Posted by: reddingrob | November 13, 2014

Blogger Protections

While Section 230 of Title 47 of the United States Code protects you from legal action as an information host, it doesn’t help you if you present new information. Under Section 230 you would not be liable for defamatory remarks made in the comments section by a third party.

The Electronic Frontier Foundation’s page on Section 230 Protections states “if you are actively going out and gathering data on your own, then republishing it on your blog, we cannot guarantee that Section 230 would shield you from liability.” That statement may give citizen journalists pause when deciding to start a news blog. If you want to repost information from other sources, then you’re covered. If you do your own reporting, you can be held legally responsible for the content of your posts.

Because blog owners have the flexibility to edit and delete posts should they have any liability for defamatory remarks made on their blog? I can see a case where person X says that the blog creator allowed defamatory remarks about them to remain on the blog, and by not taking the comment down, the host is contributing to the defamation.

While I believe that the host should enjoy some protection from comments made on their site, the blogger should have to abide by their own guidelines on what types of comments they will allow.

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