Another court has ruled that site owners are not liable for comments on the site.
It happens all too often that some website owner in the US is sued with claims of libel over comments on that site in an open forum. We usually point to Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act, and note that it’s pretty clear that service providers of such forums are not liable for content they didn’t write themselves. We also like to point to a 9th Circuit ruling, noting that, even when such comments are moderated or approved, the site owner or moderator isn’t responsible.
I think it is great to know that there are many case where they were just thrown out of court, or ruled in favor of the site owner that comments from other people, even if they are moderated, are not the liability of the owner of the site.
This means that if you are talking about a certain subject and someone comes in and says something slanderous about someone else, as a responsible person you should delete it or edit their comment, but you don’t have to. I, personally, delete many comments that I think people would be offended by because I don’t want what they say to be tied to my site. When a reader comes to my blog, I think what they say can effect people’s perception of me, and my site, and so I choose to moderate my comments as strictly as I can.
Do you moderate your comments in fear that something someone else would say could end up creating legal problems for you, or are your worst problems just comment spam?