A U.S. federal appellate court recently ruled that bloggers have the same First Amendment rights as traditional news media against libel suits. Read the story here.
This is a good thing; with all the changes in how we get our information, bloggers have picked up some of the slack from traditional journalism. And, as the article says, how much more free can internet posting be?
Granted, there has been a lot of flap about free speech lately, what with that duck guy (I know his name; I just don’t care to repeat it) and others tossing their opinions out like poop-throwing monkeys. Let me remind you again: the First Amendment protects people against government infringement of speech, except under certain circumstances (like in wartime).
You can absolutely be penalized or even fired by your employer for what you say and write. And you can be sued, if it is blatantly false and damaging to the other party. Libel is written; slander is spoken.
We’ve all had to be conscious of things like copyright, defamation, disclosure, and fair use. But now, we bloggers know that if we have something important to say, that anyone attacking us because they don’t like it will have to conform their accusations to the same standard as if we had published in the paper.