Caution & Conscience Blogging

12:20:00 AM Ashley Tok 0 Comments

I don't even know whether I should be writing this, but since there are no names mentioned, I cannot be sued for defamation right?  I'm writing this so that fellow bloggers or any other individuals who writes online (facebook, twitter etc) should be mindful of....

I received a call from a company asking me to remove a post about my experience with them.

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You should have guessed it. Yup, it was about a bad experience with them and there were other readers who shared their similar negative feedback under the comment box. 

The management mentioned that his business was affected because of my post and the comments.  And because I was the moderator of the comments, I'm answerable for the comments made by others (whether factual or not, which is something I will not be able to verify). In short, he said that the company had taken the screenshots of the post and the comments and his solicitors can sue me for defamation if I don't remove the post and the comments. The caller also claimed that they had sued a customer for defamation successfully in the past. Seriously, I felt threatened even though the caller wasn't scolding or shouting at me. Boy, I think he probably was "well trained" in making such unpleasant call.

Still, I am perplexed because firstly, I don't think my blog is that influential to adversely affect the business of a company.  The damage is too remote to be able to justify the potential losses, there's no guarantee that the company will have more sales if not of my post or the comments. 

Secondly, I'm purely sharing my experience with the company and other people are mainly sharing their experiences on my blog.  However, I was told them there is no freedom to write in Singapore. Ok, that's a lesson learnt. Ouch.

I have removed that particular post since it's not beneficial to me to try to go against a company. I'm just a helpless individual. In short term, I guess the company had won.  In long term, I'm not sure.  At least if I'm the management, I will address the root cause - why are there negative feedback rather than dismissing all negative feedback.  

Now, I don't know whether I should share my bad experiences with restaurants.  I mean I blog about food so often. *Shrugged*  

Imagine I can only write good stuff of the restaurants, otherwise the restaurant can sue me for defamation. If so, I rather not write.  I want to be 有良心的博客. 

I guess in the future, I will be more careful in how I word my experience to avoid even the slightest hint of "instigating" my readers (e.g. avoid XX at all costs, do not go). You be your own judge and decide to patronize or not.

As for comments, I will not accept comments that share bad experience since I cannot verify the factual accuracies and I cannot shoulder all the responsibilities.  Similarly, I will not accept any good experiences as well since I dont want the comments on my blog to be loop-sided.  If you think you agree with what I wrote, you can share the post via your facebook, twitter etc.  

Other than comments about a restaurant/ a company which I cant post, please continue to comment words of encouragement for me or advice for me! I promise, I will not sue you if you scold me! I want to improve on my writing!

Oh ya, before I received the call, I received an email (without telling me the company's name) asking me about the advertising rate on my blog, which I just left my number for discussion.  Coincidentally, after replying the email, I received the unpleasant call.

Perhaps I'm too skeptical but I think the email was trying to get me to reveal my number.  If my guess is correct, I'm really disgusted with that company for deceiving me into getting my number and secondly, indirectly forcing me to remove the post on its negative feedback.  If the company strongly believe that they have done nothing wrong to warrant the negative feedback, they should have come forefront to me as the company. Then again, I may be wrong in linking the 2 incidents together.

Message for people who write online, do write with caution and conscience.

Message for people who read online or get feedback/review online, please exercise some skepticism. If people are not allow to write freely, think twice whether the information online is complete or says the full picture. 

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