It’s always impressive when you see lawyers file lawsuits which suggest they’re not entirely familiar with the law. Eric Goldman points us to a lawsuit filed by a Nevada lawyer, Jonathan Goldsmith, suing Facebook and two Facebook users for defamation, due to some mean Facebook comments.
Of course, Section 230 clearly shields Facebook from the actions of its users in defamation cases. As a lawyer, aren’t you supposed to be aware of the law? There are some other oddities in the lawsuit as well, such as claiming both slander and libel for the Facebook comments. Normally, slander applies to spoken comments, libel to written. Now, I recall at least one case (in the UK, not the US), where the court suggested online forums were more like slander than libel, but it still seems a bit odd to see it in this case. And, either way, he claims both slander and libel. There are a few other oddities as well, including a claim that the mean comments on Facebook caused him to “seize” advertising on the site. I’m assuming he meant “cease”?
Yet again, it seems like sometimes even when people say mean stuff about you online, which might not be true, it’s better to just shrug it off than filing a lawsuit, drawing a lot more attention to the mean things… and anything else that might get attention.