Legal Issues

by Mike Masnick




Google, Wikipedia Sued By Politician Confused About How The Internet Works

from the nice-work dept

In the US, when someone threatens to sue a site like Google or Wikipedia because of postings made by its users that are defamatory, you just point them to section 230 of the Communications Decency Act that makes it clear that service providers aren't liable for what their users say -- a law that makes a lot of sense. Courts have been getting faster and faster at throwing out those types of cases. Unfortunately, it sounds like Canada doesn't have a similar law (or case history). In Vancouver, a former Green Party staff member is apparently suing Google, Wikipedia and a Canadian political website over postings on all three that he felt were defamatory. The guy is quoted as saying: "I'm determined that the people who have acted so irresponsibly will find that there are consequences." That's nice... but if that's the case, why isn't he actually suing those responsible? He's suing the tools providers. Does he sue the phone company if someone says something bad about him over the phone? There's simply no reason to sue the tools providers instead of those actually responsible. The end result, of course, is that he's only going to get a lot more attention drawn to the fact that a lot of people don't think very highly of him and expressed that opinion in online forums. That hardly seems likely to improve his reputation.

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  1. identicon
    Senator Cleghorn, 20 Apr 2007 @ 6:42am

    The use of the word "politician" and "confused" in the same sentence is redundant. It's like saying "geisha girl". Girl is assumed in the word geisha.

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