Another Legal Can Of Worms--This Time For Websites That Allow Comments

Lounge By -K8memphis Updated 28 Dec 2013 , 10:17pm by -K8memphis

-K8memphis Posted 11 Dec 2013 , 7:15pm
post #1 of 21

http://www.cbsnews.com/news/sarah-jones-case-ex-cheerleaders-defamation-suit-puts-internet-giants-on-edge/

 

the cliff notes version is that the cheerleader won damages in a lawsuit against a website that slandered her--

 

Quote:

Deters (her lawyer) argued that thedirty.com was different from other websites like Facebook because Richie (owner of website) has admitted to screening submissions and adding his own comments, rather than other people posting their own comments.

 

twitter, facebook, amazon and google are appealing this--

20 replies
jason_kraft Posted 11 Dec 2013 , 7:45pm
post #2 of 21

AThis is likely to be overturned by SCOTUS unless the site owner's comments were also defamatory.

https://www.eff.org/issues/cda230

Norasmom Posted 11 Dec 2013 , 7:48pm
post #3 of 21

Hmmm…I think she plenty defamed herself when she became intimate with one of her students.   I hope she doesn't sue me for saying that.  At this point in the information age defamation is a slippery slope.  If you're famous or do something (good or bad) to become famous, it's best to stay off the internet so you won't read things about yourself…:D 

-K8memphis Posted 11 Dec 2013 , 8:21pm
post #4 of 21

Quote:

Originally Posted by jason_kraft 

This is likely to be overturned by SCOTUS unless the site owner's comments were also defamatory.

https://www.eff.org/issues/cda230

 

 

that's the point--the owner is said to have commented and edited the comments of others--that's what this decision is based on--so the owner's gotta own it--for now...

-K8memphis Posted 11 Dec 2013 , 8:32pm
post #5 of 21

Quote:

Originally Posted by Norasmom 
 

Hmmm…I think she plenty defamed herself when she became intimate with one of her students.   I hope she doesn't sue me for saying that.  At this point in the information age defamation is a slippery slope.  If you're famous or do something (good or bad) to become famous, it's best to stay off the internet so you won't read things about yourself… 

 

 

pretty much--

 

interesting that she won this round compared to so many thousands of celebrities who get libeled, trashed and lied on on a routine basis--very curious to me--

jason_kraft Posted 11 Dec 2013 , 9:00pm
post #6 of 21

A

Original message sent by -K8memphis

that's the point--the owner is said to have commented and edited the comments of others--that's what this decision is based on--so the owner's gotta own it--for now...

If the owner's comments are not defamatory he is still protected from liability by CDA Section 230 as he did not originate the defamatory statements. Editing and/or moderating should not be enough to break CDA 230 protection, unless there was purposeful editing to make innocuous statements into defamatory ones (that doesn't seem to be the case here).

-K8memphis Posted 11 Dec 2013 , 9:14pm
post #7 of 21

he lost in court--i'm not a lawyer but if he just lost the case i don't think he found protection--it's on to the circuit court now for the big guns to appeal...

jason_kraft Posted 11 Dec 2013 , 9:44pm
post #8 of 21

AYes, he lost this case, but the law says he should be protected, which is why I said it's likely to be overturned. Regardless of the results of the circuit court appeal this will probably be ruled on by SCOTUS due to the implications for chilling effects throughout the web.

costumeczar Posted 12 Dec 2013 , 3:34am
post #9 of 21

Quote:

Originally Posted by jason_kraft 

Yes, he lost this case, but the law says he should be protected, which is why I said it's likely to be overturned. Regardless of the results of the circuit court appeal this will probably be ruled on by SCOTUS due to the implications for chilling effects throughout the web.

Well, his lawyer must have already argue that he was protected and he lost that argument. He's trying to appeal with the argument that this will palce an undue burden on any website that allows people to comment on anything. The woman's lawyers said they were going to respond to that by saying this is a limited situation because it hinges on the owner of the site being the one to screen, select and add his own comments to the content on the site. He personally edits the site, so he has total control over what goes up there feature-wise. Sites like twitter and facebook don't have the same level of control, so her lawyers said they're going to argue that because of that this case wouldn't apply to those types of sites. It probably will go to appeals because doesn't everything...

SPCOhio Posted 26 Dec 2013 , 3:43am
post #10 of 21

AThis is my area of town and I'm shamed by it. Shamed by it, shamed by her and shamed by the fact that I shared a profession with Eric Deters, who really seems to have established a niche for himself of representing teachers who sleep with their students and has been thisclose to being disbarred more than once. Judge Bertlesman is usually a measured and cerebral thinker. I don't know WTH he (or his clerk) might have been thinking when this opinion was rendered.

-K8memphis Posted 26 Dec 2013 , 1:47pm
post #11 of 21

spcohio--i can see how you would feel that way--but you know better than i do how wonky things can go legally especially compared to common sense--and we need those laws--try to distance yourself from that craziness--

 

the cheerleader deserves a defense and that of course means somebody's gotta be the defense attorney--and i'm sure the matter was presented in such a manner that the judge had no choice but to honor the law--so we just gotta let the system do it's thing and hope for genuine justice--

 

the young man who she raped still says (to my knowledge) it was consensual -- he is of age now but in his state he was not legally old enough to give consent at the time -- time will tell how much this will impact his life--his ability to be normal is gone-- respect for authority took a big hit --

 

now this-- where her right to not be defamed was trampled--but i think all the celebrities that get lied on routinely should be included in this or similar proceedings--i mean prolly won't happen but that part of our world needs to tighten up--gossip maybe--print outrageous lies as fact--no--even convicted criminals have rights that are worth protecting and for that i think you can be very proud of your profession--

costumeczar Posted 26 Dec 2013 , 2:37pm
post #12 of 21

A

Original message sent by SPCOhio

This is my area of town and I'm shamed by it. Shamed by it, shamed by her and shamed by the fact that I shared a profession with Eric Deters, who really seems to have established a niche for himself of representing teachers who sleep with their students and has been thisclose to being disbarred more than once. Judge Bertlesman is usually a measured and cerebral thinker. I don't know WTH he (or his clerk) might have been thinking when this opinion was rendered.

