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I own a forum where I have a section on Black-listed companies. The members post information & their experiences along with the company name.

I've started receiving threats from some of the companies asking me to delete those posts. I feel there is nothing wrong in what the user is posting & it should be there.

Can someone clear things up?....

Comments (5)

Hmm...this could be very tricky. On one hand I dont doubt most of those companies deserve to be listed there...but on the other hand, they could sound you out for defamation.

Maybe you should seek out the auspices or tie-in with some large consumer federation in some way or other.

I'm sure your forum would become very popular but you'd be a very brave person to go it alone...

Comment #1

I don't think they have any legal recourse against you. It's like the case of {company} domains... It's free speech...

First of all, defamation cases are hard to win, because the plaintiff has to prove that what was said was a lie. Secondly, if people are merely stating their opinions or recounting their experiences with the companies, the company has no rights to try to stop this and would never win. Lastly, you are merely providing a place for people to post their opinions and experiences with companies, theres absolutely no way for you to know whether someone is lying in an attempt to defame the company, therefore your liability is almost non-existent.

Your best action would be to contact the companies who are threatening you and tell them that you are willing to remove any posts that they can prove are a lie. Otherwise it falls under free speech and they have no grounds to request the removal of posts...

Comment #2

Pud seems to do very well indeed with http://www.****

Comment #3

Consider can be named in a suit. You would then need to hire a lawyer to defend the suit...even if you are in the right.

NO amount of being right can prevent them from suing you and forcing you to spend THOUSANDS on lawyers. It's a bit of an injustice in America but that's how our legal system works (or doesn't work) here.

I would be damn well sure to have your TOS and site policies clearly laid out and written by a lawyer. Legally...they can't win...monetarily it will cost you money to defend...

Comment #4

I agree with you completely, it is an injustice that if someone has enough money, they can put you through hell when they have no legal basis to do so.

I would hope that in this situation, simply filing a motion to dismiss would be adequate enough, thus limiting the legal expenses, but you never know. There was a ruling in my local city where a man operated a website, which criticized the local government and business partners who were investing in subsidized joint-ventures. They took him to court and although the law seemed completely on his side, he somehow lost...

If I were in the situation I'd probably fight it, defend myself, and try for the best. Then again, I really have nothing to lose monetarily speaking....

Comment #5

This question was taken from a support group/message board and re-posted here so others can learn from it.


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