Blogging Liability

What, if any, liability do you have for writing a blog?  What liability do you have for the comments on your blog?  What about the blog host?  Are they liable?

The last question may be the easiest.  Congress made a specific public policy choice for online publications.  In 47 USC 230(c)(1): Congress said that “No provider or user of an interactive computer service shall be treated as the publisher or speaker of any information provided by another information content provider.”  Nor can state or local law be used against an internet provider.  47 USC 230(e)(3).

(3)  State law

Nothing in this section shall be construed to prevent any State from enforcing any State law that is consistent with this section. No cause of action may be brought and no liability may be imposed under any State or local law that is inconsistent with this section.

What about the blogger?  Some are liable, some aren’t.  It depends on how much like a newsperson they are.  Then it will depend on what local and state law on defamation says.

What about the comments?  Who is liable for them?  If the people making the comments are unaffiliated with the blogger and the Internet provider, then there is no liability to anyone except the idiots who posted their own comments.

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