Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Do Bloggers Have Freedom of Speech?

Disclaimer:  I claim to be a blogger, however, I'm not licensed to practice law.  Nothing I state in this blog or in any materials I publish should be construed as legal advice.  If you need legal advice, seek help from an attorney who is licensed to practice law in your state.  If you wish to read about my opinions or my personal experience dealing with allegations made by others, this blog is here for entertainment purposes only.

Today's question is meant to provoke thought.  We live in a world where information is available instantly, thanks to a world-wide web of bloggers, photo journalists and others who publish their stories online.  My opinion is that there is a line we should always be aware of when publishing a blog story or any other content, especially when it involves publishing something that may cause harm to another individual.

A couple of days ago I read a compelling article published by a law professor about junk debt buyers.  Although the story was targeted to attorneys, I gleaned useful information to help me in a personal matter I'm dealing with.  I emailed him to thank him for his story and told him it will help me as I prepare a defense against a law firm who is pursuing an alleged debt.  He responded and asked where I live.  He shared some general ideas to explore in my state.  I wrote him back and promised to share the results of the lawsuit once an outcome is finalized.  I really have nothing to prove in my case; the burden of proof is always with the plaintiff and my opinion is that this debt collector lacks the evidence to support his allegations.  I will have to wait and see what the judge thinks.

The reason behind today's question comes from stories I read about a junk debt collector who is filing a claim for an alleged debt.  One of the strategies he uses when attempting to settle with the defendant(s) is a statement of confidentiality.  It appears these companies are afraid the facts of their cases may hurt future streams of income should anyone read about courtroom drama.

I'm a big believer in the freedom of speech.  I will defend my right to share my personal stories here with every fiber of my being.  I will study the laws of my state to learn how to defend myself should anyone ever try to stop me from publishing daily stories.  How about you?  What is your opinion?  Do you believe bloggers have freedom of speech?  Please share your opinion in the comment section below.

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