I thought about this issue a few days ago when I saw Mun’s Fitness blog. This reminded me of a “nasty” incident in the past when I wrote an article on my blog and the guy in question told my friend that he can sue me for alleged “lies”.
Should bloggers be threatened by legal action? It does seem that bloggers are at the losing end because it is very easy to get threatened. This is because bloggers write about our feelings and we comment on every single thing under the sun. It is not too difficult to find a post complaining about a particular institution. It is not difficult to find entries on service standards, lousy companies and bad restaurants. Of course, with negative entries, there will also be positive ones.
However, when we write about something negative that happened to us, the company or person in question may not like it much, especially if we criticize them and they feel that other people may be swayed by us into not dealing with them in the future, hereby leading to less sales etc..
I do feel that there should be a limit on the threatening that bloggers face. This is because a blog is a personal recollection of memories. Even if bloggers do not post about their daily life, what they write contains their emotions and feelings. Readers should be clear-headed enough to decide for themselves whether they want to believe it or not.
I do feel that it is utterly stupid to be threatened by legal action when I faced that problem I had. In fact, my daily average unique visitors is about 10, and these 10 may not be consistent readers (since ping.sg helps bring in traffic). Even if my post can sway 100% of my readers, it is only 10 readers, and they may not even care about your institution in the first place.
Bloggers are also humans who have emotions. We blog about negative service because we went through the lousy service and we hope others will not need to go through them. Instead of threatening bloggers with legal action, perhaps companies should first read blogs and accept them as customer feedback.
In the first place, blogs are places where we pen our emotions and they are a reflection of how we feel. I do feel that I have a right to write about my feelings towards any particular institution if I feel that they are not up to par in service standards.
In Mun’s fitness blog, all he did was to identify the company and blog about his unpleasant experience with the service staff, who seemed to be overly enthusiastic with profit making rather than customer’s satisfaction. Is that wrong? Now I do feel that Mun has a right to blog about his experience, as well as share it with everyone. I do not appreciate it when the company threatened him with legal action because I think that’s childish. In fact, Mun can support his stand because he is the one who experienced the lousy service.
I think companies should think twice before they decide to threaten bloggers. After all, if you as the company feels that the blog has an ability to affect public perception, then, you should be afraid that the blogger might expose the fact that you are trying to sue him. It brings negative publicity too.
I think bloggers should be protected as long as we act responsibly and not make sweeping statements. We should be free to blog whatever we want.
You may have the money to sue us, but when you do, you will be judged the day you die and your soul meets your maker.
Since I’m on the topic about legal action, I hereby declare that any post in The Ignorantsoup is a display of my feelings and my experience and if any company wants to sue me or make me censor their names, they can go lick themselves.