Defamation – Electronic Frontiers Australia Promoting and protecting digital rights in Australia since 1994. Sun, 18 Feb 2018 01:47:39 +0000 en-AU hourly 1 It's just not cricket: setting the tone on cyber abuse Wed, 08 Nov 2017 00:17:49 +0000 Continue reading ]]> In an exciting move forward, digital rights organisation Electronic Frontiers Australia has elected it’s first ever female leadership. Lyndsey Jackson and long time EFA member Katherine Phelps take their positions as chair and vice-chair respectively as the organisation moves forward to address the challenges that affect Australians online.

Having recently joined the EFA Policy Team, my first effort has been to suggest the organisation take a more proactive position one of the issues that affect the way many people experience digital life: online abuse and digital stalking. The result is the establishment of a new working group for online abuse.

This article is by and is the copyright of Rosie Williams, a citizen journalist who works on a range of issues, including data ethics and online safety. It was originally published on her The Little Bird blog and is republished here with permission. She the original article. Rosie is also very active on Twitter @Info_Aus.

A Pew Research Centre Survey published this year found that around 4 in 10 Americans had experienced online harassment but this experience varies by age and gender and research by Australia’s eSafety Commissioner found that 1 in 5 of 16-50 year olds have experienced image based abuse. While men are more likely to be harassed online, women are most likely to experience sexual harassment with over half of young women surveyed receiving unwanted explicit photos. Political views, gender and race are the top reasons why people say they are harassed. Women are overwhelmingly the victims of image based abuse, popularly called revenge-porn and minority groups are disproportionately the victims of online hate.

Concerned with the erosion of civil behaviour online, Australians Belinda Kheir and Kathie Melocco established a grassroots movement, The Respect Campaign to help victims facing the devastating impacts of online abuse and ran the world’s first virtual summit focusing on cyber abuse as a workplace health and safety issue.

For their part, the government has put together the Online Safety on the Edge conference providing workshops to community groups and researchers alike as well as introducing laws and an education and online reporting platform to help women address the non-consensual sharing of images, stalking and other problems relating to our use of technology. But what is cyber abuse?

When Monica Lewinsky famously stated ‘Millions of people can stab you with their words‘ she was giving voice to the way in which technology is used to amplify abuse which may begin with a sole perpetrator but end up in permanent crowdsourced pile-ons of the kind that expose the very worst humanity has to offer.

Emma Jane became an expert in online abuse after being one of its earliest victims as a media professional. Dr Jane now researches online abuse at UNSW, producing work like the Online Rape Threat Generator that confronts the staid academic world with the gory realities of what her team calls ‘rape-glish’.

Online abuse or cyberbullying ranges across a spectrum from offensive online comments to impersonation, defamation and up to sextortion, doxing, SWATTing (below) or death threats. Cyber abuse is something that can affect victims in both their personal and professional lives. For those experiencing an unsafe family relationship, digital stalking, online shaming, defamation is being used make people suffer fear, anxiety and shame or even extort money from victims.

The kinds of public shaming used as a weapon by offenders also impacts people’s public and professional life. Women can be targeted by organised online trolling and automated abuse by complete strangers for their political views. Media professionals such as Ginger Gorman, Tara Moss are playing an active role in describing the abuse women face, often in their working lives and raising the issue of the responsibility of employers in protecting employees.

Recently, HSC students were outed for perpetrating online abuse against writers whose texts had been selected for use in exams, demonstrating just how prevalent is the culture of using the internet for harassment and abuse.

In a world where the public sphere is being increasingly mediated by powerful multi-nationals who are unwilling or unable to remove most of the abusive content posted to their platforms, our everyday life has become inextricably dominated by their standards and culture. As the internet and social media become part of the roles we perform as volunteers or professionals, the issue moves from a problem of the individual to a workplace health and safety issue.

Employers have a legal obligation to provide a safe workplace. According to the recent Cyber Health Summit, cyber bullying can and does result in workplace injury and is subject to WorkCover claims. Experts say taking a wait and see approach to cyber safety in the workplace is an expensive option as risk analysis shows that it is cheaper for workplaces to take pre-emptive measures to avoid and respond properly to abuse. Workplaces need a social media governance framework which provide policies for social media use including a disaster management plan. You can engage experts to help you prepare your workplace for the digital age.

