If you have a blog solely for personal use, it makes sense to use it as a platform of venting and sharing with friends and family. Even if your blog is public, you probably only communicate with a few people. However, this can get you in trouble if there are legal issues looming. It’s best to avoid any discussion at all of accidents or allegedly illegal activities you’re a victim of, since it may come back to bite you.
For example, it’s perfectly logical that you’d want to blog about a birthing injury your child endured in order to get support. Online groups can be very comforting, and you might even be able to connect with a parent who faced a similar situation. However, if you’d ever consider suing a doctor or hospital for causing that injury, your blog may be used by the defense. A great lawyer will steer you away from public, written descriptions of the incident.
A better way to get support
It seems like everyone has a blog these days, but they shouldn’t be used as a free for all. Even if you haven’t pursued legal action (yet), it’s still best to only discuss legal matters with an attorney, counselor or your spouse. These are the three people who, legally, won’t or can’t comment should you ever file a lawsuit. There are also anonymous support groups for many things, and that’s another avenue for venting and building a network.
Remember that when you put something online, such as a blog, it’s there forever even if you delete it. It might get cached somewhere or somebody could take a screenshot. You also might be surprised by the seemingly uninteresting things that go viral and spread like ligthening. If you post something in the heat of the moment, it’s pretty easy to share from a blogging platform since that’s the purpose. Instead, try writing a blog but not posting it, which will likely give you the catharsis you’re craving.
Beyond a reasonable doubt
Some bloggers try to skirt legal issues by not naming names or taking other steps to try to make a post anonymous. However, that might not hold up in court should it ever come to that. Liable can be prevalent even if you don’t specifically name a person or business, and that’s an ugly battle to get into. There are many legal nuances, and a fantastic lawyer might be able to connect “anonymous” postings to her client.
Blogs are great tools, but they can also work against you. Plus, remember that you might not get the support you’re after anyway. Seek out in-person, more intimate environments for serious discussions, say on domestic violence or divorce, and protect yourself from any legal troubles before they become a factor.