How To Make Sure Your Blog Doesn’t Get Sued
Creating and maintaining an effective Terms of Service.
If you're managing a blog you need a Terms of Service document in place, which is a set of legal and binding guidelines that you or your company publish prominently within your online community to establish the ground rules of that community. Most Terms of Service give not only your responsibilities, liabilities, and disclaimers, but they also outline the responsibilities that your community members must agree to in order to participate in your forums.
The most secure way to protect your blog in case there is ever a dispute is to make it mandatory for new members to click “okay” and accept your Terms of Service with some kind of digital signature that a new member would have to sign before gaining access. The least legally-binding method of sharing the Terms document is simply by having a link on your site to it. As long as the link is prominent, there is a certain degree of implied consent when someone joins and participates in someone else's community.
If you aren't sure where to start to get a template for your Terms of Service, try the Creative Commons site or do a search for Terms of Service and see who uses the Creative Commons Share Alike license—which means you can repurpose the content for your own use. WordPress, for example, shares theirs freely.
Terms of Service image courtesy of Shutterstock