A veteran with 30 years in Victoria Police and now specialising in online abuse, Susan Mclean says any comments received or generated via social media by employees that are discriminatory are a criminal offence. The inclusion of disclaimers on personal media profiles of the ‘opinions are my own’ type hold no legal weight she says. McLean also admits that while people need to report cyber abuse, that the quality of response is akin to a ‘postcode lottery’ in that awareness of cyber abuse issues among police is inconsistent.

Criminal law varies by jurisdiction in how they define and respond to technology-enabled abuse but stalking (which is now often carried out via technological means) is outlawed in all Australian jurisdictions. Image-based abuse can be actioned under various state and federal laws summarised in this article by Terry Goldsworthy.

Cyber abuse is not a niche issue. Whether you are a law enforcement officer, parent, teacher or student, employer, employee or volunteer, online abuse can become an issue for you as a potential victim or offender and probably will at some point in your life.

As individuals we need to keep abreast of new laws and for those of us with organisational affiliations, we need to begin to set the tone that online abuse is not free speech. A positive step forward would be for digital rights organisations to use their position as leaders in policy to take a clear stance that online abuse is just not cricket.

Are you interested in contributing to EFA's work on these or other policy issues? If so, please complete our Volunteer Form.

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ACLU To Court: It's Legal To Tell Bob To Eat Shit Sat, 05 Aug 2017 02:48:50 +0000 Continue reading ]]> John OliverSo we fully expected the ongoing to lawsuit filed by coal boss Bob Murray against comedian John Oliver to lead to some truly captivating moments (it already has!), but the West Virginia chapter of the ACLU has leapt into the case with wild abandon and made sure that people were paying attention. If you somehow missed it, Oliver did a segment on coal jobs a month and a half ago, with a particular focus on the head of Murray Energy, a character named Bob Murray. Part of the reason for the focus on Murray was that Murray's lawyers threatened to sue Oliver... and then followed through on the threat with an actual lawsuit that was even sillier than we expected.

Last we'd written about it, the two sides were wrangling over Murray demanding a gag order on Oliver, while Oliver tried to remove the case to federal court, rather than state court. As we predicted, Murray's lawyers have now been trying to move the case back to state court and papers have been flying back and forth about both that and Murray Energy's renewed desire for a gag order (the original had been filed in state court, and then again in the federal court). We didn't think any of those filings were interesting enough to write about yet.

This article is by Mike Masnick and was originally published on TechDirt. It has been edited slightly for spelling. See the original article.

But, have no fear, in what had been turning out to be a surprisingly mundane affair so far, the ACLU of West Virginia has decided to leap in and give it about the level of respect that the case deserves -- and, yes, as about a dozen people have told me, the ACLU quotes me (yes, me) in its filing. The ACLU has asked the court if it can file an amicus brief, specifically against the gag order Murray is seeking and in favour of dismissing the case and slapping Murray's lawyers with Rule 11 sanctions for bad legal behavior. It's... a bit uncommon for anyone to file amicus briefs at the district court level. It's not unheard of, but not particularly common. And... it also seems a bit early in the process for any amicus to get involved, but the ACLU of West Virginia seems to feel "why the hell not?"

And, frankly, "why the hell not?" appears to be the motivating factor in many of the decisions made by Jamie Lynn Crofts of the ACLU of West Virginia. Indeed, Jamie -- who, with this filing has quickly climbed up many rungs on my "favorite 1st Amendment lawyers" list -- appears to be channeling her inner John Oliver in much of the filing, as it appears to treat the filing in about the same manner with which Oliver approaches the subjects he satirises on his show: it's detailed, thorough, hilarious and razor sharp as it slices and dices its subject. Just take a gander at the table of contents on the proposed amicus brief here (or check out the full filing).

Table of Contents

If you somehow can't see that... well, gosh, figure out some way to see it. It starts out normally enough with the typically expected first few sections, but then we hit section II.B. which is titled: "The Ridiculous Case at Hand." At that point, my head tilts bit to the side, thinking "that's not quite what I'm used to seeing, even if I agree...". And then it's Section III where Crofts goes all in. Oh, hell, in case a few of you can't see it above, I'll just repeat it here in text because, goodness, it's too wonderful not to:

III. Anyone Can Legally Say "Eat Shit, Bob!"

A. Plaintiffs' Motion for a Temporary Restraining Order is Ridiculous. Courts Can't Tell Media Companies How to Report, Bob.

1. All of John Oliver's Speech Was Protected by the First Amendment. You Can't Sue People for Being Mean to You, Bob.

2. Plaintiff's Requested Injunction is Clearly Unconstitutional. You Can't Get a Court Order Telling the Press How to Cover Stories, Bob.

