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Weblog Ethics (5 posts)

  1. pezastic
    Member
    Posted 5 years ago #

    I've had my WordPress personal weblog for five years. Over that time, I've written current and pre-dated occurrences in my life. In the posts, I included the names of the people I came into contact with. I wanted to keep my personal weblog as an open book on my life, complete with my failings and successes.

    The problem is that three individuals over the past five years have taken offense to what I wrote about them, stating that I had no right to write about them without their permission. I know that I do have the right, but at what expense do I do it? I mean, I don't want to burn any bridges. So the problem I'm having is balancing my need to have a tell-all personal weblog and protecting the anonymity of the individuals I mention in my blog.

    I fear that if I were to change their names, or use initials, I would lose the integrity of my personal weblog (i.e., readers would wonder if what I had written was actually true). In a sense, doing that would make it appear fiction, rather than non-fiction.

    Any advice?

  2. MichaelH
    Member
    Posted 5 years ago #

    I fear that if I were to change their names, or use initials, I would lose the integrity of my personal weblog (i.e., readers would wonder if what I had written was actually true). In a sense, doing that would make it appear fiction, rather than non-fiction.

    Changing, or obscuring, names should not signal a lose of integrity. I would suggest that a note saying "name changed to protect person's privacy" is suitable.

  3. pezastic
    Member
    Posted 5 years ago #

    I compromised and decided to mark questionable posts as "private" and allow only my closest friends and family members to read them through assigning roles. That way, I can at least continue my weblog's open-book policy without the fear of incrimination.

  4. mikey1
    Member
    Posted 5 years ago #

    An interesting and thought provoking thread, but it also brought to mind the number of books I've read over the years, that state that some names have been changed to protect the innocent. I can't really say that I think losing the integrity of your blog here is the issue.

    The problem is that three individuals over the past five years have taken offense to what I wrote about them, stating that I had no right to write about them without their permission. I know that I do have the right

    If someone tells you they have found what you say offensive, take their word for it the next stage is normally court.
    mike.

  5. scaryminds
    Member
    Posted 5 years ago #

    As mike above has stated you are leaving yourself wide open for court action or at least a letter from a Solicitor. Your impression of someone might not equate to the actual person, or in fact your view of their actions may not be how everyone else perceives them.

    Generally if you mention someone by name you either have to seek their approval or make damn sure what you are saying is public record. For example reviewing a movie you can make comment on how the Director did in that movie, but not on something from their private life.

    Most people simply wont care, after all what percentage of people even bother with personal blogs, but you have to be careful of that one person who takes real offense to what you have stated in your blog.

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