Rest easy Hennepin County bloggers — comments on your site won’t get you into legal trouble. Unless you wrote them yourself.
That’s the upshot of a key ruling Tuesday in blogger John “Johnny Northside” Hoff’s trial.
MinnPost media critic David Brauer reports on the pro-journalist ruling:
Lawyer Jill Clark built the case that Hoff posted the anonymous comment to his own blog. The evidence was … interesting. It came from Donald Allen, a former Hoff ally and former defendant in the case who is now testifying for [former University of MN contractor Jerry] Moore. Allen contended that he could recognize Hoff’s wording in the comment; Hoff has denied authoring it. Allen not only told Clark he had written anonymous comments to his own blogs, but “all bloggers do that to start a conversation.”
Brauer mentions he has never posted an anonymous comment and he speculates that many other bloggers don’t do it either.
Seems like a lot of speculation from all parties, but it made us wonder: Have you ever anonymously seeded comments on your own blog? How widespread is this practice?