Are you legally liable for comments posted on your website?

Just a quick update to our previous column about why comments were worth the trouble. For those who worry about legal liability for what commenters may post on their site see this post about a recent legal ruling on exactly this question by Wendy Davis on Online Media Daily. In this case, a TV anchor sued her former employer, the TV station where she worked, for allowing allegedly libelous posts about her in the comments section of their website. The court's ruling says, in part:

Persons who claim that they were harmed by a website's publication of user-generated content may sue the third-party user who generated that content, but they may not sue the interactive computer service that enabled the third-party user to publish the content online," Guirola wrote. "Thus, an interactive computer service is entitled to immunity as long as it did not create or author the particular information at issue.

Mainsail through time