School Can't Handle Critical Community Message Board; Sends Legal Nastygram
from the and-the-message-board-folded dept
Rather than respond to those claims, the school sent the messageboard owner a cease and desist letter, demanding the entire thread be removed. Tragically, the message board owner apparently was unfamiliar with Section 230 of the CDA and the rights of a service provider to resist such efforts, and just took down the whole thread. This is unfortunate, though, commenters on the thread appear to be reposting the same articles (and explaining section 230 to the board operator).
But, really, this is why lawyers still send bogus cease-and-desist letters: all too often they work. Having been on the receiving end of a few such letters, it's pretty damn scary to know you might get sued, and even if you know you're right, the whole concept of having to fight it can be scary (and expensive) unless you can find a good lawyer to represent you pro bono -- which isn't easy for many to do. It's legal bullying at its finest, but it works way too often. This is one reason, by the way, that we really could use a strong, federal, anti-SLAPP law, that would help sites understand that they can't be silenced just because someone doesn't like what they say, and gives those sites an easy, clear and inexpensive way to get any such cases dismissed quickly.