Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Blogger Laws

Recently I noticed that there is a huge lack of knowledge about legal rules of blogging. I myself am at fault for a lot of these without even noticing--something I remedied asap when I found out about the regulations.

I started to be aware of these things by reading Belle Brita. She mentioned that you can't use follow links in one of her blog posts because it is against Google policy. I was like, what is a follow link?

This prompted heavy researching into internet laws. And what I found and learned was both eye opening and also annoying.

First off, I live in the United States, and I use Blogger (the Google service) to run my site. If you do not live in the USA, and you don't use blogger, some of these may not apply. Each "website service" like Squarespace, Blogger or WordPress has their own set of rules--on top of any laws your country or state has!

Now, I'm sure everyone knows that you can't steal someone's unique photos or words. I mean, even I know that I can't just Google something and copy and paste it on my own site. But beyond this universal copyright law (that a lot of people break anyway...) there are a bunch of other rules that are binding for blogs.

Specific Blogger rules: (policy can be seen here)
  • Adult content must be clearly marked as such, and adult content can not be illegal in nature (think underage) and also can not be used to make any kind of money.
  • All blogs with any sort of adult content (even if it is just one post) requires the entire blog to be behind a 18-or-over warning page. 
  • It is against blogger policy to make a blog pretending to be another person. (satire is allowed)
  • Did you know that blogger does not allow anyone to post a comment on another person's blog or site with the sole purpose of the comment being to promote your own site? This is part of their spam policy. 
  • You cannot use follow links for paid ads. 
USA rules: (via the FTC)
  • Your blog must have a disclosure. (if you are selling something, receiving something for free, talking about a must have a disclosure) 
  • If someone guest posts on your blog, you must have written permission from them stating that you can put their words and pictures on your site. If not, it is a copyright violation. Also, if a guest post uses a picture he/she does not own, you could be held liable!  (this is why I don't do guest posts)
  • There are SO MANY laws about giveaways and sweepstakes and lotteries. This is why I no longer do giveaways. I'll let you research this on your own.
  • If you have a mailing list, it is required by law to have a unsubscribe link in each e-mail.
  • I don't quite understand fair use, so I only use my own pictures!
  • You do have the right (by law) to blog anonymously. However, this does not protect you from being subpoenaed.
  • You have a right to delete comments on your own blog. This does not violate anyone elses first amendment rights.
  • It's good to know about the Section 230 ruling. 
  • If someone comments on your blog: you need to have a comment policy that states creative commons under your comments. If not that person owns their words--making screen-shooting and re-posting their comment on your blog (I've seen people do this and "respond" to comments) potentially illegal!
  • There are different rules for posting e-mails and personal letters from companies, individuals and corporations on your blog. I don't know the rules, so I would shy away from this. In my state is is illegal to film someone or tape them without their consent--but some states are different. Know what you are doing!
Anyway, there are probably a ton more rules, but this is as far as I've researched these past few weeks. If you know of any other links or laws please comment down below. I really want to learn and be informed.

Tuesday, March 24, 2015


Ugh, it's morning. Oh, I'm still pregnant. I need to get up and pee. And drink a river. But it's so warm here. Maybe if I stare at my husband he will get me a drink of water. No, he thinks I want to snuggle...abort, abort!

the view from my bed
Have sad thoughts about lack of snuggling and lack of my body's ability to handle physical touch from another person at 7am in the morning. It's hard enough to move at 7am in the morning: all my effort goes towards singing some sort of motivational internal rant to my sore, bloated pregnant body in an attempt to beef myself up emotionally for that thing called "removing myself from the bed".

I used to be a morning person. I clearly remember a time when it wasn't like this. Will that time ever be here again? Briefly fantasize about springing unencumbered out of bed with the energy of a morning lark.

Get out of breath in my attempt to roll over. Hmm, this is new. Usually it's just annoying and worm-like when I try to host my enlarged torso into a west-facing position. Now I apparently can't breathe when it it happens. Gee, this is fun.

Great. Now my husband is in the shower and I'm finally in a mood for some snuggling. Guess I'll get a drink of water and empty my bladder instead of a warm hug.

My husband wakes me up (again) to kiss me goodbye. I suppose I fell back asleep. Swat at cute, professionally dressed husband and mumble something about how I hope he has a good day. Get kissed again, patted on the head, and mutely register the door closing and the car exiting from the driveway.

Pee again.

Stare at my iPhone. At least something loves me. 

Realize it is almost 8:30. Get thyself to the gym!

Usually walking at the YMCA helps me convince my body that it still knows how to function as a individual even if it is currently multiplying itself. Sometimes it just convinces me that I clearly have been blessed with too many muscles and joints. And they all hurt at once.

Return home. Eat all the things, because I'm so hungry I must be growing twins, or a third arm or... wait, I'm just growing boobs. This realization is reinforced by the fact that my bra is currently cutting off my circulation. Glad I don't need to go anywhere today.

Shower. Warm water. Feels so good. On my back.

Find clothes that fit.

Do whatever I have to do for the rest of the day while a baby kicks my spleen and who knows what else down there.

Realize I forgot to lather coconut oil on my growing parts. Oil self, and then attempt to pick up my computer. Drop my computer. @#%^. Note: do not apply lotion around electronics when afflicted with pregnancy brain. I mean impatience. But I'll blame my condition. 

My husband arrives home. Is it six o'clock already? I haven't even brushed my teeth yet...He says hi, and then proceeds to talk to my belly. Try not to feel weird and concerned for my husband's sanity. Have brief daydream where my uterus grows a mouth and actually talks back.

Can't explain to husband why I am laughing so hard.

Feel excited about meeting my four months. Four more months.

I'm not going to get any bigger, am I?

Repeat tomorrow. Except with more food, please.

Saturday, March 21, 2015

Just Having Fun

Sometimes a pregnant lady just wants to have some fun. And I don't mean the kind of fun that browsing the baby section of target brings on--I mean some pre-pregnancy wig and coffee fun to remind myself that I am still my own person. No matter what is crawling around inside of me right now--it's nice to feel like my old self for a day or two!

This morning, for the first time baby was kicking (and punching) both sides of my uterus. Very odd. Like he was doing stretches. Woke me up and made my husband grin! He is 24 weeks old today.