Friday, April 22, 2011

Internet Slander

The Internet and blogs have opened up a lot of freedom of expression. People like me have a wonderful platform from which to work and express our view and opinions. Blogs make great marketing and promotional tools to spread the word. All of this is a good thing. Then you have the under-belly -- the world where I have a blog hear me roar and spew whatever I please. Under the protection of a private room and a keyboard, I can let my horns grow and let my fingers do the clicking of my inner most angst. I can let the accusations fly ... or so I thought. Here are some sage words of wisdom for bloggers who think that the Internet offers a free-for-all to let it "all" out. Watch what you say about other people. Watch what you say about other people's companies and businesses. If you're going to make any kind of statement or assertion or accusation toward somebody or someone, you better have something to base it on. You better have proof that if you say someone has "scammed" someone else, you better be able to produce it. Because the Internet and blogging isn't the free-for-all you might think it is. Just because you want to "spew" doesn't mean you can do that publicly without any proof or basis with which to back it up. No proof. No basis. No information. Just your fingers going off? That all my Friend-Os is call slander and defamation -- and that can get you in a heap of legal hot water. I recently encountered a situation where the blogger had her free-for-all to make unsubstantiated claims against my company. (For the record, we don't even know this person or her cohorts.) I just spoke to an attorney about it. And everything I just told you above is going to come back and haunt this out-of-control blogger. She doesn't get to start a discussion and let her "friends" say whatever they please without being called to accountability. If you write stuff about a person or a company, be prepared to prove it. Because if none of it has any basis in reality and it's all speculation on your part -- you can be sued for defamation and slander, and you will win.

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