Public Forum Review sections and Lible

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#1
Having read http://www.irishwebmasterforum.com/forum-feedback/877-stats-for-forum-3.html

Just wondering if anybody else has has much experience with libel, websites with review sections in particular. I got an email threatening legal action unless ''All References'' to a business were removed.

If some one crossed the line, do you swoop in and try to make sense of an argument or edit the bad parts or just a complete thread deletion. Catch 22, you can not be held libel but you need to inform the public of bad providers.
 

mneylon

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Staff member
#2
It depends if the post was defamatory or simply a matter of opinion.

While that maybe a fine line and something that really should be left up to the courts to decide you do learn over time.
 
#3
Ya it is a fine line. Basically some comments included how much of a 'rip off' the place was compared to similar businesses and how they were treated by staff.

How do people manage their forums to protect your self from such things. Edit posts.... delete them.. banning etc?
 
#5
It is worth the hassel, just as long as you come up was a good policy of moderating. Knowing where to draw the line and making sure they that the forum members know a little about libel laws etc.

But do not let it deter you from setting up a community forum.
 

mneylon

Administrator
Staff member
#6
Expressing a personal opinion based on experience shouldn't be seen as libel.

For example, I was in an expensive hotel in Paris last week and I fully intend to blog about the bad service I got.

However it would not be acceptable for someone to make unfound accusations etc., or personal attacks.

Common sense should prevail.

This site has attracted one legal letter to date - which isn't bad going :)

There have been several requests for edits / deletions of posts and I've dealt with each one as fairly as possible.
 
#7
Indeed, common sense is a key. I have just put together a post for the members to read i regarding the whole libel issue. I used contect from Digital Rights ireland and other google searches.

You can find it here:
PaintBaller.ie - Defamation and Libel laws regarding Reviews

My biggest issue is the fact that bigger companies can use the threat as a way of silencing people who talk about their bad experiences with them. Obviously if there are untrue statements published then these have to be dealt with.
 

mneylon

Administrator
Staff member
#8
We get spurious legal threats about our clients all the time. In most cases they will not follow through - they rely on scare tactics!
 
#11
Archiseek.com easily gets a request a week - mostly spurious attempts at bluster by third parties to have stuff removed. So far I have refused. I have yet to receive a solicitor's letter.

Unlike at p45, where I once got one from Dwight Yorke's legal team...
 
#12
Just an up date. I got several more emails basically telling me how good the company really was, how the content was unfair etc etc. Then I replied back saying that if you were indeed a good business, then you can surely come back and reply to bad reviews instead of trying to sue and bury bad comments.


That was 2 weeks ago and haven't heard a thing since.
 
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