Lawyer Sues Facebook Claiming Other Users Defamed Him

from the they-don't-teach-section-230? dept

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.
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Filed Under: defamation, jonathan goldsmith, liability, safe harbors, section 230
Companies: facebook


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  • identicon
    Danielle Hudges, 29 Oct 2010 @ 1:28am

    will that be pursued?

    Granted that there's a case that was filed already. I do not exactly know if that case will go further. Is there a clear law and justifiable case for that? That's the common problem all the time whenever someone sues the other of something that is so devastating to one's reputation, it is not pursue the right way.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 29 Oct 2010 @ 2:03am

    This guy must've lived an interesting life, thinking that "cease" and "sieze" are the same word. When someone tells him to "sieze the day", does he go back to bed?

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 29 Oct 2010 @ 4:31am

    I think your just giving the shysters free advertising. I'd of blocked there names out.

    FUNNY and Ridiculous

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 29 Oct 2010 @ 5:16am

    Lawyer quotes through history are not kind at all to lawyers LoL

    http://www.allgreatquotes.com/lawyer_quotes.shtml

    The first thing we do, let's kill all the lawyers.
    William Shakespeare
    King Henry VI Part 2.

    Lawyer, n. One skilled in circumvention of the law.
    Ambrose Bierce
    The Devil's Dictionary.

    Make crime pay. Become a lawyer.
    Will Rogers

    A lawyer with a briefcase can steal more than a thousand men with guns.
    Mario Puzo

    It is better to be a mouse in a cat's mouth than a man in a lawyer's hands.
    Spanish Proverb

    Woe unto you also, ye lawyers! for ye lade men with burdens grievous to be borne.
    Jesus
    The Bible, Luke 11. 46.

    WTF! even Jesus knew.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 29 Oct 2010 @ 5:16am

    Jonathan Goldszmith is a faggot and a pedophile!!!

    That's what he's suing over. Someone on facebook, that he never met, called him names.

    Jonathan Goldsmith loves gay child porn!!!

    Haha

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 29 Oct 2010 @ 5:24am

    people these days are out and out pussies. makes me sad for the human race

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Del Boy, 29 Oct 2010 @ 5:26am

    Hmmm

    Was one of the comments about his competitance as a lawyer & the other about his use of english?

    lol

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Ryan Diederich, 29 Oct 2010 @ 5:28am

    hehehe

    Jonathan Goldszmith is in bed with his lawyers.

    See, we can do it too.

    I hope TechDirt doesnt have "axes" to my IP address.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 29 Oct 2010 @ 6:05am

    I don't get it

    How can these "defamation" and "libel" laws even exist? The constitution is VERY, VERY clear. SHALL MAKE NO LAW does not provide any wiggle room.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    Ray Trygstad (profile), 29 Oct 2010 @ 2:57pm

    Especially if you're stupid...

    "...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" which of course is particularly true when you might be drawing attention to the facts that a) apparently you don't know your own business very well and b) you appear to be stupid.

    This is only an opinion, though; nothing actionable here. Move along now, there's nothing more to see here.

    BTW, I have lawyer jokes too: PondScumandLawyers.com.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Creative Visualization, 4 Nov 2010 @ 9:25am

    Defamation

    It is a very comfortable situation for the lawyer. He knows he cant sue, but after all what can he lose.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    Stephane Beladaci (profile), 12 Dec 2013 @ 5:54pm

    Facebook negligence, consumer abuse and teen suicide

    I think I discovered a related series of abuses. As an engineer, I also discovered significant loopholes and failures in Facebook's safety measures. Make sure to read my comments on this post: https://www.facebook.com/flexengineer/posts/10151832721485679

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 17 Mar 2017 @ 11:32am

    fuck that excuse. facebook should not be protected from not protecting facebook users

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]


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