LendingTree Pressures Blogger To Remove Comments

from the section-230-anyone? dept

You may have heard the story earlier this week about how LendingTree had a security breach as employees were apparently handing out company passwords to mortgage firms, allowing them to access customer data directly. LendingTree is now suing the mortgage firms involved. However, LendingTree is apparently trying to crack down on some of the discussion about all of this. On one blog that wrote about the story, a commenter left a comment alleging that LendingTree doesn't actually "let banks compete" but has its own lending center -- which seems to be based on a class action lawsuit that was filed against LendingTree a couple years ago.

However, LendingTree is now putting pressure on bloggers to remove such comments, mentioning that they're defamatory. Of course, thanks to section 230 of the CDA, a blogger is not responsible for defamatory content left by others (they are still responsible for their own defamatory content, of course). While it doesn't appear that LendingTree's legal notes have entirely reached the level of a cease & desist (more like a legalistic nudge), it does sound like they've convinced some other bloggers to remove content that need not be removed. And, of course, by claiming that the content is defamatory, it may scare some bloggers who don't understand their section 230 safe harbors to feel obligated to remove the content.

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  1. identicon
    Jake, 25 Apr 2008 @ 3:36pm

    I don't know the full story here, but I think the guy's overreacting a bit. It sounds like a polite request by someone slightly irritated about being told 'no' the first time, despite having asked nicely. I can see his point to a certain extent, however, in that the comments in question have yet to be proven as defamatory in court; if this exchange had taken place after LendingTree had one a libel lawsuit against the guy who posted it would be a different story.

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