Twitter, WordPress, Ning & GoDaddy All Sued In Mistargeted Lawsuit Over Defamation
from the someone-please-learn-section-230 dept
Last week, a lawsuit involving an allegedly defamatory Twitter message about a landlord made the news. This week, we’ve got another defamation suit involving another Twitter message and a condo building, but the situation here is quite different. First, if the alleged facts are true, it does sound like it could be defamation. It involves some condo owners, and who used Twitter, blogs and other websites to apparently accuse the condo board president of a variety of things including “murder, bribery, extortion, illicit payoffs, and corruption.” Assuming those things are untrue, it would appear that the guy targeted by all this, Daniel Neiditch, has a decent defamation claim.
However, rather than just sue those folks responsible for the message, Neiditch’s lawyers appear to have sued pretty much every company that these messages could loosely be associated with, including Twitter, WordPress, Ning, and GoDaddy. As Sam Bayard notes in the link, it appears that Neiditch’s lawyers appear not to know about Section 230 of the CDA. That’s a pretty big one for your lawyers to miss when filing a lawsuit like this. Ultimately, all four of those companies should have the case easily dismissed under Section 230, but it will be a waste of time and money in the meantime.
Of course, even if they were totally unaware of Section 230, basic common sense should tell you that these sites, hosting the content (or the domain, in the case of GoDaddy) should never be responsible for what was written on those sites. Going after them as a part of the lawsuit appears to be a blatant money grab, by trying to tie any company to the lawsuit, no matter how ridiculous the connection is between the actual action and the company. There really ought to be sanctions against lawyers who do such things, because it happens way too often.