5 tips for online writing and how not to get sued

Think back to the time you first started using the internet. You would go to a search engine and type in the most random things and see what popped up. Then, you got this assignment where you had to write a paper or give a presentation about a topic you know slim to nothing about. While it may have been fine when you were really young to get information from the internet, now it is not the same. Everything you post, or re-post, on the interwebs will be subject to copyright, re-sharing, and available for everyone to see and trace back to you.


Here are five easy ways to not get sued for the things you post online:

  1. Be yourself. Everybody knows that when you use somebody else’s work and take the credit for it as your own, you are going to get in trouble sooner or later. It will start out small but then you will be in a world of trouble. Be original.
  2. Don’t publish anything that harms any person, group or organization’s reputation or greatly upsets them. If so, you can get into big legal trouble and could even get sued for libel. It’s a big deal, so don’t take this lightly.
  3. If you publish something about someone else, they need to know about it. Whether this is true or false information, the person has to give some form of consent. No one wants to be sued for “publishing private facts,” as the ending is never pretty.
  4. Know the legal lingo and the ins and outs of Copyright. These are two great ways to explain licenses and what copyright is and entails in order to most effectively allow you to use shared work and for others to share your work. This helps you and helps them!
  5. Know that you have to be open to all paths and sources. Everything that you do can be subject to question your integrity and your loyalty, both to yourself and the product(s) you write about. You need to be as honest as possible when writing and doing things online. Trust me, they can find out if you are lying.

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