As a blogger, you have a devout audience that looks to you for entertainment, information, and guidance. You know content is king, you give the people what they want, and you’re good at it.
While you spend hours researching, creating, and perfecting your blog posts, are you aware that bloggers and vloggers are constantly faced with liability risks?
Every day there are 4.4 million blog posts (1) being published across the internet, in a professional or personal capacity.
Whether it’s a pastime, paid work, or an extension of your business online, you’re liable for whatever content your blog pushes out onto the net from the moment you upload your content.
But what exactly could you be sued for? Here are some examples:
Defamation – Saying something on your blog which could damage an individual’s or company’s reputation or mental anguish or emotional distress. It may be a hint at certain practices or unfavorable associations or a put-down that crosses the line.
Infringement of intellectual property rights / Copyright – Any time you include copy from another article or post a photo or logo you’ve not received permission for, you’re treading on thin ice. With the wealth of images and content available online and little understanding of their copyright status, this is a mistake all too easily made by bloggers.
Illegal content – Child abuse, extreme sexual violence, footage of real or simulated violence, and content that promotes criminal and terrorist activity is prohibited and can not only lead to legal action but imprisonment.
Negligence – When you make a mistake or don’t use a reasonable duty of care or when you tell your client the right thing to do and it turns into a disaster.
Confidential – In a corporate capacity, this could be the employee in charge of the blog publishing weak figures or a new service without first squaring it with their colleagues. This could be intentional or accidental or such as accidentally emailing customer confidential data to the wrong person.
If you blog as part of your role and are employed by a company, you will need to confirm with your employer, that you are covered by their business insurance.
The issue comes if you are self-employed or blog on a personal basis. Can you afford to be sued? Do you have £000’s in saving just in case somebody takes offence to one of your blogs? Most people don’t have that kind of money put away for a rainy day. This is why insurance is important for bloggers.
It’s for these reasons that every blogger needs general liability insurance and also professional liability insurance. General liability can help protect against third-party claims of bodily injury, personal and advertising injury, and property damage. Professional liability protects you from claims of negligence.
In many of the following claims scenarios, the defense costs and indemnity payments incurred could be enough to have a significant impact on the financial well-being of the individuals – causing them to drain their savings, sell their family home, or at worst – file for bankruptcy.
A social influencer forgets to include #ad on sponsored posts.
This causes the Advertising Standards Authority to investigate and issue an adverse ruling against the brand. The brand sues the influencer for breach of contract after suffering reputational damage.
An actress posts a childhood photo to her Instagram account where it is seen by 750,000 followers.
The photographer who took the photo alleges he did not give permission to have his photograph shared and brings a copyright infringement claim against the actress.
A cricketer makes a remark during a post-match interview that their poor performance during the season is due to the quality of their bat.
The bat company terminates their endorsement deal, and also brings a breach of contract claim relating to the quality of promotion.
If you blog for your employers, please do check that you are covered via their insurance and explain why you are asking this question.
The issue comes when you blog personally, you need to ensure you are insured correctly. Grosvenor Insurance Brokers has access to some great products that are designed to cover bloggers and influencers.
Finally, just think about what you are writing and saying!! Will somebody be upset with me and likely to sue me?