Be careful what you say when you blog about people. What’s a funny story to you could turn into a case of libel, if you post it on your blog. Some people might not want funny stories about them on the internet. You might say that they are funny about it. Do yourself a favor and find out from the person before you post the funny story online or anywhere. That goes double for family members. Families have been torn asunder over less and libel suits are not pretty, especially if it is all in the family. consider whether Uncle Bob (not a real person) really wants the whole world to know that he once got so drunk at a frat party that he rode a skateboard down planks of wood laid on a stairway (not a real story). it could be a sore subject in more ways than one and he could sue you for damages, especially if he is now a sitting judge or something (again, not real people or story).
There is another reason to be careful in blogging about people. There are predators out there and the Internet is not as anonymous a most people think. There are ways of finding people and we don’t want to expose our friends to predators. Granted, your friends probably know where you live (yet another reason to be careful what you say about them), but strangers can still find you (or the person you are blogging about) if you give them enough details. Time can narrow down your location to a particular time zone, and should you describe the weather, determined predators can correlate it with the time zone to give your latitude. People can find you through the internet, if they set their minds to it.
However, the main problem with blogging about people is simply that they might not appreciate it. Even if you know that they don’t care if you blog about them, they may care about what you say. Litigation might be expensive, but hurt feelings last longer and a blog is a silly reason to end a friendship or rip apart a family. So use your head before you post. Read what you write aloud so that you can really hear it first. Better yet, let your friend read it first. It’s probably better to get permission, preferably when your friend isn’t drunk, before you post that funny story about Uncle Bob (not a real person) online, especially if your friend (or uncle) is a lawyer.
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