I replied once before but I think my ipad ate it. I'd said that the original case was decided by a jury, and it wasn't about whether she's a ho or not. she could be, but this was about whether the guy who owns the website can go on there and post things about people that aren't true, then hide behind internet freedom of speech. The judge ruled that this case has no bearing on websites like facebook and twitter, since they just let other people post things, and they don't actually go on there and post things about people. The owner of the site actually goes on there and makes comments about people, and he was also suspected of making stuff up and posting anonymously to stir the pot. So if you take the personalittes out of it, this is a basic slander case where the slanderer is trying to use the internet as an excuse for being able to do that.

SPCOhio Posted 26 Dec 2013 , 3:10pm
post #13 of 21

A

Original message sent by costumeczar

I replied once before but I think my ipad ate it. I'd said that the original case was decided by a jury, and it wasn't about whether she's a ho or not. she could be, but this was about whether the guy who owns the website can go on there and post things about people that aren't true, then hide behind internet freedom of speech. The judge ruled that this case has no bearing on websites like facebook and twitter, since they just let other people post things, and they don't actually go on there and post things about people. The owner of the site actually goes on there and makes comments about people, and he was also suspected of making stuff up and posting anonymously to stir the pot. So if you take the personalittes out of it, this is a basic slander case where the slanderer is trying to use the internet as an excuse for being able to do that.

Actually, my issue is that the cause of action was permitted to proceed rather then being dismissed by Judge Bertlesman on a motion for summary judgment. Judge Bertlesman had an opportunity to shut that part of the case down on the basis of immunity and he didn't, relying on the reasoning that the admin would sometimes participate in the discussions. As an attorney, I disagree with his logic and the arguments made in support of them. As a person, I'm still appalled that she didn't serve jail tme for having *** with a minor, but that case actually is separate and apart from this civil proceeding against The Dirty.

-K8memphis Posted 26 Dec 2013 , 3:17pm
post #14 of 21

spc, please explain 'basis of immunity' and the admin participation part -- just the cliff notes version ;) 

SPCOhio Posted 26 Dec 2013 , 3:26pm
post #15 of 21

AI think Jason has already posted links the the Cliff Notes version of the immunities offered by the Communications Decency Act. Wikipedia breaks it down into normal language. Lol

-K8memphis Posted 26 Dec 2013 , 3:44pm
post #16 of 21

oh the administrator of the website--oh i gotcha--i got lost in the wording there--thought you meant the court administration--i'm like what? i gotcha--

 

yes i thought it was incontrovertible that that the website owner commented and edited on his website--there should be no immunity to do that--likewise for the tabloids imo--

 

her rights were trampled regardless of how unsympathetic she is--so website boy is out--

 

interesting how just we few are agreeing with different sides--

 

and wait till fb, amazon, google and the rest of 'em get their day in court --whooowee

 

huge

jason_kraft Posted 27 Dec 2013 , 4:27am
post #17 of 21

A

Original message sent by -K8memphis

yes i thought it was incontrovertible that that the website owner commented and edited on his website--there should be no immunity to do that--likewise for the tabloids imo--

That's a very slippery slope. It's a given that the owner's comments themselves have no immunity from libel, but if you own a web site and are making non-libelous comments or editing existing comments without adding libelous statements the law is pretty clear that you are protected.

For example, someone could post alleged libel here on CC, sparking a heated discussion that ends with the thread being locked with a moderator's comment about how the thread has run its course. In this hypothetical example, the website owner (via the moderator who is acting as an agent of CC) has both commented on and edited the libelous thread. According to this judge's ruling, CC could potentially face legal liability, which contradicts the CDA. That's why this ruling is likely to be overturned.

-K8memphis Posted 28 Dec 2013 , 6:54pm
post #18 of 21

that's why it's a red hot can of worms

AZCouture Posted 28 Dec 2013 , 8:29pm
post #19 of 21

That website is awful. I don't feel sorry for people who do bad things and get caught, but this lasts forever basically. Future employers and the Google searches a lot of them do.....yeah. That will haunt you forever. :(

Annabakescakes Posted 28 Dec 2013 , 9:57pm
post #20 of 21

I lived in the Dixie Heights school district for a few years. It is weird over there because it is either really upper class, or really lower class over there. The line is pretty much Dixie Hwy, and it makes a huge difference in school. The rich kids are treated deferentially, and the poor are always a scapegoat. We moved several years ago SPECIFICALLY to leave the school system. I have no doubt the young "lady" in question was rich, because they flat out don't let poor people into sports over there. The fees are ridiculous, and create a huge barrier. For peewee football it was something close to $800 just to get the uniform and schedule. Baseball was around $600, and basketball was the cheapest, about $400. We are talking for KINDERGARTENERS.

-K8memphis Posted 28 Dec 2013 , 10:14pm
post #21 of 21

anna--no it's worse than that--she was a cheerleader for the bengals--she was the young man's english teacher at the school--she got busted for rape because he was underage--then that website said a lot of bad stuff--there was a mistrial at first--now the decision for her--now it goes onto the next lawsuit appealing that decision with the big guys like fb etc.

 

last i heard she and the young man are engaged--with like about a 10 year difference in age

 

english. teacher.

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