So, yeah. That's... going for it. And you might think "well, that's enough right there in the table of contents" but the brief itself has plenty of fun too -- though it admits "Although this brief pokes fun at the absurdity of this case, the legal issues raised by it are anything but comical."

But, the brief sure is comical. It starts off by pointing out Murray's history of defamation lawsuits against media organisations when Murray doesn't like their reporting, calling it Murray's "favourite hobby":

It is a basic concept of free speech that you do not get to sue media organizations because you don’t like their coverage. However, this is apparently a difficult concept for Plaintiffs to grasp. It appears that Bob Murray’s favorite hobby is suing and/or threatening to sue people for making political statements he disagrees with. See Murray v. Tarley, No. C2-01-693, 2002 WL 484537 (S.D. Ohio Feb. 21, 2002) (dismissing defamation action); Murray v. Knight-Ridder, Inc., No. 02 BE 45, 2004 WL 333250 (Ohio Ct. App. Feb. 18, 2004) (same); Murray v. The, Inc., 21 F. Supp. 3d 879 (S.D. Ohio 2014) (same); Murray v. Chagrin Valley Publishing Co., 25 N.E.3d 1111 (Ohio Ct. App. 2014) (affirming dismissal); Murray v. Moyers, No. 2:14-CV-02334, 2015 WL 5626509 (S.D. Ohio Sept. 24, 2015) (dismissing defamation claim); Murray Energy Holdings Co. v. Mergermarket USA, Inc., No. 2:15-CV-2844, 2016 WL 3365422 (S.D. Ohio June 17, 2016) (same); Murray Energy Holdings Co. v. Bloomberg, No. 2:15- CV-2845 (S.D. Ohio June 17, 2016) (same); Jonathan Peters, A Coal Magnate’s Latest Lawsuit Was Tossed—But Ohio Can Do More to Defend Free Expression, Columbia Journalism Review (May 28, 2014), lawsuits_huffington_post.php). After this long list of losses in Ohio, it appears that Bob Murray has now decided to try his luck with abusing West Virginia’s court system.

Then the brief summarises the case at hand, bullet-point style, calling it (accurately!) a "petty list of grievances" and pointing out some of the more absurd claims in the lawsuit which, as many people noted, read more like a political screed than an actual defamation lawsuit. Included in that list of petty grievances, of course, are the following two:

“Defendants [described] Bob Murray as someone who ‘looks like a geriatric Dr. Evil’ and arranging for a staff member to dress up in a squirrel costume and deliver the message “Eat Shit, Bob!” to Bob Murray.

“[A]fter the live taping, Defendant Oliver exclaimed to the audience that having someone in a squirrel costume tell Bob Murray to ‘Eat Shit’ was a ‘dream come true.’”

Keep that in mind, because it'll come back again. Oh, and after that second point, there's actually a little footnote marker, with the footnote reading (I kid you not): "Everyone is allowed to have dreams." Indeed. And I kinda get the feeling that one of Jamie Lynn Crofts' dreams was to be able to file a brief like this.

The brief then points out the ridiculousness (as we did in our post) of the idea that Murray "had" to file this lawsuit because after Oliver broadcast his show, Murray had no way to get his side of the story out. Except, well, he did:

Ironically, the Complaint outrageously claims that Defendants “attacked [Bob Murray] in a forum in which he had no opportunity to defend himself, and so he has brought this suit to try to set the record straight.” ... In direct contravention to this claim, Plaintiff Murray Energy sent out a press release about the case the very day it was filed.... Two days later, Bob Murray was on national television calling John Oliver a “radical elitist.” Matthew Wisner, Robert Murray on John Oliver: Radical Elitists’ Broadcast Operative, FOX NEWS, radical-elitists-broadcast-operative.html. No other opportunity to defend himself, indeed.

Sarcasm in a legal brief? Lovely.

And... then we get to me being quoted. I was particularly proud of this line in my earlier post, so I'm glad someone noticed it, even if she calls us TECH DIRT rather than just plain old Techdirt.

The Complaint also interestingly claims that “nothing has ever stressed [Bob Murray] more than [John Oliver’s] vicious and untruthful attack.” ... As one media outlet asked, “[I]s he really saying that a late night British comedian on a premium channel has caused him more stress than the time that one of his mines collapsed and killed a group of his employees? If so . . . that’s . . . weird.” Mike Masnick, Bob Murray’s Lawsuit Against John Oliver Is Even Sillier Than We Expected, TECH DIRT (June 23, 2017),

I'm blushing.

