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Judge: 3rd party Postings Valid

WWW- A Pittsburgh attorney likely will get nowhere with his libel suit against the operator of because the derogatory comments about him in its online forum were posted by third parties.

Todd Hollis’ complaint alleges that as the owner and operator of the site, Tasha Joseph had a duty to “properly investigate the subject matter of the defamatory statements prior to publishing them.”

DontDateHimGirl promotes itself as a site that “lets women publicly out the men who allegedly cheat on them.” The anonymous comments about Hollis ranged from “he’s a DOG” and “Often dresses shabbily for a lawyer” to “He gave me an STD” and “His crib is a dump.”

Joseph ”has created a very malicious communications medium,” plaintiff’s counsel told the Miami Herald. “She has to know what it has become — that it is being used for vindictive purposes.”

But the defense will certainly argue that Joseph is protected under the federal Communications Decency Act, which applies broadly to Internet content providers who do not exercise editorial control over third-party postings.

As additional anti-libel insurance, DontDateHimGirl identifies each man in its database as an “alleged” cheater and, in a block of flashing text, invites men to “tell us your side of the story.”


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