Shouldn't Lawyers Understand Online Liability?

from the another-one-of-these dept

Once review sites started popping up that allowed people to review former dating partners, it was only a matter of time before someone filed a lawsuit arguing that their reputation was ruined. That’s exactly what a Pittsburgh lawyer has done (via Broadband Reports), claiming that a review on maliciously identified him as a womanizer with STDs. The company claims it can’t be held liable, based on the same laws protecting other online boards of user-submitted content. Practically, to require the site operator to monitor the veracity of everything posted would create an impossible burden. Still, just because the law gives these sites a pass, it doesn’t mean that character defamation and vigilantism aren’t a problem online. It’s just that his complaint should be with the woman, not the site itself.

Rate this comment as insightful
Rate this comment as funny
You have rated this comment as insightful
You have rated this comment as funny
Flag this comment as abusive/trolling/spam
You have flagged this comment
The first word has already been claimed
The last word has already been claimed
Insightful Lightbulb icon Funny Laughing icon Abusive/trolling/spam Flag icon Insightful badge Lightbulb icon Funny badge Laughing icon Comments icon

Comments on “Shouldn't Lawyers Understand Online Liability?”

Subscribe: RSS Leave a comment
Anonymous Coward says:

Re: He's a lawyer

*smirk* That’s good.

Did you know that we’re all born with tails and that the doctor’s pull them off when we’re born?

Just because someone posts something on the Internet doesn’t make it true. Good grief. I bet you’re one of those people who thinks we should all be guilty until proven innocent too, aren’t ya!

Wintermute (user link) says:

I’m a huge free-speech advocate, and I’d normally side with the site, saying that the women who posted the untrue information are at fault. But I sorta see the lawyer’s point on this, because the site seems specifically designed to ruin the reputations of the men that these women anonymously profile. Personally, I’d have filed a “Jane Doe” lawsuit against anyone who made anonymous comments that were libelous, and subpoena the site’s records to go after the perpetrator(s). But like I said, the site (in this specific case) doesn’t appear to be entirely innocent.

jeff says:

i, for one

certainly hope the issue of wether or not he has any STDs comes up in court. if he’s infected with anything contageous or transmissable, then hoorah for letting people know. if he doesn’t, whoever posted the shit should be fined. simple enough. the site itself, imo, WOULD be a great idea if there were any sort of verification done on the stories submitted by angry women. keep in mind that that’s what you’re dealing with.

JM says:

Re: i, for one

In a court of law I don’t see whether or not he has STD’s as being relevant. Lot’s of people have STD’s and are respectable people who don’t hurt anyone.

It would be a sad day when a court of law would allow someone to point to any individual, state a truth about their human existence and then tack on all sorts of crap just to hurt them and get away with it.

Just because this guy may or may not have an STD is not at issue here. What IS at issue is a site that is encouraging people to make defaming comments about other individuals – there is a law called defamation of character and it exists for good reason.

If this guy did something illegal to this woman then she should file a suit against him. If she wins, she can post it all over the Internet without complaint (it would be a matter of public record). However, anyone running their mouth off about somebody and making character-damaging claims about them to a mass-audience (in this case a global one) is breaking the law.

I must agree that in this case, a site which encourages such behavior should be held liable as well. If they didn’t encourage it then his suit could only be held against the individual making the character-damaging comments.

Sanguine Dream says:

What I would like to see is...

what would happen if some heartbroken guys got together and started a site called and frankly i have to say shame on some girl that gets mad at a guy and goes on one of these sites just make him look bad. i wonder how many of those posts are made by girls that were mad becuase their guy broke up with them for a good reason. there is no way to tell if the stuff on those sites is true. i sincerly wish there was a way to get rid of them.

Emceay says:

Hey! Lets all live in hell together.

I like how the site is aimed at fat girls looking for nice guys and the girls too dumb to realize that the men they attract are snakes. Always asking why good men are so hard to find and never looking at oneself, and the actions that might drive the good ones away. Posting nothing but their own hurt and disdain while passing it off as “for the greater good”

My ass… they just want revenge by mudslinging anonymously. Bad relationships take two to tango. These sites are crafted to bring the loser out of everyone.

And the media wonders why marriages are failing and kids are marrying later.

Lets all live in hell together, we’ve already started on the right foot.

Anonymous Coward says:

Anonymous Coward says:

It’s difficult to take out an ad without leaving some sort of paper trail. The website in question shields defamers with anonymity. But isn’t that what the internet is for? anonymous flaming? Well, usually it’s alright because people in forums use aliases like “Anonymous Coward”. However, this site says “John Doe, who lives right down the street from you, has a small penis, STDs and cries after sex” With little or no proof other than hearsay. It sounds like defamation to me. Now c’mon, if you can get sued for libel for saying “Mr. X sucks a mean cock and that’s how he gets ahead in business” Then what makes this website any different except folks not posting their name?

What’s worse is that this site makes it seem like it’s a fantastic community service that’s elevating humankind.

