Bubble yuan's Blog

7(d). Media/Publishing Issues: (Online) Legal and Social Consequences

Posted on: September 20, 2009

Authors of online publications such as bloggers are liable for the information that is published on the internet in public view. Third parties such as search engines (see also my previous posting 7(c)) are not liable.

Blogs are the most common type of publication that can easily publish content of defamatory as blogs  are usually personal and self-regulated. Four general types of information online can lead to legal proceedings:

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1. Defamation or Liability

When a person posts an opinion or remark that harbours ill feelings towards other individuals or attacks the reputation of an organization, a defamation situation can occur and the author is liable for his published opinions.

Example(s):

– 2005, Traffic Power sued US blogger Aaron Wall <click here>

– 2009, Indian blogger, Chetan Kunte receives legal notice from NDTV  ———(no hyperlink available)

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2. Employment

When employees blog about their workplace or aspects of their work environment, it may affect the branding of the company. Staying anonymous in their blogs are ineffective if their employers decide to pursue the matter.

Example(s):

-2005, former Assistant Product Manager at Google, Mark Jen, was fired after 10 days of employment as he blogged about corporate secrets <click here>

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3. Political

Blogs that expresses sensitive issues towards politics.

Example(s):

– 2009, Vietnam blogger criticized the Communists Party’s policies <click here>

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4. Personal Safety

In some situations, blogs creates an open forum that genrates unwanted attention that may lead to insults, death threats and personal attacks.

Example(s):

– 2007, Kathy Sierra’s life was threatened due to blogging <click here>

On one hand, online publications such as blogs which may also publish print publication in discussion are able to generate massive viewership and fame worldwide almost instantaneously.

The other, the freedom of online speech when expressed without writing or social ethics could face the justice system. Therefore, we need to take on social responsibility as individuals when publishing content online.

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References

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♥ Wikipedia, 2009, Aaron Wall, viewed 19 September 2009, <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aaron_Wall>

Hearn, Louisa, 2009, Sydney Morning Herald : Fired Bloggers’ revenge against bosses, viewed on 20 September 2009 <http://www.smh.com.au/news/technology/fired-bloggers-revenge-against-bosses/2005/08/03/1122748676955.html&gt;

♥ The Straits Times, 2009, Dissident Blogger detained, viewed on 20 September 2009 <http://www.straitstimes.com/Breaking%2BNews/SE%2BAsia/Story/STIStory_423598.html&gt;

♥ BBC News, 2009, Blog Death threats spark debate, viewed on 20 September 2009 <http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/technology/6499095.stm&gt;

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