Blogging is not a crime – Comment liability.

Are you liable for the comments other people post on your blog? That’s the question at hand..

The issue has come up previously in regards to Internet Forums (Bulletin Boards) and Newsgroups (including those stored on-line like Dejanews – now Google Groups).

Someone is being sued for the comments SOMEONE ELSE made on his blog..

Aaron is being sued over comments left on his blog by his readers about a notoriously unsavoury company called Traffic Power, or 1p. Within the Search industry, these people are regarded as the lowest of the low, and if you dig through some of those Search results, or the links at the bottom of this post, you’ll find all the gory details. Suffice to say, they are considered theives and villains by the overwhelming majority of the Search Marketing community.

Full story is here: NOTICE! YOU HAVE BEEN SUED

There have been a lot of suings going on over Internet and newsgroups post by the Scientology folks aswell, they are a very aggressive organisation.

Activist Keith Henson was sued for posting a portion of Scientology’s writings to the Internet. Henson defended himself in court without a lawyer, while at the same time he carried out protests and pickets against Scientology. The court found that Henson had committed copyright infringement, though the damage award against Henson was immense: $150,000

I actually almost got sued before for posting libelous information about a company of spammers on a very high traffic website I happened to own, and posting some stupid things on Usenet too, I was kind of pissed.

Be very careful what you write online.

Yahoo was sued before for content posted by others on it’s message boards too.

Yahoo Sued over Message Board Posts

An attorney has sued Yahoo (Nasdaq: YHOO) Latest News about Yahoo, charging the portal didn’t do enough to help him stop personal attacks against him on its message boards. He hopes to make the suit a class action.

I’ll be following this story, and I recommend you do to.




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14 Responses to Blogging is not a crime – Comment liability.

  1. Giant Sotong September 1, 2005 at 10:27 pm #

    The US has way, waaaay too many lawyers – plus way waaaay too many anal-retentive people.

  2. KY September 1, 2005 at 10:40 pm #

    Last I heard, you aren’t liable for comments left by others on your site (US laws)

    However, I’m not too sure what the cyberlaws in Malaysia says..

  3. FireAngel September 2, 2005 at 1:04 am #

    I heard once JeffOoi almost kena sued because of some malicious comments left on his blog… You’re supposed to be liable for everything that’s on your website or something…. I think. I heard. I’m not sure.

  4. fatjohn September 2, 2005 at 1:55 am #

    I discussed this issue with a lawyer friend of mine couple of years ago, then it was more on web page than blog. She did mentioned that information posted on a website either by the owner himself/herself or comments by visitors are all responsibilities of the owner. It is like information or personal opinion told to one person and later on this person goes around and start telling everyone. In our case here information is channel out via reading. Hard to argue also as our cyber law here are not clearly stated. Good thing is that there is always a thing call freedom of speech, but it only works up to a certain level. Main thing is, are there any damages or atleast foresesable damages.

  5. iesnek September 2, 2005 at 3:49 am #


    This means posting more and more shitty disclaimers =.=

  6. Din September 2, 2005 at 6:56 am #

    hey man, just wanna let you know, I’m back to the blogosphere.

    thx for your support!

  7. Dabido (Teflon) September 2, 2005 at 10:03 am #

    I heard the same thing KY. This sort of thing came up regarding message boards etc before in the US, and you can’t be held responsible for what other people write, because you aren’t actually publishing it yourself, and it doesn’t reflect your opinions etc. I am anticipating a similar result for this case.

  8. suanie September 2, 2005 at 10:59 am #

    So if a dumb fuck like a certain someone goes around copying and pasting long defamatory paragraphs regarding racism in Malaysia on several posts on my blog, I am obliged to delete the comments because it appears on MY blog and it also appears that I am responsible for the content of comments in it.

    Yeah it happened to Jeff Ooi.

    I wonder what would happen if I didn’t delete them fast enough… got things to do outside the blogosphere you know

  9. suanie September 2, 2005 at 11:00 am #

    which really really do not work

  10. simon September 3, 2005 at 7:50 am #

    there was a good post by jeff ooi about this nutcase photographer who was lying on a forum about him being with NatGeo.

    Jeff did some research and outlined it quite plainly regarding this issue.

    Things like this sure takes the fun out of blogging sometimes…

  11. Ambiguous Wanderer September 3, 2005 at 10:39 pm #

    Even bloggers aren’t safe from lawsuits. 🙁

  12. S-Kay September 4, 2005 at 7:36 am #

    Sigh…gone were the days where people would be able to blog in peace.

  13. dinghy September 5, 2005 at 12:57 am #

    Cheesy. That’s like suing some coffeeshop owner for an inappropriate conversation that occured on the premises. Even if the guy did initially bring up the topic, it’s not him who said anything wrong.

    I once ran a forum, and got into trouble for the content of threads people were coming up with. In hindsight I admit it was poor moderation, but really… they can’t expect us to keep on top of things all the while.

    And they sure as heck shouldn’t be blaming us for the things other people say.

  14. Avril September 8, 2005 at 9:34 pm #

    “So saying that the Malaysian government suck because they are busy getting sodomised? That’s not offensive no?

    Now I’m sorry Xia Xue, but to me you are pretty much a spokesperson for Singapore, yes it’s ‘just’ a blog, but you do have a large readership and International appeal (apparently), so shouldn’t you be a little responsible when posting your opinions?

    Yes what you posted my have been true for your experience, but you can voice some things with a little tact and diplomacy, you should be intelligent enough to know that there is already tension between the countries, making such disparaging remarks just serves to inflame the situation.”

    Wow. No one couldve said it better. You are so right.

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