[Foundation-l] Wikinews - not so much a state of the wiki

Anthony wikimail at inbox.org
Tue Dec 4 23:17:44 UTC 2007

On Dec 4, 2007 4:58 PM, Thomas Dalton <thomas.dalton at gmail.com> wrote:
> > The courts have already ruled that what an anonymous contributors
> > posts to an online message board is not the responsibility of the
> > owners of that message board. An online version of the New York Times,
> > if it's open for anonymous submissions, would fall under the same
> > category.
> No-one is disputing that. I'm talking about an online newspaper taking
> submissions from the public, not a public message board. The key
> difference is that the newspaper selects stories it thinks are good
> from the submissions.
Barrett v. Rosenthal was a case which could most innocently be
described as a moderated mailing list (there is some dispute there
because the mail was sent to the personal email address of someone who
then edited and forwarded it on to the mailing list).  The email was
certainly selected, but immunity for passing it on was still granted.
The decision followed from Batzel v. Smith (9th circuit 2003) which
answered the question of "under what circumstances a *moderator* [my
emphasis] of a listserv and operator of a website who posts an
allegedly defamatory e-mail authored by a third party can be held
liable for doing so".  The majority opinion explicitly said "Because
Cremers did no more than select and make minor alterations to Smith's
e-mail, Cremers cannot be considered the content provider of Smith's
e-mail for purposes of § 230."

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