Updating Your Blog? Take Care!

My blogs show the Month and Year when they were written. So does a legal textbook. So does a Newspaper.

Would anyone suppose that a textbook called “The Law of Companies” published in 1960, could be relied upon as a source of up to date law in 2014? (If they would you should seek another advisor.)

If an edition of a Newspaper in May 2013 said that Police Officer X has been arrested upon suspicion of serious corruption, does that imply that X is guilty? Of course not. In May 2013 it is a simple statement of what has happened.

BUT – if the Newspaper has an online edition, with the May 2013 article online, and a later update in say July 2013 which tells you the case is now being sent for trial, and you can still read both articles in January 2014 what then? – if in the meantime X has been cleared and has been restored to his post without a stain on his character?

Apparently, if the Newspaper has updated the story once, then thereafter it must keep on doing so or render itself liable in damages for defamation. According to a Judge, if a news story from say May 2013 has been updated once by an on-line newspaper, say in June 2013, then it is reasonable for Readers to assume that whenever they access the website thereafter the story will be up to date – that what was said to be true in June 2013 is still true. They have seen that the newspaper DOES do updates, so the law says that thereafter it MUST do updates. Read more here on the Pinsent Masons website http://www.out-law.com/en/articles/2013/july/updates-to-online-archived-news-stories-need-to-be-kept-current-rules-high-court/

If you are a Blogger then, just like a Newspaper, you are publishing on-line.

So if you are a Blogger, make sure that you date each of your blogs. And if you ever return to a blog and update it, don’t forget to keep doing so [or else delete the whole blog thread] whenever new facts emerge, particularly if your earlier blog mentions matters which affect a person’s reputation and which, though true at the time, can now be clearly seen to be false.