You need to take care that your website, the comments on it etc stay legal. One important part of that is libel, slander or ‘defamation’ as they are both properly called. Defamation law in England is draconian if you get it wrong. But this is easy to avoid.
We aren’t lawyers here at talk about local so we can’t give you full advice. But we can point you to some good advice on the web written by lawyers. These links come recommended by the web community, but it is of course up to you to make your own judgements about them.
Three UK law firms offer free guides to issues around defamation in plain English:
Out Law offers some good general advice. Their top tip is
‘Like many areas of law, liability for defamation can be avoided by taking a common sense approach. If you are an ISP , listen to complaints. If it is appropriate, remove offending material which you host; if you are in doubt, seek legal advice or, at the very least, err on the side of caution…’
And Website Law delivers some top tips ‐ 10 things webmasters should know about libel
David Price solicitors provide a guide to defamation issues from the plaintiff, defendant angle
If you want more detailed information in a book for bed time reading, many journalists we speak to swear by McNaes ‘Essential Law for Journalists’
Robertson’s Media Law is also highly recommended by journalists.
We hope this is helpful – we are rounding up more advice so keep an eye on this site for updates.