Every now and then, I encounter a flurry of concern over the improper use of blog content. Recently, Jean refused to allow Singapore’s metablog, Tomorrow.sg, to link to her; a site was found to be collecting online pictures of children in diapers; a restaurant threatened to sue a customer for posting a negative review in his blog; and governments have been censoring and blocking blogs. And, of course, there are the usual concerns about family privacy and job security.

These are my thoughts on each of these issues:

1. Being quoted or linked without permission.

Many different kinds of blogs and bloggers are out there and people have different reasons for why they blog. For me, this blog, as well as my other blogs, primarily serve as a way for me to share my thoughts, opinions, and life experience.

I’m flattered if something I wrote generates discussion either here or elsewhere. There’s no need to ask me for permission in advance as long as I am given proper credit for whatever is linked or quoted. Letting me know would be a nice gesture, but it’s not required.

For example, I found via Google that as preparation for BlogHer, Julie Leung linked to my post on why my blog is here at LiveJournal. I’m happy to know that I’m providing unique information that others find useful.

2. Posting pictures and family privacy.

Every few days, I post a completely innocent picture of Stephen because I know my family and friends enjoy seeing them. Not that there aren’t other ways for me to share family photos, but it’s nice to tie in a picture with the story.

In my opinion, there are many other ways that pervs can get a hold of children’s pictures. Child models face a lot more public exposure than kids featured in parents’ blogs. Anyone with a camera can take a picture of you or your child without your knowledge. In fact, camera phones are regularly used to take Peeping Tom pictures under the table.

A few months ago, when I started professional blogging, I decided to go ahead and reveal my true identity instead of hiding behind . At the same time, I opened up Cotton-Pickin’ Days for indexing by spiders and bots. In my mind, this is what a professional writer does – she puts her name and reputation on the line and stands behind what she writes. I don’t see most authors and journalists moaning about their lack of privacy.

3. Being accused of slander.

I’d like to say that I’m not afraid of this, but I really don’t want to cause myself unnecessary grief. Even though I think regular customers like us should be just as free as professional critics to tell everyone what we think about a place, it’s probably safer to do it on a less public platform than the Internet.

4. Government censorship.

Here again, in a perfectly free world, talk about politics and ideology should be allowed anywhere and everywhere. Sad to say, I can’t think of a single country where this is true, so it’s best to be cautious or get an unwelcome knock at the door.

5. Job security.

Luckily, this is something I don’t have to worry about because I’m not working for any corporation or academic institution right now. I don’t know how my personal blog will change, however, once I go back to work full-time. I’d like to think that I wouldn’t work for anyone or any place that didn’t think along the same lines as me or isn’t tolerant of different points of view.

So now you know where I stand. Where do you stand?

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