Dynamics

    I’m very careful about breaking the number 2 taboo. I’m meticulous about giving credit and labeling where I got the info or data from. Because it’s not something that I want to be robbed off too.

  • Jessica Flory

    Great points! I think every blogger should keep these in mind when posting. Thanks for the tips!

  • Phanindra

    We might sometimes tend to make mistakes (mostly if we are a beginner) which might cost us heavily.

    Elijah, you’ve made some good points and to add up it is always advisable to do the proper search first and then start up the activity.

    And I also liked your third point. Yup. Sometimes mistakes might tend to happen. but accepting it and correcting it will be an excellent way of building the actual credibility.

  • Abdul Cholik

    Daniel, thanks for your useful tips.

    Sometime I found that one picture uploaded by many people. In this case I just select one even the picture is the same.

    Talking about direct permission from the author sometime is very difficult especially to get written permission. In this case could I just give link to his/her article which I have copied from him/her without written permission ?

    Thank you

  • googler

    Brilliant points mentioned in this post. I have a question though with regarding to Intellectual property. How do we consider that a certain property is protected by copyright claims? For instance if I search images in Google and I copy an image and post it in my blog, how would I know that the image is copyright?
    Love to hear your reply on this. Thanks Elijah!

  • Rolando Peralta

    Thank you for pointing this topic, Elijah.
    I’ve seen different problems in social media, not specifically in blogs in my region, but with Facebook pages or profiles.
    I think with political blog, the defamatory line is quite blur, but it’s responsibility of its author, to keep things on the right side or writing.
    cheers,
    @RolandoPeralta

  • Amol Wagh

    I had found somewhere a custom made disclaimer for bloggers – That mention clear privacy policy, policies regarding writers, guest authors, advertisers & readers.

    Some one who suffered a lot from legal issues involved because of his blog made those disclaimer for helping others & I use it for all my blogs.

    You may can check this for reference -http://www.seobloggingtips.com/disclaimer/

  • Amol Wagh

    I had found somewhere a custom made disclaimer for bloggers – That mention clear privacy policy, policies regarding writers, guest authors, advertisers & readers.

    Someoene who suffered a lot from legal issues involved because of his blog made those disclaimer for helping others & I use it for all my blogs.

    You may can check this for reference

  • kailaschozhan

    We should very careful to use the social media or blogging because it is having visibility to anyone. So you may not just write and add anything in your website. So be careful to write and avoid risks because It will be affecting our future. Thanks

  • Treathyl FOX

    As always … solid sound advice provided by way of DBT.

  • Michael @Blast4Traffic

    This is very important especially in this new age of blogging, where bloggers are so carried away with money making. Defamation is what I learnt here today and I’m going to make sure I abide by it.
    This is a pat on my back and I’m grateful!

  • Shyxter

    The internet has truly given us with so much freedom to write what we think and feel. But with that freedom always comes a big responsibility, the responsibility of being respectful to others. This is especially true when we have a feeling of dislike towards a person, an organization, a product, or a service. With respect, we can all co-exist in the interwebs.

  • Irfan

    I were not knowing the legal risk behind blogging if you didn’t publish this post. Apart from this i have seen people posting the tricks which never ever works this might comes under Defamation, isn’t it?

    Regards

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