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LEgal Question UK Online Law

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  • LEgal Question UK Online Law

    I have two members of a vbulletin board who have been exchanging PMs with each other.

    I have no idea what they have posted to each other, but one of them is now threatening legal action about one of the messages. The message was allegedly a "homophobic threat".

    I have no desire to delve into the vb database and find the PM in question. As owner of the site, I feel that I should not hand over or publically post anyone's PMs.

    The injured party (who is a totally anonymous poster) wants the moderators to post publically the offending PM.

    If we do not do so, the anonymous poster is saying that he will contact the police/solicitor who will cease the server/computers of all invloved.

    PLEASE can someone give me a rough idea (not legal advice) how I stand on this. Because I thought under the UK data protection act I wasn't allowed to extract and publish info like this. The server is in London etc...

  • #2
    With all due respects, you'd be best consulting a lawyer, not a forum, if you are getting legal threats.
    Dean Clatworthy - Web Developer/Designer

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    • #3
      I just wondered if anyone has been in a similar situation.

      No lawyers available till Monday, so I have the whole weekend to worry about it.

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      • #4
        I would not do it, not sure about UK laws but in Germany it is not allowed to post personal details or private messages without permission.

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        • #5
          I don't know I would not do it myself. By doing so you risk getting sued by the other party.

          Its best to stay neutral in cases like this and only take action on the advice of a lawyer. This is not legal advice by the way .

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          • #6
            Ask the person who is complaining to send you a copy of the PM he received as proof - so you can then view it and take action, banning the person who sent it if need be. That should resolve the issue and all his complaints and threats should end.

            Also, why is he asking for the PM to be posted publicly on the forum boards. That's beyond me, as that would give him even more legal grounds to do something about your site than he has now. Ask yourself why he's asking you to do this, and why he wants a mod to post the PM publicly!!!

            You don't need members like that threating your forum board every-time they don't like something posted, nor members sending personal abuse in PM's. I'd be very tempted to ban both people and send them a email each saying they are both temp banned while this is investigated further for a week. And then make a final decision later that week. Simply because the guy who sent the abusive PM is out of order, and the innocent guy should not be asking to have the PM posted on the public forum boards by a Moderator (especially if he's threatening legal action, as he knows fully well that would give him even stronger grounds to sue you). So he shouldn't be asking you to do that full stop...
            Last edited by MRGTB; Fri 13 Oct '06, 4:01pm.

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