I am not going to get into an argument with anyone on here, but will state that nowhere did I claim a personal attack against me was why I believed Attorney Generals have a role.
What I saying and I will stand by this to the end of time. First of all anyone who goes on the internet behind a user name and launches a personal attack on someone is a coward, plain and simple. Second, the question comes down to responsibility. Some sites simply don't take any. They don't mind making a profit but then they get mad when people criticize their site or take some kind of action for allowing attacks on people. I agree there are some things that should simply be ignored but there are some things that cannot. For instance, let's say you own a business and someone posts you sell drugs out of that establishment. Even though it is not true, by spreading it out through the internet, word can travel and it potentially can destroy your business based on lies. No one has a right to do that. When things get extreme such as death threats, the posting of people's personal information, libel, etc. then it becomes criminal. When things can ruin a person then sometimes legal action such as contacting an Attorney General is absolutely necessary and when there are sites that actually invite and harbor that, they do have a responsibility.
With all due respect, this article is more or less bologna. People have taken advantage of the first amendment and there are certain things such as libel, defamation, sexual predators, threats, etc that are illegal activities and not protected speech. The first amendment wasn't created with the internet in mind or private citizens attacking one another. It is simply a copout for people to justify horrible behavior. With speech comes responsibility. In the case of libel and other things occurring, people have every right to ask for an Attorney Generals help in a manner.
In the example of Topix that you gave, that is a crock. Other than dropping what was essentially a twenty dollar exortion fee, the company became worse. The only time they remove much of anything is when the news media gets involved (which is increasingly happen) That site goes way, way too far and some of the things allowed on there is indefensable. To leave comments on this site users have to sign up, why can't Topix and a few other companies do the same. With some real moderation and registration, Topix would have far less problems and criticism. Even internet companies have a responsible and some things you simply can't defend.
Speaking of Topix, I read an article where they want to do more with politics and political commentary. I also read Facebook is getting more into the comments game which may affect Disqus, Topix, and other companies. If Topix is going to get more political, they would very very smart to come up with stronger filters, registration, and something done about a lot of their forums because when death threats and that sort of thing start appearing on their political forums that is when you not only get more politicians going after Topix and other companies (and justifiably so in many cases) but you will get Attorney Generals even more involved.
You have to find a balance and so many people have abused that.