Judge comes down for Facebook in defamation action

We’ve previously written about Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act (CDA), a statute which immunizes an “interactive” content provider or other computer service from most liability for content posted to the site by third parties. To the gazillions of people whose feelings have been hurt by something that got posted about them somewhere on the Internet, Congress said in effect: “If you can find the people who actually wrote the stuff that upset you, feel free to sue them. But don’t bother to sue the host services which those people used to get their words out onto the Internet.”

Where’s the fun in that? After all, it’s darn near impossible to pull back the dark and heavy curtain of Internet anonymity and ID any particular poster. And even if you happened to find the right person, odds are that he/she doesn’t have any money. By contrast, many Internet hosts – large, recognizable, deep-pocketed household names like AOL, or MySpace, or Craigslist – are (a) easy to find and (b) seemingly flush with cash.

No wonder a significant number of people still try to shoot the messenger, regardless of what Congress said.

Is this why a lot of services like photo hosting, free Web sites, etc are now saying you own the copyright to what you upload ? I hope forums will follow suit, where most of them keep copyright to whatever you post. It is good that most people on Facebook are traceable, and this seems to be a movement to get those who use anonymity to hide them while posting slanderous words, out in the open. Sometimes it’s nice to be anonymous, but not when people misuse that.

Posted via web from Dannis’ Posterous From DanniStories