Thursday, March 20, 2008

Libel Suit Tossed Against Local News Site

A Vermont judge has dismissed the libel lawsuit filed against Chris Grotke and Lise LePage over a comment posted on the community news site they co-founded, iBrattleboro.com. The plaintiff, Effie Mayhew, had argued that they should have edited or removed the allegedly defamatory comment. But the judge found that they are immune from liability under section 230 of the Communications Decency Act.

David Ardia has full details at Citizen Media Law Project.

1 comment:

Emily Wilson said...

Did the plaintiff's know that the comments were defamatory? I agree that the plaintiff's were immune and it is a huge win for the journalist community, because now, the postee should be held accountable for the words they place on a public forum , such as the internet or sites like iBattleboro.com. Situations like this one are the basis of section 230, Zeran V. AOL, so that the government keeps interference with the 1st Amendment to a minimum and keep the internet an open forum for the service provider, but yes, the postee [third party] is still liable, and for good reason if such posted comments are defamatory in nature.