Anyway, onto Section III as highlited in the Table of Contents above, starting with "Anyone Can Legally Say 'Eat Shit, Bob!'"

This case is beyond meritless. It is offensive to the very ideals of free speech embodied in the First Amendment. The fact that Plaintiffs filed this case is ridiculous enough; but, to pour gasoline on the fire, plaintiffs’ counsel has also filed a motion asking the court to make John Oliver not say mean things about him anymore.... It is frankly shocking that Plaintiffs were able to find attorneys willing to file a lawsuit that is so obviously unconstitutional.

Great start... but then it gets even better:

It is apt that one of Plaintiffs’ objections to the show is about a human-sized squirrell named Mr. Nutterbutter, because this case is nuts. Which also begs the question: is Mr. Nutterbutter one of the 50 Doe Defendants included in this action?

I cannot stop laughing. That two paragraph section is just... perfect. Dismissive first paragraph. Second paragraph starts off with a nice burn tying Mr. Nutterbutter to "nuts" but then, the second sentence is what makes this a piece of art.

And we're not done yet. After a moderately more conventional discussion on why you can't sue people just for being mean to you, along with an explanation of the nature of satire, Crofts spends a bit of time on the allegation that it's somehow defamatory to compare Murray to Dr. Evil from the Austin Powers movies, noting:

And with regard to the Dr. Evil remark, it should be remembered that truth is an absolute defense to a claim of defamation. E.g. Syl. Pt. 1, Crump v. Beckley Newspapers, Inc., 173 W. Va. 699, 699 (1984).

Dr Evil image
Um. Damn. Yes, that image is in the filing right after claiming that truth is an absolute defense. And... not to be missed, right after the "with regard to the Dr. Evil remark" and right under that image, there's this amazing footnote:

It should be noted that the very mean comparison arose from both a striking physical resemblance between the two characters and a statement by Plaintiff’s General Counsel with an uncanny similarity to statements made by a more youthful Dr. Evil. Compare Coal Operator Sues Beacon Journal Over Portrayal of Him in Article, ATHENS NEWS, (Jan. 29, 2001), article_24549e9b-de35-5b4c-b3c6-2ad29b33f694.html (Plaintiff’s General Counsel noting that although he could not legally demand one billion dollars, the figure did reflect the potential damages of the article that gave rise to that suit—this can reasonably be interpreted to mean Plaintiff’s General Counsel wanted to demand one billion dollars); with Pierre Pavia, Dr Evil in 1 Million Dollars, YOUTUBE, (Jul 11, 2008), (a young . . . er Dr. Evil demanding “one million dollars,” “one hundred billion dollars,” and “one billion gajillion fafillion shabadoodalooyim[inaudible]million yen”).

And, yes, that link does go to a nice montage of Dr. Evil's demands.

In discussing Murray's request for a gag order, Crofts points out:

Bob Murray thinks John Oliver was mean to him, and he doesn’t want him to be mean again. While that is sad for Bob Murray, it is unconstitutional for a court to order such relief.

Oh, and more legal filing comedy gold here:

Plaintiffs argue that Defendants will use their “unique powers” to “access . . . millions of West Virginians, to bias the potential jurors who will determine their fate.” Pl’s Mem. at 3. (These special powers must include magic, as West Virginia has under 2 million residents.)

It also notes that Oliver, HBO and the other defendants have all been silent about the case already... while Murray has been appearing on TV and issuing press releases about it, raising questions about why Murray is so desperate to get a gag order on Oliver.

This is... gold. Of course, it's unclear if the court will care. Again, amicus briefs are fairly rare in district courts, and quite rare this early in the proceeding, especially when there's nothing new or unique about the case. It's not even clear if the court will officially allow the brief. Indeed, some district courts actually actively dislike amicus briefs -- and at least some judges might not appreciate the joking tone here (even if we do). Perhaps Crofts and the ACLU of West Virginia figured that even if the judge isn't a fan, "why the hell not" and ran with it. While the court may not appreciate it, I'm sure plenty of folks here on Techdirt will.

