Many bloggers think they are allowed to do and say whatever they want. This naive outlook can ruin a blogger’s career. Or worse.
Most bloggers understand that there are serious penalties for stealing content. However, they may not realize how serious certain statements are. Countries around the world have cracked down on bloggers for making statements they feel are against the interests of their country.
Almost every country in the world has laws limiting what bloggers are allowed to say. If you aren’t careful, you can get yourself in serious trouble. Some countries place limits on self-expression. Even in the United States, the First Ammendment doesn’t mean what most people think.
Here are some ways bloggers have gotten themselves into trouble in the past few years:
- Maikel Nabil arrested in Egypt. This 26 year old blogger was upset about post-revolutionary Egypt. Under the persona “Son of Ra,” Nabil stated that he did not believe the dictatorship in Egypt was over. He was subsequently accused of treason and arrested. He has been sentenced to three years in prison.
- Jacqui Thompson in trouble for filming. Jacqui Thompson is the founder of Carmarthenshire Planning Problems blog. She has recently been arrested for trying to film the Carmarthenshire Council meeting. She was in a public gallery, but still in violation of one of the Council’s regulations. She refused to leave, possibly believing she had a right as a journalist to be present. She was taken out of the gallery in handcuffs.
- Park Dae-sung and his financial predictions. Park Dae-sung was a blogger in South Korea. He made predictions about the direction of the economy. In making these predictions, he inadvertently offended his government. He was charged with spreading false information against the public interest. He was acquitted and released from jail almost three and a half months after his arrest.
- Hal Turner arrested for ranting against judges. Hal Turner was a blogger who was outraged for making statements against Chicago judges who would not overturn handgun laws. He was arrested by the FBI for making threats against making federal judges.
Many bloggers are interested in making their positions known. However, it is crucial to understand the consequences for doing so. Although copyright and similar laws are taken seriously by bloggers, they may not appreciate the significance of a comment.
A single phrase can be taken out of context. As a blogger, you must be aware of the laws in your jurisdiction. You should appreciate what other bloggers have gone through. Although some bloggers intentionally made their political or personal positions clear, others have been sued or jailed for outright carelessness.