I recently was invited to speak on an online panel about the integrity behind blogging and why it is so important that we use our voices responsibly when speaking out on our social media platforms and blog.
I touched on how bloggers need to be both authentic and trustworthy for their readers to trust them.
Whilst we have built platforms of standing we have also built a reputation for integrity and honesty but this does not allow us to use the privilege of our platforms negatively to get our options, values or viewpoints across to our audiences.
What do I mean?
I certainly do not mean do not express yourself or your opinions.
I simply mean that whilst expressing ourselves we need to be mindful of many things and hold ourselves responsible for how we express these opinions.
We need to ensure that whilst we write our blogs, tweet those tweets and create content for our social media platforms, we are careful to mind the following :
- That we are a role model for others
- Our audience relies on our honesty, authenticity and integrity
- That we do not negatively portray a person’s character or a brands reputation whilst sharing our own opinions
- That we are mindful of the tone we use whilst writing
- That we do not engage in, nor share hate speech
- That we do not encourage or enforce racism or tone policing in our posts or the comments of our readers
- That we monitor our platforms for negativity, especially in the form of deformation, racism and cyberbullying from readers and address it or remove it
- That we are careful of plagiarism
- That we follow copyright rules and look to credit any outside source on information and images
- That we have a page dedicated to legal aspects, disclaimers and copyright on our blog to safeguard ourselves and our reader
- That we disclose our relationships with brands as gifted, sponsored, trade exchange or paid partnerships
- We do not share medical or legal advice without the correct qualifications to do so
- That a blog does not promise something it can not see through. For example, a 10-day weight loss program guaranteeing a person a certain amount of weight loss for example.
- That your posts do not bully others
- That what you post, you know to be true information and have checked your sources to ensure this.
Currently, the blogging world has seen several local and international cases where bloggers have needed the assistance of a criminal offence attorney
These cases highlight defamation of character, racism, invasion of privacy and cyberbullying.
These being just some of the charges.
More and more, we witness how a screenshot, DM message or social media thread is used as evidence against people in lawsuits. More and more we realise the power of online platforms and knowing that, as bloggers, we have built a platform to be heard we also have the responsibility to ensure that we are mindful of the words we share.
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