Blogging is becoming more and more popular. There are now over 94 million blogs worldwide (according to Technorati) and according to recent research (conducted by YouGov) bloggers are unaware of their legal position when posting online.
Only 5% of users are clear of their legal rights and responsibilities when posting comments.
77% are uncertain or unaware of where the law stands
33% have read the legal terms and conditions for posting comments
42% think bloggers should be held to the same standards as journalists when publishing information. But of those who blog 27% belive they should be subjected to the same rules.
34% of bloggers would be opposed to a bloggers code of conduct - 32% would support it
Here is a suggested bloggers code of conduct from Tim O Reilly.
We bloggers should be aware of the need for care when using the internet at work and the importance of individual responsibility in posting messages online.
A blogger who posted offensive messages about a police officer's newborn baby and wrote about his perceived mistreatment at the hands of the police and the Crown Prosecution Service was prosecuted under the Telecommunications Act relating to the sending of an electronic message.
Employers are also unaware of their legal rights as to what they can object to in an employee's blog. Employers warned to be wary of blogs
Social Networking Guineapig has tackled this previously Blogging - the risks.
Consider carefully what you want to say in your blog, and as mentioned in the Code of Conduct, don't say anything online that you wouldn't say in person! Blogging can be fun, addicitve and educational - let's try to keep it that way.