Message Board Lawsuit

I don’t know if anyone has commented on this or not, but I didn’t find anything when I did a search.

Calif. lawyer sues Yahoo over message-board posts

I mean, what the fuck? I think this is ridiculous.

From the article:

It does make me wonder exactly what was written that could have riled up this guy so much that he would bring a lawsuit against yahoo.

In any event, I think he’s a whiner and if he can’t handle this sort of thing on an internet message group then he shouldn’t have been participating.

By the way, if anyone thinks this is a stupid pit topic, I’ll take you to court…

(just kidding)

Well, let’s just hope that this doesn’t cause a legal issue that disrupts the SDMB.

The link isn’t working for me.

To the best of my knowlege, SDMB does not make any such claim, at least as far as the BBQ Pit goes.

If Yahoo does indeed make such a claim, that’s different.

Well, regarding the SDMB, I’ll wait for the courtroom battle that leads to the legal definition of “being a jerk.”

Well according to the article linked:

So basically, he decided to respond to something about one of his clients and essentially got pitted for it. Then he got pissed off and tried to get information but “The company… responded with incomplete or inaccurate information.” How many people actually give places like Yahoo their proper info? I know I don’t because I’m somewhat paranoid and IMHO don’t think that Yahoo needs to know it.

Why he felt he had to reply about one of his clients, I don’t know.

Not a chance. Yahoo’s Terms of Service are pretty clear:

I’d bet that Mr. Galton is interpreting the inclusion of

…as a guarantee that anyone who is (in the opinion of some random schmuck), posting ‘objectionable’ material, will be removed and their postings will be deleted, and Yahoo will go to the ends of the earth to supply any offended parties with their name, address, and telephone number.

He’s not just an asshole, he’s a crap lawyer who’s wasting his clients’ money.*

*This is the opinion of Larry Mudd only, and does not represent the views of The Chicago Reader

Having someone express an opinion of you is one thing. Having someone deliberately post false and horrible accusations about you while using your actual name and address is another.

Wasn’t the old Prodigy online service (1990-92 or so) sued because one of the members made some harsh comments about a company’s stock? Don’t remember much about it, but it was seen as having a chilling effect for on line message boards.

I believe it was simply someone stating that they didn’t like a stock and they thought it would go down. It might be one thing if I post deliberate falsehoods about a company in an attempt to make its stock go down. But, just saying I don’t like XYZ company and I think they’re overpriced shouldn’t be cause for a lawsuit.

Terms of service or not. This is fucking sad! You have to be one hell of a lame motherfucker to sue for some stupid bullshit like this. If you don’t like something on the internet, hit your fucking homepage button and fucking leave. Sad sad sad motherfuckers.

I don’t know that is sad or lame at all.

I was recently defamed pretty badly, both personall and professionally, on a message board, with identifying information published. Australian law, at least, says you can’t do that. The poster was an American posting under a pseudonym, but the board is owned by an Australian organisation.

I am not interested in sueing, but I did write and ask that the offensive post be removed , it wasn’t, and as the board’s owners are responsible for the content published on their message board, I will be going to a solicitor to have a letter written informing them they are in breach of defamation laws, and encouraging them to do the right thing and remove the defaming post.

In Australia, taking someone to court for defamation is out of the question for most citizens in a financial sense, but I am hoping the offending board owners will see sense and remove the post in this case.

Defaming someone can have some pretty serious consequences.

I don’t recall that specifically but around 96 or so I was moderating a stocks message board on AOL and the forum owner was constantly being threatened with lawsuits by people with stock in companies that were being bad-mouthed on the boards. Nothing ever came of it that I was aware of from a legal standpoint but we mods got chewed every once in a while for leaving messages up that he second-guessed us about removing.

Funny! :smiley:

That’s what it’ll take, you know…

I’m wondering: are message boards covered under 1st Amendment? Or are they considered private entities? Where or what is the dividing line? (I know this has come up before, but it has never been adequately explained.)

I mean, if news outlets can publish or air editorial opinions, or slant facts to their preconceived ideas and get away with it, why couldn’t Joe Blow get up and say (on some sort of public or semi-public forum) that he hates Jerry Dickhead and here’s why?

In another message board I am regular a poster got chewed on and spat out by ‘the masses’. In all truth he was an idiot. He got all offended and inmediately announced that he was “going to sue the owners”. Famous last words. :wally

I have to disagree. If someone is defaming me and mentionning my name, it won’t matter if he does so in a newspaper interview, posts placards in my neighborhood, makes a public speech or post it on an internet board. I’m going to react the same way in all cases. The internet isn’t and shouldn’t be out of the reach of law. Sure, I could choose not to read the internet page, but I could also not read the book/paper/placard and so avoid being offended. There’s no difference.
There are some people here posting under their real names, and not concealing their location. If they piss me off and I begin to post everywhere that Mr. Poster, living in Smalltown is a child molester, do you think Mr Poster should just “hit his fucking homepage button” and forget about it? If not, when is there sufficient cause to react and sue, in your opinion?
Besides, this guy being a lawyer, depending on the content of the posts, this could hurt his reputation and business, besides offending him. I would not like my income being cut in half following some false accusations on the internet or anywhere else. Would you?

I aint no lawyer, but…

My understanding is that it depends on the extent to which a board is moderated. Imagine a fence in town where people are allowed to put up ads, posts, etc. with no monitoring. If someone puts up a defamatory statement, you can sue the person who put it up, but not the city just because they own the fence and allow its use.

OTOH, if the city monitors the posting – someone goes through and takes down the sex ads, say – then the city does become liable.

Now, it should also be noted, that in the good ol’ U.S. of A., anyone can sue anyone else over anything. I can sue my neighbor because the sun came up in the east this morning. The question is not really whether someone “can sue” but how successful that suit might be.

The First Amendment is not a defense to defamation anyway.

As noted, anyone can sue anyone for anything in America, frivolously or otherwise. And it can be expensive to deal with that, even if the party suing you has no valid grounds.

Maybe the SDMB needs lawsuit insurance? Do we have any protection against the possibility that some troll with an annoying amount of money is going to sue the board and that the Chicago Reader would shut down the board rather than spend money thrashing it out in a courtroom?

Could a legally binding part of the user’s agreement commit each poster to not holding Chicago Reader liable for anything posted by other guests & members on the board? Would even that protect the board from frivolous lawsuit problems anyhow?

I hope the judge holds this guy in contempt and throws him in jail for a few days, just for wasting the court’s time with this bullshit.

Why does he care what some yahoo posts on…um…Yahoo?