This forum’s Section 230 immunity from defamation liability

I don’t want to stir some drama from a locked thread. But I am concerned about a separate issue. In a way that tends to chill free expression, the Zcash Foundation is alleging against itself that it has legal duties and potential liabilities which, under American law, it does not and can never have.

Please correct me if I am mistaken: The Zcash Foundation is a U.S. entity, and this forum is hosted in the U.S., yes?

Under U.S. law, a forum and its owners do not have any duty to verify the validity of such claims, and are not liable for defamation if the claims turn out to be false and defamatory. If it were otherwise, the Internet would implode overnight!

The content removed from this forum was moved to Medium. A Medium Corporation is located in the U.S., and is subject to U.S. jurisdiction. Surely, A Medium Corporation did not verify the claims, either.

Compare how the Bitcoin Forum handles this (boldface and italics are in the original):

(Funnily enough, the Bitcoin Forum is rife with factually false and defamatory personal attacks against me. The people who do that are scum, but the forum’s administration is not legally liable—nor should it be.)

This is an issue entirely separate from moderation policy. A forum’s owner is entitled to set a moderation rule prohibiting personal attacks, or what are perceived as personal attacks, or banning users who use the letter “e” more then three times in one post. Indeed, I myself have previously announced an intent to found a Null Forum which autobans all users upon registration, and stores all posts in the /dev/null NoSQL database; forum drama is a waste of time, so I want only silence. I have a right to retain silence! YMMV. I am not hereby discussing this forum’s moderation policy.

I urge the Zcash Foundation to consult competent counsel, and to avoid making inadvisable statements that claim nonexistent legal duties and nonexistent legal liabilities. Needless to say, none of the foregoing constitutes legal advice in the sense of advice that your lawyer could give you; it is, however, mere common sense, insofar as the Web would not even exist if forum owners had a legal duty to verify all claims made by users.

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