from the misdirected dept
Over the years, we've been threatened with lawsuits a few too many times -- almost always due to something that someone said in our comments. The pace of those threats has certainly increased over the years, but most are nothing more than angry bluster. In the few cases where it appears to be someone serious, we have our lawyers explain to them Section 230 in rather plain language, noting that suing us for something said by others in our forums will (1) get thrown out of court incredibly quickly and (2) probably only serve to bring a lot more attention to the comments they're so pissed off about. To date, this has always worked quite well.
Of course, other countries don't have Section 230 safe harbors, and so you get a lot more ridiculous lawsuits with someone blaming a forum owner for what people say in that forum. Hopefully, common sense prevails in those cases too... but you never know. A bunch of folks have sent in the story of a lawsuit in Australia where a filmmaker is suing some online forums
for comments in those forums that the filmmaker believes cost him a job. Apparently, some folks agreed to a deal with him to produce a certain movie, but after finding those comments, they pulled out of the deal.
First of all, the filmmaker, Greg Smith, appears to be suing the wrong parties. Rather than those who actually made the comments, he's suing the owners of the web forums where the comments occurred. And, on top of that, he never contacted those forum owners about the comments in the first place (at least one says that the first he knew about the complaints was when the lawsuit was filed -- at which point he immediately removed the comments anyway). And, of course, all this has really served to do is call a lot more attention to the comments about Smith (and the way he handles such things).