You've spent hours crafting the perfect blog post, and more hours editing those posts. When, suddenly, it happens. Someone posts a comment that you didn't modify, and that comment is completely inaccurate or lewd or offensive. Are you responsible for blog comments?
Blog Comments: Your Legal Obligations
Do you really have to worry about comments from every person that posts to your blog? No; not at all. You aren't responsible for comments that other people post, but there are two things to think about.
1. You should edit comments posted to your blog. Don't approve a comment if you think it will hurt your blog. On the flip side, controversy can draw attention, and attention is never a bad thing.
2. You are responsible for anything that you post. So, if you want to reply to a comment, keep in mind that you should respond with dignity. It's easy to be reactionary, but that won't solve any problems. Step back, cool down, and then post a reply.
Blog Comments: What About Inaccurate Content?
It happens to the best of us. We rely on a source that hasn't been honest, or we find information printed elsewhere that isn't true. We then use that information (sourced and cited), and post it to our own sites in the form of a blog post. Then it happens: someone calls us out on our mistakes. What to do?
Handle it with dignity. That's my professional opinion. Admit that you made a mistake, correct that mistake, and don't hide behind anything. It's tough to stand up and say “yep, I made a mistake,” but your readers will appreciate your honesty. Keep in mind, too, that you are responsible for anything you print. So, make sure that your words are as truthful as possible.
Blog Comments: What About Big Mistakes?
Think you made a big mistake that's irreparable? Not sure what to do or if you're responsible? Leave me a note. I'll help you figure it out, and I'll help you hand it with the right kind of care. Got a story to share? I'd love to hear that too! Post below!
Photo courtesy of photologue_np via Flickr Creative Commons