Can your blog post or Tweet land you in court?

chandler arizona real estateBloggers beware and that includes you Facebookers and Tweeters.

Libel, defamation in written form, copyright infringement, harassment, trademark infringement, invasion of privacy, tortuous interference, posting of private information, allegations of criminal or inappropriate behavior, gripes against businesses, people or just about anything…and the list goes on.  All common reasons for lawsuits against bloggers and the potential for damages is growing faster than you can say “Facebook me when you get my tweet”.

We all know that our words hang in perpetuity once we commit them to the vast space known as the web. You can have second thoughts about the content of a post and delete it, but it will haunt you for (well, I’m not sure how long…but it’s a long time) as your ghost post continues to float in the webosphere.

Do you find yourself reading and re-reading your posts to make sure you haven’t said anything that anyone can misinterpret. Do you know that a person’s name is private information?  And if that person doesn’t want you to print their name…you may just have a problem? Does this make your head spin?

It used to be that your “opinion” was simply that and was completely protected from libel liability.  Using words like “I think” or “I believe” used to offer some protection but it seems that protection is getting a little shaky by some recent court decisions.

The use of disclaimers can help, but understand that if your posts are being shared by RSS feed, your disclaimers are virtually useless.

By the way, there is no such thing as Anonymous in the Internet world, so take heed.  Those libelous comments by Mr or Ms “Anonymous” can easily lead to a subpoena of the blogging platform records where the anonymous identity will be made public.  

If you’re blogging and you’re nervous about your loose lips sinking your ship…there is an insurance rider that can be purchased to help fund legal defenses and, heaven forbid, monetary awards or settlements.

Better yet, use your head.  Not literally. I mean, I wouldn’t want you to hurt yourself and say you read it on my blog.  So, let me rephrase that.. Use some common sense.  Not that I’m calling you common or senseless, no, really, I think you’re perfect.  Everyone who reads my blog is perfect.  I love the world. Everything is perfect.  Really.

Comments

  1. I just found out that I’m not perfect… i guess i can sue you because you said i was and led me to believe inaccurate information… you’ll be hearing from my lawyers..;)

  2. Oh, darn. Did I forget my disclaimer? Everyone who reads my blog is perfect…EXCEPT for Kyle Pearson, who reserves the right to remain imperfect. That’s what I meant. :)