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Using real names in a blog

(9 Posts)
Changingthenameupforanon Sun 11-Sep-16 13:13:27

I've began a blog about my missing grandmother(Missing since the 70's) but I'm unsure on the legalities of using real names and details.

I want to find her or find out what has happened to her and I think using the correct details of the time surrounding her disappearance may trigger memories or allow other people to help in the search.

At the very least I want to use my grandmothers married surname as well as her maiden name, though I think with very little sleuthing the names of my grandfather, aunts and uncles would be easily found even with just using her maiden name - it's quite unusual!

Do I use the correct details for everyone involved? (I'm pretty sure this will be a no)
Do I use real first names and not mention their last names?
Do I use fake first names and still keep the real last names?
Or use fake first names and give a fake surname?

This isn't going to be a blog to throw around baseless accusations, it really is to find the truth.

Changingthenameupforanon Sun 11-Sep-16 13:24:06

Btw I understand the irony of me using a name change for this post but I don't want it linked to my regular mumsnet account.

LunaLoveg00d Sun 11-Sep-16 13:24:20

What are you worried about? It's perfectly legal to write stuff about people in blogs, using real names and details. There are thousands of blogs about celebs or individuals who do just that.

If the aim is to find missing family members or identify what happened to them, using fake details isn't going to work. You're going to have to give readers the right details to identify they are part of your family. As long as you are factual and don't stray off into slander/libel, then that's fine. And as far as I recall, you can't slander/libel someone who is dead.

So writing "Mr granny, Jeanie McDonald, was born on or around 1 January 1900 in Edinburgh. I think her parents were John and Mary. She may have had an older brother called Adam and a sister who died in infancy, but we're not sure about that" is absolutely fine.

Saying "My auntie Janet who is still alive and well and living at 12 High Street, London is a raging alcoholic and compulsive thief, and most probably murdered her sister Susan" probably isn't wise...

Changingthenameupforanon Sun 11-Sep-16 13:43:22

There is a variation of issues going on in this case.

A lot of rumours and stories were made up about my grandmother, some of it is probably true some of it not. I think we want to identify these stories and try to find out if there is some truth behind it or if it's made up, we don't want to put anything down as fact unless we know 100% it's true. Currently she is missing, myself and my mum think there is a likely chance of her being dead.

There are questions that need asking, we don't want it to come across as an insinuation of anyone's guilt. But if we ask a question such as 'Is there anything underneath a cement coal bunker which was not needed or even used?', the insinuation would be that we're saying that the person who put the bunker there maybe has something to hide even if we're just looking at the bunker as a potential lead.

We also have an ex-boyfriend who no one is even sure of the correct name, but we want to know where he is. If she did leave of her violation then she left with him and he would know where she was last living.

We don't to focus on other family members, we do really want to focus on my grandmother. But some family members never want to talk about her and we do know that they will not react well to us trying to find out what happened to grandmother.

Thank you for replying.

wowfudge Mon 12-Sep-16 07:14:56

If, as your posts suggest, you believe she may have been killed/murdered/denied a proper burial then have you contacted the police?

Changingthenameupforanon Mon 12-Sep-16 08:27:43

Yes, my mum emailed the police yesterday to see if it was possible to see a missing person's report or to see if even one was made. If not then we're going to file one, although we're not sure how seriously it would be taken because it was over 40 years ago.

At the moment we're trying to continue to look for her alive.

LunaLoveg00d Mon 12-Sep-16 13:52:56

I think that if you start a blog with the factual information you have regarding your grandmother, with name, age, date of birth and other info like siblings, parents, occupation then that's fine.

It would even be fine to say that the family lost contact with her around X year and are trying to trace her.

It wouldn't be appropriate to start listing possible theories of who killed her, but I'm sure you wouldn't anyway.

Changingthenameupforanon Mon 12-Sep-16 20:34:13

Oh yeah I definitely wouldn't post an accusation like that on the internet. If I had proof that someone killed her, it would be given straight to the police.

Tiggeryoubastard Tue 13-Sep-16 08:09:45

Will you be mentioning the people who don't want to discuss or have anything to do with this in any way? If so then bringing then into it would really be out if order, as I'm sure you can understand. Firstly I'd wait and see what the police come back with. Good luck, keep us informed.

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