Top Ten (10) Ways To Avoid Legal Action When Blogging

  1. Bloggers should express themselves freely but never engage in personal attacks or allow nasty comments onto their blogs (especially if they attack, slander or defame others). This principle includes other social media such as Facebook and Twitter.
  2. Exercise sober, thoughtful caution in your blogging. Watch your tone in your use of certain words, and in their order. Cut out mean-spiritedness.
  3. Be interesting, scholarly, provocative (if you must) but don’t be rude or offensive, ever. (No one wants to be known as the Jerry Springer of blogging.)
  4. Know the law. Stick to issues and facts, always. You can’t be sued if you are factual.
  5. If you cannot verify something (a fact) remove it from your post until it is properly checked. Blogging is more free form but don’t mislead.
  6. Know what you are writing about. Resist temptation to use heated phrases, language and hyperbole. Avoid emotional or charged language.
  7. Think about using a disclaimer but remember disclaimers do not protect you if you do not exercise the appropriate duty of care. Set the bar high!
  8. Get to know a good editor. Trust them to edit your work.
  9. You can even hire an editor (if need be). The process of a hard-nosed editor editing your blogposts will make you a better blogger.
  10. Most importantly, ask yourself, “If my mother were to see this, would she be proud of me?” If not, time to edit again.

See also Blogs | Blogging and the law | The ethics of blogging for public librarians

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3 thoughts on “Top Ten (10) Ways To Avoid Legal Action When Blogging

  1. Having/hiring an editor is one of the best ideas I’ve seen for blogging. A second set of eyes is always helpful, both in terms of legality and professionalism.

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