Reader, I trust you understand links

Paul Balcerak recently left a comment on this blog that brought up a valid concern that he has heard about news organizations linking to other sites.

If a link turns out to contain bad/incorrect information, the news organization linking to them may be partially liable.

I am not qualified to speak on any legal liabilities, but I’ve heard (and I’ve had) similar concerns about losing credibilty and trust by linking to pages that contain incorrect information.

I trust that you, the reader, understand how hyperlinks work, and I trust that:

  • You read all pages that I llnk to with a critical eye.
  • You accept that many articles contain small amounts of what can be interpreted as misleading or incorrect information.
  • You know that the sources I link to will occasionally make mistakes.
  • You know I have no control over the content on other sites.
  • You know that sites sometimes update their blog posts and articles.

In return, I make the following commitments about links within blog posts.

  • I will not knowingly link to pages that contain incorrect/innacurate information, unless using it in an example.
  • I will clearly state when I link to pages that contain unconfirmed information.
  • I will not link to pages for personal gain, monetary or otherwise.
  • I will not share your click behavior to any third party without your consent.
  • I will apply these same principles of linking when considering links to my own content.

One thought on “Reader, I trust you understand links

  1. Very good policy. At the bottom of my social and technology blogs I write "Christopher Roberts is not responsible for the content of external websites" so that my readers know that I link to others, but as you say their content may change, or be slightly wrong etc.

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