Sued for Blogging?

While doing my daily rounds of the various tech news sites that provide the source for most of the articles you see here, I came across this blogging article on TheRegister.

The fact that 8000 new bloggers appear every day isn’t really news to my mind, neither is most of the other accompanying data. What struck me as the “real’ news in the story, is this quote: “while a staggering 12 per cent attract the attention of lawyers with their biting commentary”.

Twelve percent of bloggers get into legal trouble? Is it just me or is that an inordinately high percentage?

What’s amazing about that statistic, is that blogging, by its very nature, is opinion based. People install some blogging software on their server and start putting their opinions on all manner of topics “out there”. I am surprised that in this world with all its free speech laws, that opinion logs can even be considered a potential target for legal action.

My disdainful view of unnecessary litigation is well known, and their are plenty of examples out there already, but one would assume that when a company or person has a problem with a comment made in a blog, the first step would be a discussion, not a discovery. If I was asked to review or remove a comment I had made in an article, I’d certainly look into it. I have no desire to have “incorrect” information up on any site of mine.

So, take this as a warning ladies and gents, if you post controversial stuff in your blogs, be sure to read though it and make sure your not making a target of yourself.
As an added protection, make sure that you fill your articles with links to sources that back your claims. It may also help to put a legal disclaimer somewhere on your site.

The survey that formed the basis of the Register article was done by MIT and can be found here.

It amazes me that a person can get a slap on the wrist for spamming millions of people, but running your own blog can get you sued.



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