Oh, and in case you were wondering: did Crofts have any assistance in writing the brief, she has revealed her assistant on Twitter:


Inquiry into freedom of speech really isn't Tue, 08 Nov 2016 05:06:34 +0000 Continue reading ]]> Attorney-General's Department. CC-BY

Attorney-General George Brandis. Image copyright Attorney-General's Department (CC-BY)

EFA is disappointed that the Attorney-General has ignored the major threats to freedom of expression in Australia in framing the terms of reference for the parliamentary inquiry he announced today.

The extremely narrow terms of reference for this inquiry mean that it is not ‘an inquiry into freedom of speech’ as the Attorney’s media release claims.

There are many serious threats to free expression in 21st century Australia, including our archaic and inconsistent defamation laws, section 35P of the ASIO Act, censorship of the Internet and the chilling effects of mass surveillance.

EFA Executive Officer Jon Lawrence said today, “if the Attorney wants to call his inquiry one into ‘freedom of speech’ then he needs to include the major threats to free expression in the terms of reference. The issues around section 18C of the Racial Discrimination Act hardly qualify as major threats to free expression.”

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Update in ZGeek defamation lawsuit Fri, 07 Aug 2009 04:28:18 +0000 Continue reading ]]> The plaintiff has re-filed in the NSW Supreme Court, once again alleging damages of around $43M in lost film revenues for alleged defamatory statements made by participants on the ZGeek discussion forum.

It now appears that the plaintiff has additionally filed a trade mark application over the name ZGeek and threatened the forum operators with a trade mark infringement action - despite apparently having no legal interest in the mark.

We continue to follow this case closely. The ZGeek operators are soliciting donations in their ongoing legal struggle. Alternatively, if you are a qualified NSW legal practitioner and have the capacity to help out in the pending defamation litigation at a discounted or pro-bono rate, please contact me for more information.

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ZGeek defamation lawsuit struck out Wed, 15 Jul 2009 00:37:53 +0000 Continue reading ]]> [ Edit: it appears that the Court struck out a preliminary motion to close down the site and rejected the original claim. The Plaintiffs seem to have indicated that they will re-file the claim. ]

The good news is that yesterday, the Supreme Court struck out the ($42M) defamation suit against the operator of ZGeek.

While we're very thankful that this defamation action went no further, the fact that it got as far as it did shows a serious problem with a lack of certainty in Australian law. The non-profit website operator had to expend significant funds donated by the site's members in order to defend the action, and is now saying that the organisation will no longer be able to operate in Australia, given the stress and risk of further legal action:

But now, some even worse news. ZGeek is abandoning Australia. ZGeek as a company has been shut down and any future of the site conducting business in Australia is just not going to happen until the laws change as they offer no protection for internet content hosts based in Australia. Basically, if you allow comment on your website and you live here, you are open for the same troubles as I am having. Even if your site is hosted OS. Got your own blog? Be very worried. Even after we complied with their lawyers demands they are still coming after me and the Broadcasting Act allows them.

Unfortunately, this lack of certainty is a recurring theme in Australian internet laws. Our copyright laws are unclear enough that companies like iiNet are exposed to risky litigation because the movie industry alleges that some of its customers infringed copyright and that iiNet has an obligation to disconnect subscribers based upon unsubstantiated allegations of infringement. The safe harbours are complicated and their scope is unclear. Our defamation laws provide only partial and uncertain protection for website operators, as this case demonstrates. Our censorship laws hold Australian hosts who even link to potentially prohibited material liable for fines of up to $11,000 a day. This level of uncertainty and risk is driving business off-shore and harming our competitive advantage, not to mention the ability of Australians to express themselves online.

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Media Release - EFA welcomes Whirlpool lawsuit back-down Wed, 19 Sep 2007 01:05:03 +0000 Continue reading ]]> Electronic Frontiers Australia (EFA) today welcomed the decision by software vendor 2Clix Australia Pty Ltd (2Clix) to abandon their lawsuit against Internet forum site

2Clix filed suit against the owner of Whirlpool for "injurious falsehood", alleging that he had maliciously published forum postings which criticised 2Clix's products and services, with the intention of damaging 2Clix's business. 2Clix claimed that the publication of that criticism caused a "severe downturn in monthly sales" of approximately $150,000 per month.

EFA understands that an employee of 2Clix has contacted Whirlpool and various media organisations and advised them that 2Clix intends to discontinue the lawsuit. However, as of the time of writing, 2Clix have not filed the necessary paperwork with the court to actually discontinue the action. EFA further understands that Whirlpool have tried to obtain official confirmation of this news from 2Clix and 2Clix's lawyers, without success.

