Original URL: http://www.theregister.co.uk/2006/07/03/dontdatehim_sued/

Scoundrel-outing site sued by alleged scoundrel

Site accused of malicious gossip, no less

By Lucy Sherriff

Posted in Media, 3rd July 2006 10:15 GMT

A man is suing the website dontdatehimgirl.com after three of its members posted warnings to other women, including various unsavoury allegations about his behaviour and conduct. The members who made the comments are also named in the suit.

The site was founded by a former Miami Herald columnist, Tasha Joseph, to provide a forum for women to share information about men who have done the dirty and cheated or lied in a relationship. The idea is that a wronged woman would create a profile of her current or ex-lover, detailing his wrongdoings so that other women can run checks of the likely character of a potential date.

Three women posted a variety of warnings on the site about Todd Hollis, a lawyer from Pennsylvania. He argues that the comments amount to malicious gossip, and is taking legal action to defend his character, ArsTechnica reports.

In his suit, Hollis notes that although the men concerned are named and shamed, the women may remain anonymous. He also points out that there is no mechanism for checking either their identity or the accuracy of the allegations, other than a box users must tick to verify that their claims are true.

Because of this, he alleges that the site's proprietor "conspired with disingenuous people whose only agenda is to attack the character of those individuals who have been identified on her site".

ArsTechnica also notes that the site's terms of use prevent accused men from directly posting messages defending themselves. Instead they must email the site administrators who may or may not post their comments. Easy to see why: the ensuing flame wars would surely dwarf anything seen yet in the wibbly wobbly world of the web, up to and possibly including the endless operating system debate.

Lawyers acting for Joseph, meanwhile, argue that suing the site's owner for comments posted on the site is like suing the owner of a coffee shop for the content of private conversations between patrons. ®