BIAS!!!! says:


Joe .. You did not mention that the lawer was suing people who posted the message too. Thats what it says in the article. Preseting the story like this (ommiting certain facts) you make it seem like the guy is very DUMB and does not know better. People who post responses never care to read the article either.

I bet you do it on purpose to direct the discussion is a certain way. I bet it must be fun reading posts later.

Steven Collons says:

On line Slander

I have been slandered on the web by third party hear say. This has had political impact that has effected my life. I am not Happy with it.

True there is no way to prevent Freedom of speech on the web as everyone’s entitled to there own opinion. As seen in the US constitution this serves both governing power & people to prevent pressure’s & allows for ajustments between both parties to try to premote harmony.

As we do in the Library; Mabey, Laybel category’s in of info in some form that’s less likey for misinterpretation?

John Jackson says:

The truth about Tasha Joseph

My name is John L. Jackson III. I was in an intimate yet tumultuous relationship with Tasha Cavelle Joseph creator of the website for over twelve years. Given that my name has already been drawn out into the public fray I will entertain the possibility of coming forward with any and all information regarding our relationship. Evidence will be substantiated.

Thomas (user link) says:

Speaking of people "allegedly" spreading STD's

There is a new web site out the called where people can tell others of past sexual encounteres where their partners weren’t exactly honest with them.
People do this all the time, they know they have some STD and go on in life with out telling the partner they are involved with. Its not fair to the victim who recieved the disease so why would you care if someone exposed this “alleged” infector. If done properly this is the type of site that will help inform our society of the pit falls of having unprotected sex with random people.

Free Speech in America says:

Let's see...

Let’s see… is this the same John L. Jackson that is attempting to sell information about his relationship with Tasha Joseph, creator of, was arrested 3 times in the 90’s for domestic violence against her. The Clerk of Court records in Miami tell the story of what kind of person he is. He tried to accuse her of a crime she didn’t commit when they were together. It was later determined by the State Attorney’s Office that he committed the crime. He’s also been convicted of numerous other crimes involving drug possession. He’s a lowlife who is so desperate for money that he is now attempting to sell information about his relationship with Tasha to anyone who will listen. Obviously, no one’s listening, except maybe fellow lowlife Todd Hollis! John and his brother Edward Chambers, a law school graduate who couldn’t pass the bar so he had to volunteer his services on Craig’s List, are like the boys from the movie Dumb and Dumber! Well, it’s the same thing that happens to all celebs. Look at the photographer who tried to extort money from Cameron Diaz over nude photos he took of her. Cameron stood up for herself and fought back and the photographer is now serving three years in jail!

Women need to wake up and realize that men like John L. Jackson are predators and if a successful woman like Tasha can be a victim, any woman can. Don’t fall victim to these men, ladies! There are good guys without lengthy criminal records out there who are honest, successful and drug-free!

Free Speech Tasha Joseph Style says:

Tasha Joseph Doesn't Know Free Speech

Tasha Joseph may fool a few while she runs around posting anonymously and touting free speech, but the fact is the only free speech she accepts on her own site is that which caters to her twisted notions. That site of hers isn’t about free speech at all. If fact she kicks people off her site when they take issue with her slanted premise. She professes that she is doing a service while possessing virtually no professional qualifications to deal with womens issues. IN fact, she has her own issues.

She goes on national television to tell the world she doesn’t edit items on her site. Yet has done just that. She has used fake accounts to attack those in her forums who might not accept that men posted in her site profiles may not be guilty of anything. She has called posted men cheaters even though she has no first hand knowledge of the facts. She has attacked those who defend specific men against what is posted in her site profiles. This isn’t simply a site for others to post. This is a site where lies, rumors and attacks on men are taken as fact, defended and contributed to by Tasha herself. Men are slandered and lied about while Tasha Joseph profits. If she really cared about women who are hurting then why not volunteer with professional organizations that really do help woman rather than making money promoting lies?

Now we see a post where those who may well be able to expose her are attacked. Well, where are the case numbers? Where is information that would allow someone seeking the truth to validate these accusations? Who are the detectives who have and do all these investigations?

If Tasha Joseph is so innocent why did she file an expungency? Was she working on a Top Secret clearance? I seriously doubt it. Fact is she tried to bury her past because she didn’t want people to know about it.

What is the additional smokescreen about some photographer who has nothing to do with Tasha Joseph, Jackson or any of the other in this list of characters? This has nothing to do with anything, except clouding facts.

This post just smells of the kinds of garbage posted on the dontdatehimgirl website. Provide some substantiation for your garbage or take it over to dontadatehimgirl where man bashing is a way of life. What a joke.

Add Your Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Have a Techdirt Account? Sign in now. Want one? Register here

Comment Options:

Make this the or (get credits or sign in to see balance) what's this?

What's this?

Techdirt community members with Techdirt Credits can spotlight a comment as either the "First Word" or "Last Word" on a particular comment thread. Credits can be purchased at the Techdirt Insider Shop »

Follow Techdirt

Techdirt Daily Newsletter

Techdirt Deals
Techdirt Insider Discord
The latest chatter on the Techdirt Insider Discord channel...