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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
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    6

    Default Disparaging Post on a Website Forum

    My question involves defamation in the state of: California

    I have been posting on a website. Another member of the community made a disparaging post. He took bits and pieces of previous things I had said over a period of years, put them together to present me as this super negative person. Its not that I did not say these things in years past, but the way they were pieced together showed me unfavorably and created an untrue impression.

    Complained and complained and complained to moderations but they refused to remove offensive post. Further complained that I would take legal action and they banned me from site forever for this reason.

    My concern is that my personal profile is still on the site identifying who I am, along with this offending post. Additionally, the posts all indicated BANNED on them.

    I still want this offensive post removed as well as any information that personally identifies me. I have no interest otherwise in being involved on this site. Problem is, this is a small community and BANNING without any explanation does not present me favorably either.

    What can I or anyone do? Thanks.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Posts
    38,867

    Default Re: Disparaging Post on Site

    Quote Quoting greenway
    View Post

    What can I or anyone do? Thanks.
    unless it rises to the level of actual defamation: nothing

    if it is actually defamation: get out your wallet and write $ 000.00 (there is a space in front of the zeros for a number). Hand that to an attorney and tell him to fill in the number. (might need 2 digits). File a suit and ask the court for an injunction to demand the posts be removed, at least temp until the suit is settled or you run out of money.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
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    6

    Default Re: Disparaging Post on Site

    So, things do not seem that hopeful from your perspective. But, would there be a chance that having an attorney write a letter to request that (1) the post be removed; and (2) that my profile with personal identifying information both be removed be a way?

    Can anyone explain to me why website moderator(s) would refuse to remove a post that is offensive, presents the member being talked about in a negative light, and is emotionally upsetting to the person being talked about? If I were running a site and someone presented in this way, I would do something about it, besides eventually ban the person (me) making the complaint. As usual, I lose. Right now I have the offensive post there and all my other 100's of posts say BANNED on them. Maybe I should not care. My friends will learn of the reasons.... from me.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Posts
    38,867

    Default Re: Disparaging Post on Site

    you should read the terms of service (TOS) of the site. They generally reserve either copyright or license to publish anything you post. Unless there is something illegal about what is posted, they have no legal duty to take anything down.

    as to your personal info: again, you provided it. It's theirs now (simply put).

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    Toledo, OH
    Posts
    16,307

    Default Re: Disparaging Post on Site

    But, would there be a chance that having an attorney write a letter to request that (1) the post be removed; and (2) that my profile with personal identifying information both be removed be a way?
    Unlikely. In the TOS of most forums, there is a clause that permits the admins to keep all information and postings provided.

    Can anyone explain to me why website moderator(s) would refuse to remove a post that is offensive, presents the member being talked about in a negative light, and is emotionally upsetting to the person being talked about?
    Because allegedly grown adults playing at being catty high school girls create enough work for the website admin as it is, and getting involved in deleting upon demand because someone's feelings are hurt increases that amount of work exponentially.

    I don't delete such in the forums I maintain, either. I just lay the banhammer down on all involved parties so they're not creating so much disruption for my users who've figured out how to comport themselves properly in public.

    If you find forum posts upsetting, you have two choices: Grow a thicker skin, or cease participating.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Posts
    6

    Default Re: Disparaging Post on Site

    This is really not worth my time, but, unfortunately, I will forever be listed as banned. I had the chance anyway to defend myself on the thread before I was banned. Really, in the long-term scheme of things it does not matter. This is not going to damage my reputation. More than anything, it makes the instigator look like a two year old. I think if anyone read the posts they would have a brain and see, as you mentioned, the high school level of cattiness (from a male) that exists here.

    Thank you all for your insightful assistance!

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Posts
    11

    Default Re: Disparaging Post on Site

    As for as posts are concerned, there have been a number of sites in the last couple of years where professionals like doctors for example are called into account and rated for their performance. Doctors in particular according to an article I read, hate these sites almost or maybe more than they hate lawsuits aginst them because suddenly their names are all over the Internet and most of the sites will not retract a post unless it is really is so awful that it should be taken down. What can they do though-sue you for exercising your first amemdment rights if a person states for example-"In my view" or "The experience I had" and just warns others? It's a win win situation for the poster that had the bad experience with the doctor of course because if the Doctor fights back legally or otherwise he just opens up more negative news for himself over the internet and it becomes a "Catch 22" situation. My advice to doctors is what they learned in the first year of pre med-"First, do no harm". I believe this holds true for other professions as well. As far as being banned from one of these sites goes that may be a cause of action I suppose, but in the long run is it really worth it? I don't think so myself. but that's just me.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
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    38,867

    Default Re: Disparaging Post on Site

    Quote Quoting Justice50
    View Post
    . As far as being banned from one of these sites goes that may be a cause of action I suppose,.
    a cause of action for what? These are privately owned sites.
    the owners can ban anybody they want to ban and there is absolutely nothing you or I can do about it.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Posts
    11

    Default Re: Disparaging Post on Site

    Actually that was my point exactly. Anyone can sue for anything but in a case like banning a person from posting on their site and a person believing they may have a "cause of action" can sue of course, but that suit would walk 5 ft. in court..if that far.. and drop dead. But, many people don't see it that way and sue anyway. As former President Ford said after he lost his bid for election.."It's like when I was a kid..if a gang didn't like me and told me to leave..I'd just go down the block and join another gang that did like me and it was no big deal"..and so goes the world.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Posts
    3,835

    Default Re: Disparaging Post on Site

    Quote Quoting Justice50
    View Post
    Actually that was my point exactly. Anyone can sue for anything but in a case like banning a person from posting on their site and a person believing they may have a "cause of action" can sue of course, but that suit would walk 5 ft. in court..if that far.. and drop dead. But, many people don't see it that way and sue anyway.

    A "Right of Action" is very legally distinctive from a "Cause of Action".

    If you are deemed a vexatious litigator, as some prisoners who file frivolous suits one after another just to make the govt. defend them, then your "Right of Action" is taken away, and you can NOT proceed with a lawsuit without court approval.

    If a Cause of action is deemed frivolous and or without merit, just filed to simply harass, such as a SLAPP suit, a countersuit can be filed for mainly Abuse of Process.

    Professional Codes of conduct for attorneys actually forbid filing a meritless lawsuit for a client, and they can even possibly be sanctioned by the court.

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