Thursday, May 21, 2009

Watch What You Say

One of the great things about blogging is that it can be instantaneous, off the cuff, a response to what's happening in the real world in real time. But that spontaneity also has a downside, if you're not careful.

According to the Wall Street Journal, in 2007, there were 106 civil lawsuits against bloggers and others in social networks and online forums, up from just 12 in 2003. The Media Law Resource Center in New York, a nonprofit clearinghouse that tracks free-speech cases, says that there have been about $17.4 million in trial awards against bloggers.

Remember, blogging is publishing. The same rules of libel and defamation apply in the blogosphere that would apply to any newspaper. So be spontaneous, but don't be reckless.

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