"Lawsuits are a short-sighted and self-destructive way of dealing with criticism," said EFA Chairperson Dale Clapperton. "As McDonalds and many other companies have learned, suing your critics will cause much more damage and bad publicity than the criticism itself ever would."

"The outpouring of support from Whirlpool users and others demonstrates that members of the Australian Internet community will zealously defend their right to freedom of speech online, and their ability to express their honest opinions about goods and services. The fact that 2Clix has apparently decided to abandon the lawsuit demonstrates that people power has worked, in this case."

EFA strongly believes that consumer criticism of unsatisfactory goods or services should not be suppressed by the threat of a lawsuit.
-- Ends --

Below is:
- Background information
- Contact details for media


The Whirlpool website:

The Statement of Claim filed against the operator of Whirlpool:

EFA Press Release condemning the lawsuit:

About EFA:

Electronic Frontiers Australia Inc. ("EFA") is a non-profit national organisation representing Internet users concerned with on-line rights and freedoms. EFA was established in 1994, is independent of government and commerce, and is funded by membership subscriptions and donations from individuals and organisations with an altruistic interest in promoting online civil liberties.

Media Contact:

Mr Dale Clapperton
EFA Chair
Phone: 0416 007 100
Email: dclapperton at

Electronic Frontiers Australia Inc --

Media Release - EFA condemns Whirlpool lawsuit Wed, 12 Sep 2007 00:00:10 +0000 Continue reading ]]> Electronic Frontiers Australia (EFA) today condemned a lawsuit filed against the operator of, one of Australia's largest online discussion forums.Some messages posted in the Whirlpool forums have criticised the products and services offered by software company 2Clix Australia Pty Ltd (2Clix). The lawsuit alleges that the operator of Whirlpool has maliciously published those comments, with the intention of damaging 2Clix's business. 2Clix claims that these comments have caused a "severe downturn in monthly sales" of approximately $150,000 per month.

"This action is an attack on freedom of speech and the ability of consumers to engage in legitimate online criticism," said EFA Chairperson Dale Clapperton. "One of the great benefits of the Internet is that it allows consumers to become better informed, by searching for information about products or services. If negative comments about poor quality goods or services can't be published for fear of a lawsuit, consumers will be unable to properly inform themselves."The lawsuit by 2Clix is for the common-law tort of "injurious falsehood", which is distinct from the more common and better-known tort of defamation. "2Clix have sued for 'injurious falsehood' to sidestep recent national changes to defamation laws, which removed the right of most companies to sue for defamation. Those changes were designed to ensure that individuals could engage in robust debate and criticism of companies, without the threat of a lawsuit hanging over their head," continued Clapperton.

"This case has echoes of the notorious 'McLibel' action in the United Kingdom, and the lawsuit by David Jones against the Australia Institute over allegations of 'corporate pedophilia'. Corporations are increasingly using the courts to silence and intimidate people who criticise the corporation."

The Statement of Claim filed by 2Clix includes the allegation that Whirlpool "did not require proper verification of identity" before it allowed people to become registered users.

"Forum operators are not required by law to verify the identity of their users, nor is there any reasonable way for them to do so," Clapperton continued. "Plaintiffs have, in the past, argued that forum operators were 'reckless' for not verifying the identity of their users. Forum operators are not the identity police, and the fact that they do not verify users' identity does not make them liable for what their users say or do."

EFA is concerned that an adverse decision in this case could impose significant burdens and legal liability on the operators of Internet forums and discussion sites. Such a result could cause many such sites to close down.

EFA understands that Whirlpool engages in moderation of obviously inappropriate content, a practice which EFA endorses. However, forum operators are not equipped, and should not be required, to verify the truth or falsity of criticism posted by third parties. The ultimate responsibility for content posted by third parties lies with the person who posted it.
-- Ends --

Below is:
- Background information
- Contact details for media


The Whirlpool website:

The Statement of Claim filed against the operator of Whirlpool:

About EFA:

Electronic Frontiers Australia Inc. ("EFA") is a non-profit national organisation representing Internet users concerned with on-line rights and freedoms. EFA was established in 1994, is independent of government and commerce, and is funded by membership subscriptions and donations from individuals and organisations with an altruistic interest in promoting online civil liberties.

Media Contact:

Mr Dale Clapperton
EFA Chair
Phone: 0416 007 100
Email: dclapperton at

Electronic Frontiers Australia Inc --

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