Legal Issues

by Mike Masnick


Filed Under:
jack thompson, lawsuits, pro se, section 230

Companies:
facebook



Even After Being Disbarred, Jack Thompson Can File Misguided Mistargeted Lawsuits

from the good-luck,-Jack dept

Ah, Jack Thompson. The lawyer who made a name for himself years ago by trying to misdirect the blame for pretty much any violent action by any teenager by claiming that it was "the video games' fault" has since been disbarred, and last we heard was getting scolded by Utah state politicians -- the one state where politicians were still putting up with his unsubstantiated claims. And, of course, through it all he continues to claim that everyone is out to get him -- with various video game blogs being a favorite target.

Of course, even though he's been disbarred, it doesn't mean he can't continue filing misguided lawsuits on a pro se basis -- and that's what he's done now. Eric Goldman alerts us to the news that Jack Thompson is now suing Facebook because some people on Facebook have said some mean stuff about him. Now, there's no doubt that some people online have said incredibly mean and hateful things about Jack, and may have made statements that are potentially threatening. But, apparently, while filing all of these lawsuits and getting disbarred, Jack Thompson never bothered to read Section 230 of the CDA, which protects the service provider (such as, say, Facebook) from the actions of its users. Details, apparently, are not Thompson's strong suit:
There's a bit in there where he suggests that there's some massive organized campaign against him, rather than just a bunch of random people having fun with him, because they appear to think he's a bit out to lunch.

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  1. identicon
    Lucretious, 1 Oct 2009 @ 2:04am

    Re: Hmm

    ....but the social networking sites seriously need to be forced to hold some form of responsibility if they are just going to let things like threats--or worse--happen.

    You are either incredibly naive or just trolling.

    So you beleive enacting some kind of legislation is going to stop people from being (and there's no other word for it) assholes? You don't see any kind of slippery slope insofar as free speech is concerned? Do you realize the amount of content that users put up on Facebook daily? It numbers in the tens of millions. Facebook is simply a tool to let people connect and is no more responsible for "allowing" that girls death than it is for juvenile idiots threatening Thompson. That's why the Safe Harbors legislation was enacted. While the girls death is tragic, she could have reacted the same way to a phone call or a handwritten letter. Would you then accuse Verizon or the US Postal Service of "allowing" it to happen?

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