I Hate It When You’re Right

A Florida Appellate Court recently held its metaphorical nose and found in favor of Xcentric Ventures, LLC – the company that operates the ripoffreport.com. At issue was whether Xcentric could be compelled to remove certain false and defamatory posts from its site. Ripoffreport had a policy of not removing any posts, under any circumstances. And it argued that, because of Section 230 of the federal Communications Decency Act, there was nothing the court could do about it. I’ve posted many times about that particular section of the law. It does indeed provide that an interactive computer service provider cannot be deemed the publisher of content supplied by a third party. And for that reason, it is essentially an immunity grant. Of course nothing irritates a court more than being told it can’t do something. And in this case, the court was plainly irritated. It called Xcentric’s business practices “appalling,” and noted that “Xcentric appears to pride itself on having created a forum for defamation.” But in the end, as irritated as it was, the court agreed with Xcentric. It couldn’t force it to remove the posts.