Westby Fisher, MD is a cardiologist and fellow physician blogger in Evanston, IL who has been blogging since November 2005 at drwes.blogspot.com. At the time I started this blog we worked at the same hospital and since then I have relied upon his experience from time to time when it comes to blogging among other physician and non-physician bloggers.
His blog is extremely popular and ranks very high among health and medicine blogs by several sites that look at this and several algorithms for doing so.
Awhile ago he shared with me a legal issue that came up because of his blogging activity which he wrote about earlier this month in a post entitled "Bloggers Beware".
You can read the note for yourself but the case stems from a post he wrote and an anonymous comment on that post. The party who subpoenaed Wes for a discovery deposition claimed he knew who made the anonymous post and insisted he take down the post and comment. Wes does not know who wrote the comment nor did he take down the post or an image of the post on his blog.
He mentions Karen Seidel of neurodiversity.com and what happened to her. She posted the following comment to Wes's note:
"Your situation doesn't seem a whole lot different from that of a restaurant owner getting hauled into court over graffiti left on the bathroom wall."
I can see exposing yourself in legal issues based on what I write, but being held accountable for someone else's thoughts, anonymous or not? The case involving Wes was ultimately dismissed. I leave comments on this blog open and unedited but this has made me re-think doing so. It diminishes the full effect of Web 2.0 and others sharing this platform to express their own ideas and opinions.
Kudos to Wes for not removing the post or comment.