Liability, the law and your content

content liability

Make sure you’re keeping yourself and your audience safe

Posting online creates liability between you and users, even if you’re not posting “How To: Bungee Jump” videos. Any action you do in your videos, from climbing on rocks for photos, sharing workout routines, posting a DIY skincare routine or even doing a recipe could potentially cause harm to someone if they tried it themselves. No matter how small your audience, you owe them a duty of care to prevent people from being harmed mentally or physically. 

Do not encourage anyone to do anything which would put themselves or others in danger or harm. That means no advocating for reckless stunts, no insane workout challenges and no prank ideas that could result in injury or harm. Also, in law any disclaimer which limits liability for personal injury or death is unenforceable.

Basically, if you add a disclaimer saying copying you could cause injury, if someone does do it and gets hurt, you can’t claim no liability. You’ve probably seen lots of disclaimers saying that a company doesn’t accept liability for any harm caused by using their products or services, but that wouldn’t actually hold up in court. It’s legal pseudo-babble. 

Rather than just claiming to wash your hands of any responsibility, it’s better for you to provide guidance and warnings in your content. The best solution is disclaimers and common sense. If you’re doing a yoga video, state that only people of good health and who have done yoga before should try the harder positions, or if it’s a workout video, say that this is a beginner course and that those with any pre-conditions or pregnant women should be careful.

If you’re making at-home skincare treatments, caution that people with sensitive skin or allergies should be especially careful and maybe consult with a professional beforehand. As well as fulfilling your duty of care, it’s a much more human and open way to communicate with your audience.