Slander in Blog Comments

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After reading Involved In A Landmark Blog Case – Slander In Comments, I got reminded of the subpoena sent to my sister in San Francisco to provide information on my daughter’s comment poster (Take note: it was not even her post but that of a co-blogger. It’s the comment that was questioned). This incident happened more than a year ago. Obviously, the Philippines is not within the California jurisdiction. They ended up harassing my poor sister who had to hire a lawyer, And you know legal fees in the US are not cheap. My sister didn’t want to be involved in the case because first , she doesn’t own the blog. Second, they will require her to appear Los Angeles for hearings. It is such a waste of time

As a backgrounder, the subpoena pertained to a comment placed by an anonymous and random visitor in one of my daughter’s blog site. Since the blog has long been “neglected”, the comment just showed up for google to pick up. (it pays to moderate your comments). The comment poster accused a certain person of financing the alleged pedophile activity of an old guy. Ugh. Can you imagine the slanderous nature of that comment? The comment poster also wrote the same comments in other blogs. Basically, the subpoena asked for information on the comment poster, his/her name and the location of the computer. Haha. Crazy. If they were smart enough, they should have hired IT consultants before sending out the subpoena. Their lawyers should be more intelligent than that. Why harass my sister who is ignorant of blogs?

The lawyer’s sleazy tactic of obtaining my sister’s contact address is also questionable. They pretended to be FEDEX people who called my other sister . They said that my daughter had a package that needed to be picked up. When they learned of the suspicious nature of the calls, they refused to entertain further calls until one day the lawyer went to her house and personally served the summons. How awful to be bothered by lawyers! Not to mention the fact that my sister is innocent. It just so happened my daughter lived with her for two months.

It would have been a landmark case if their lawyers can file a case in the Philippines just to require my daughter to provide the measly information on that comments poster. Even if they filed a case, it is hard to prove it too. I know there are previous cases such as Court Rules in Favor of Anonymous Blogger. This site Blog Law & Blogging for Lawyers: Evan Brown on Defamation says that “We’ve yet to see any cases where a blogger is found liable for comments poster.

So bloggers, keep those comments moderated and open only to registered comment posters.