Friday, November 12, 2010

A Quick Lesson in Libel

Libel is really, really, really bad. And you're an adult, so you know that defamation, whether true or not, is really, really, really bad, so it's imperative that you treat the Internet like printed media, because the rules of libel apply to the Internet. Just as the Internet is a land without copyright, the Internet is subject to the rules of defamation.

So just because Trang Pak did makeout with Coach Carr doesn't mean you should publish it. And it's just as important that you don't publish anything that isn't true. (By the way, using the word "allegedly" will not protect you.)

Think carefully about each statement you assert as true. Are you sure it's true? Can you provide at least two sources? (You should provide them, by the way.) You should also think carefully about work you re-publish. (However, if you re-publish something that isn't true, you aren't responsible. That isn't to say you won't be hauled into court, but you are protected.)

Make sure you read the links below for the ins, outs, and fine print regarding libel. And heed my warning: don't do it.

Additional Resources:
Exclusive: Bloggers, Protect Thyself (From Libel Lawsuits) And The Future Of Journalism, Mediajobsdaily
Web of Lies, American Journalism Review

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