Disclaimer - Communications Decency Act

Moe Bedard

Call 1-800-779-4547
Staff member
Loan Safe Mortgage
Aug 10, 2007
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Southern California
www.loansafe.org
This website and it's owners will not be held liable for any user submitted content on this website. Under a Federal Law the Communications Decency Act or "CDA", 47 U.S.C. § 230.

Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act
No provider or user of an interactive computer service shall be treated as the publisher or speaker of any information provided by another information content provider.


In short, the CDA provides that when a user writes and posts material on a website such as Ripoff Report, the site itself cannot, in most cases, be held legally responsible for the posted material. Specifically, 47 U.S.C. § 230(c)(1) states, "No provider or user of an interactive computer service shall be treated as the publisher or speaker of any information provided by another information content provider." Because the reports on Ripoff Report are authored by users of the site, we cannot be legally regarded as the "publisher or speaker" of the reports contained here, and hence we are not liable for reports even if they contain false or inaccurate information.

The reasons for this rule are simple. Websites cannot possibly monitor the accuracy of the huge volume of information which their users may choose to post. If a disgruntled plaintiff were permitted to hold a website liable for information that the site did not create, this would stifle free speech as fewer and fewer sites would be willing to permit users to post anything at all. See generally Batzel v. Smith, 333 F.3d 1018, 1027–28 (9th Cir. 2003) (recognizing, "Making interactive computer services and their users liable for the speech of third parties would severely restrict the information available on the Internet. Section 230 [of the CDA] therefore sought to prevent lawsuits from shutting down websites and other services on the Internet.")

In general, each and every lower federal district court and federal appellate court that has construed the CDA has held that websites like Ripoff Report are immune from virtually every type of civil liability when the site has been sued based on information posted by a third party. See Doe v. America Online, Inc., 783 So.2d 1010 (Fl. 2001); Green v. America Online, 318 F.3d 465, 470 (3rd Cir. 2003) (noting that the CDA, "‘precludes courts from entertaining claims that would place a computer service provider in a publisher's role,' and therefore bars ‘lawsuits seeking to hold a service provider liable for its exercise of a publisher's traditional editorial functions - such as deciding whether to publish, withdraw, postpone, or alter content.'"); Carafano v. Metrosplash.com, Inc., 339 F.3d 1119 (9th Cir. 2003); Schneider v. Amazon.com, Inc., 31 P.3d 37 (Wash.App. 2001); Doe v. GTE Corp., 347 F.3d 655 (7th Cir. 2003); Zeran v. America Online, Inc., 129 F.3d 327 (4th Cir. 1997); Blumenthal v. Drudge, 992 F. Supp. 44 (D. D.C. 1998).

So, why should you care about this law? Well, if someone posts false information about you on the Ripoff Report, the CDA prohibits you from holding us liable for the statements which others have written.
Like Rip Off Report we take the same stance on rebuttals to claims and accusations made by users and in fact we encourage you to defend thses claims if you believe they are inaccurate.

We take very claim as being serious as well as every rebuttal. Please email Moe @ LoanSafe.org any rebuttal you may have to the claims or reports made on his website. We will post any rebuttals to the user created thread to give you a chance to have your voice be heard, but we will not remove any material that has been posted via user generated content.

Use the complaint as an opportunity to make things right with your client and ask that the client works with you to resolve and mediate the issues at hand. If a successful resolution is made, ask your client to update he claim or report to states that there has been a successful resolution to the matter.

If you think a claim or report is false and written with the intention to harm you or your business or you believe it is a competitor then please email me with "supporting" documentation to validate your claims and I will look into this to the best of my ability.

JacMac is a moderator and guide for this forum. You can also email her at JacMac @ LoanSafe.org if you have any issues, concerns or complaints.

You can read our full Privacy Policy and Legal Disclaimer Here
 
M

MlcMBjnn

Guest
I understand that this website cant be held liable for what users post but what about the users themselves? Posting someone's name and then accusing them of fraud (Jason whatisname) could possible bring a lawsuit for libel and slander. Could you please ask your legal advisors what our liability is if we make accusations against people?
 

JacMac

Successful Homeowner
Nov 21, 2007
219
1
0
New York
From my understanding of the law, one can only be prosecuted for libel and slander if they're lying.

So therefore, I would say no one should make up anything about any Mortgage Broker or lender that isn't true --- that's good advice morally and legally.