The legal risks of blogging

Blogs and blogging or not immune from the law

The internet is such an open and dynamic forum that it can be all too easy to think that a blogger, or for that matter someone posting on facebook, twitter or other social media site, can state an opinion with impunity and that, due to the speed and fluid nature of the web, a comment made will easily be lost in the internet ether.

Whilst the internet is and has proved difficult to police in many respects legally, with issues over jurisdictions on hosting and ownership of websites where inappropriate comments are made, in basic legal terms, the same laws apply online as offline. It is also the case that businesses of all types and sizes, in many parts of the world, are now much more aware of the need to monitor what is being said about them online, and many are prepared to take action for any form of defamation.

As with any litigation matter, legal costs can escalate fast, and  in some jusrisdictions, notably the US, when compared to commonwealth law systems based on the English legal system, damages can be punitive and extremely costly.

So, as just one salutory reminder to be careful about your online activity, whether blogging or otherwise, and to check your facts, be aware of the case in the US between Obsidian Finance and blogger Crystal Cox. In this case Ms Cox ended up with a judgment against her for $2.5 million damages last year. An expensive mistake based on a single defamatory post alleging wrongdoing.

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