Are bloggers legally responsible for the postings that appear in their comments sections? So far as I know, this question has yet to go to court, but I won’t be at all surprised if it ends up there sooner rather than later, and when it does, you’ll feel the earth move.
I’ve said it before, but I want to say it again, this time with a slightly different spin: if you blog, educate yourself about libel law. Blogging is no longer a hobby for wonks. It’s a full-fledged form of electronic journalism. We’ve made the big time, much faster than most of us ever expected…and that’s when the lawyers come calling.
I hope blogging will always remain spontaneous and unpredictable. But it’s perfectly possible to be spontaneous and unpredictable without making yourself vulnerable to a libel suit by a litigious jerk with money to burn. Believe me, you don’t want to go down in history as a test case.
That’s my word to the wise for the day. I now resume radio silence.