No Responsibility Disclaimer Everyone Must Have
A “no responsibility disclaimer” or “disclaimer of liability” warns your readers that you will not be held responsible for any damages that could arise from using your website or mobile app and acting upon the information that it contains.
It is important to note that having such a disclaimer on your website cannot guarantee that no legal actions will be brought against you, but it can certainly act as a deterrent.
The extent to which you can limit your liability may vary from country to country and state to state, so it is always advisable to keep it in mind when drafting your disclaimer.
Here are some of the elements in regard to which you can limit your business’ liability.
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Content and Information
While you are probably doing your best to share accurate and up to date information on your website, you can't always guarantee it. Your no responsibility disclaimer should mention that your readers should not rely solely on your content and you will not be held liable should they decide to act upon the information provided and suffer damages as a result.
This is relevant to include if you have a blog on which you share any kind of advice without being aware of your website users’ personal circumstances. It is also particularly important if the information shared is in a constantly evolving industry, such as finance, law, or medicine, for example.
In the case of collaborative social media platforms or a website on which third parties can contribute content, you may wish to disclaim responsibility for their comments so that you are not held liable for someone else’s hateful or derogatory speech.
If you include external links, you may wish to specifically mention that you will not be held liable for the content and hyperlinks contained on those third-party resources.
Indeed, you cannot control what is shared on someone else’s platform and, while the content may have been relevant at the time you linked to it, it may change over time and without your knowledge.
Technical issues happen and often at the worst times. For that reason, many websites disclaim liability for any damages that arise from someone not being able to use their website or mobile app, or access the materials that are on it.
Moreover, a sentence can be included in your disclaimer to limit your liability in regards to viruses or malware that could infect a user’s computer after visiting your website.
No Responsibility Disclaimer Examples
Your disclaimer of liability can be general or as detailed as you would like. This all depends on the nature of your activities, who uses your website, and the risks associated with your business, the use of your platform, or the content that you share.
Here are a few real-life examples of no responsibility disclaimers.
This disclaimer of liability can be found on the University of South Australia’s website:
The University of South Australia disclaims liability for any damages that arise from acting upon the information provided on its website.
Accounting and advisory firm Pitcher Partners notably disclaims liability when it comes to using and relying on information contained on their website as well as the inability to use it:
Pitcher Partners’ disclaimer specifically lists “loss profits” as a type of damage, which makes sense considering the nature of their professional activities.
Edge Prime Engineering’s disclaimer of liability specifically mentions that their website contains links to external websites and that they have no control nor do they accept any liability in respect of materials, products, or services available on any website that is not under their control:
The company’s disclaimer is clear; relying on information found on their website is done at your own risk.
Reddit, a popular social news aggregator, and message board platform includes the following disclaimer and limitation of liability clauses in its user agreement:
Seeing as the content available on this platform is user-generated and could therefore sometimes be considered defamatory, offensive or illegal, Reddit specifies that it does not take any responsibility for it or the damages that it could cause and that website visitors use the platform at their own risk.
As you will have concluded from the examples above, your no responsibility disclaimer can be shorter and more general or very detailed and highly specific to what you offer.
In any case, you should definitely have one in order to limit your liability and manage the risks associated with an online presence, even if you do it just for fun.
How to Write a No Responsibility Disclaimer?
You will want to make sure that your no responsibility disclaimer is conspicuous and cannot be missed by your users so that they can be aware of your respective responsibilities and accept the risks associated with using your website.
Moreover, you should use language that is easy to understand so that your visitors are able to make a conscious decision when it comes to deciding whether or not they wish to continue using your website or your platform. This is not the time and place for legalese.
Keep in mind that every business is unique and so should your disclaimer of liability.
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- Updated on October 15, 2020