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Thread: Yahoo "harbours Flamers"

  1. #1
    Skillian's Avatar T H F C f a n BT Rep: +1
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    Dec 2002

    A California lawyer has filed a potential class action lawsuit against the internet search company Yahoo.

    Stephen Galton says he was subject to a "barrage of harassing, defamatory and abusive messages" from anonymous users on a Yahoo message board.

    Mr Galton, who wants other users to join in the suit, has accused Yahoo of sheltering users who harass people in cyberspace.

    The California-based company declined to comment.

    A spokeswoman for Yahoo said: "It wouldn't be prudent for us to comment on this pending lawsuit."


    Mr Galton, a partner in legal firm Galton & Helm, registered to use Yahoo message boards to respond to a post criticising one of his clients.

    His defence of his client led to him being subjected to name-calling by other message board users.

    When the company refused to reveal the details of the message board users who allegedly harassed Mr Galton, the lawyer sued the company for the information in April.

    He sought the names, addresses and phone numbers of his critics from Yahoo, but he says it provided only partial information.

    George Godar, a technology partner at law firm DLA, said US laws makes it straightforward for people who believe they have been defamed to find out who is behind online nicknames.

    Typically, he says, a complainant sues a fictitious defendant, usually "John Doe", and then issues a subpoena to make a net firm release the real name of person behind the disputed postings.

    When presented with a legal document most net firms will hand over details of users and subscribers, he says.

    "People rarely look at things like privacy policies," says Mr Godar, "and most companies will have a specific exception which says if they are compelled by law to hand over information they will do so."

    The Recording Industry Association of America has used this willingness to share subscriber information to gather details of users it considers to be illegally sharing pop music.

    Legal protection

    Mr Galton's lawsuit has been launched to make Yahoo hand over more information about people who posted the allegedly offensive messages.

    He also alleges that Yahoo does nothing to give redress to people who have suffered abuse via its message boards.

    He is now urging others who have been the target of such attacks over the past four years and made fruitless efforts to find out who posted messages or get them removed to join him in a class action lawsuit.

    One of the consequences of the publicity Mr Galton has received over the lawsuit has been to have his e-mail address and telephone number posted to message boards.

    In many countries net firms are granted so-called "common carrier" or "immunity from suit" status that removes their legal responsibility for what their users do online.

    However, this legal protection usually evaporates if a company is put on notice about websites or messages that infringe laws but does nothing about them.
    Maybe some FST members should watch out...

  2. The Drawing Room   -   #2
    clocker's Avatar Shovel Ready
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    Hmmm...a lawyer with thin skin?
    Methinks the lad is in the wrong profession.
    "I am the one who knocks."- Heisenberg

  3. The Drawing Room   -   #3
    ZaZu's Avatar I know stuff ...
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Originally posted by clocker@6 August 2004 - 09:54
    Hmmm...a lawyer with thin skin?
    Methinks the lad is in the wrong profession.
    Or in the wrong place....posting on message boards

    If you attack the establishment long enough and hard enough, they will make you a member of it.
    -- Art Buchwald --

  4. The Drawing Room   -   #4
    Barbarossa's Avatar mostly harmless
    Join Date
    Jun 2002
    Over here!
    Can't he just be the "bigger man" about this? Oh no, that's right, he's a lawyer...

    It's people like this who ruin things for the rest of us..

  5. The Drawing Room   -   #5
    ziggyjuarez's Avatar Poster
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    Mar 2004
    Portland, Oregon
    what a sissy.hope he die's

  6. The Drawing Room   -   #6
    lynx's Avatar .
    Join Date
    Sep 2002
    Yorkshire, England
    Originally posted by ziggyjuarez@6 August 2004 - 16:14
    what a sissy.hope he die's
    Now he wants your name too.
    Political correctness is based on the principle that it's possible to pick up a turd by the clean end.

  7. The Drawing Room   -   #7
    Originally posted by Skillian@6 August 2004 - 05:03
    He sought the names, addresses and phone numbers of his critics from Yahoo, but he says it provided only partial information.
    lemme guess... obviously since no one registers for a Yahoo account by submitting false info, the people's real names prolly turned out be something like Harry Poossy, Seymour Buttz and I'm Rick James, Bitch.

  8. The Drawing Room   -   #8
    Snee's Avatar Error xɐʇuʎs BT Rep: +1
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    on something.
    Anonymity is the whole point about this internet thing, innit?
    Otherwise I might just as well go out and talk to random people on the street.

    God-damned anti-privacy nazis.

  9. The Drawing Room   -   #9
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    Anyone think this may be contrived, in order to get a settlement.

    I think the American legal system is fan-tastic.

  10. The Drawing Room   -   #10
    Biggles's Avatar Looking for loopholes
    Join Date
    Jul 2003
    Originally posted by lynx+6 August 2004 - 18:58--></div><table border='0' align='center' width='95%' cellpadding='3' cellspacing='1'><tr><td>QUOTE (lynx @ 6 August 2004 - 18:58)</td></tr><tr><td id='QUOTE'> <!--QuoteBegin-ziggyjuarez@6 August 2004 - 16:14
    what a sissy.hope he die&#39;s
    Now he wants your name too. [/b][/quote]
    Ziggy meant it in a caring constructive way..allegedly.
    Cogito cogito ergo cogito sum

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