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Legality of Banning a User

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  • Legality of Banning a User

    Hi,

    I have banned a very troublesome user recently and this user has contacted me about removing his/her information or hear from a lawyer. To be safe I completely removed the user's profile from the database, but now I'm curious whether or not there are any legal issues with storing user information. Do I need to worry about future litigation for any reason? I do have a privacy policy to let users know what their information is provided for.

    I started this site out of a passion and don't exactly want to deal with hassles from troublesome users trying to sue without reason.

    Thanks,

    Mark

  • #2
    No, you don't have to delete the user and/or his posts.

    Assuming that you are the owner of the site, all posts, topics, etc. belong to you

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    • #3
      What about his information when he signed up?

      Comment


      • #4
        i.e. ?

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        • #5
          Originally posted by LancerForums
          What about his information when he signed up?
          Like what?

          Unless you put in more "custom" fields to the sign up process, the only personal info you get is all optional:

          Birthday and their location.

          IF they volunteer that info over to you, they've given you permission (or your board) to publicly post that info (Location appears under their name in the post and their bdays are posted to the calendar). He has no grounds to "sue" you to remove it.
          There are only 10 types of people in the world: Those who understand binary, and those who don't

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          • #6
            no need to worry about anything nothing needs to be removed, he agreed to the Community Rules when registering
            MCSE, MVP, CCIE
            Microsoft Beta Team

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            • #7
              Re: Legality of Banning a User

              Originally posted by LancerForums
              I have banned a very troublesome user recently and this user has contacted me about removing his/her information or hear from a lawyer.


              if it was me i would encourage him . he has no position to begin with.

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              • #8
                Yeah, and about that lawyer comment, two possibilities:

                1) He has a lawyer already
                2) He will try to hire a lawyer for the purpose of suing you
                3) He's bluffing

                If he has a lawyer already, or if he tries to hire one for the purpose of suing you, the first thing the lawyer will do is to look at your site and the agreement he electronically signed (by clicking the "I agree" button). At that point, if the lawyer is any good, he'll turn the case down, or at best, he'll send a letter asking you to remove all material related to your ex-member, including posts and directory information. But that's the extent of what they can do, unless there are other issues at hand (i.e. slander, harassment).

                Most likely, though, he has absolutely no idea what the hell he's talking about, so he whipped out the lawyer threat. He wants you to freak so that you'll be cowed into submission. But neither he nor anyone else has a case to force you to do anything with his information or posts.
                iComix :: web comics

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                • #9
                  Re: Re: Legality of Banning a User

                  :: steals jake's icon ::

                  tee hee hee...


                  Originally posted by Jakeman




                  if it was me i would encourage him . he has no position to begin with.
                  Well, there it is.
                  - Keeper of the Grove

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                  • #10
                    Re: Re: Re: Legality of Banning a User

                    Originally posted by Skeptical
                    :: steals jake's icon ::

                    tee hee hee...


                    omg nOOb! i stole it first!

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Which country are you based in?

                      I know that in the UK, we have to conform to the Data Protection Act, which means anyone can require that information about them be deleted (as well as demand a copy of any info you hold on them).

                      Don't know if you have anything similar in the US, but in the UK, we would have to delete the info from the DB.

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                      • #12
                        I'm not certain the Data Protection Act applies. As it talks about data we hold on a person which is controlled by us.

                        But for the forum the user themselves submitted the data and hence in doing so put it into the public domain. I'm not sure they could demand it was "unpublished"
                        Motorsport Forums

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                        • #13
                          I'm pretty sure it does apply... I think a colleage spoke to the DP people about it... you have to be registered with them, too (£35/yr I think).

                          If I recall, any info that can be linked to someone (e.g. email address) that you collect and hold, is covered.

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                          • #14
                            I've had a user threaten me with the same thing.

                            So I spoke with a lawyer friend. He said that as long as you have a good usage policy that they agreed to, you are ok.
                            PowWows.com

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                            • #15
                              The only way to be sure if he has the right to ask for that or not, is to consult a lawyer in what you should write down in the registration form, rules, privacy and copyright notice.

                              But since not many of us can afford it, it's a judgement call.

                              My method, for any user who requests removal of all posts, is to say sure, we can do it. It will cost you $10 per post in advance to compensate for my time. And I require real name, and postal address and phone number, in order for me to verify they are the real author, and to send the invoice

                              This way I'm not challenging their legal rights, simply asking for compensation for my time.

                              They just disappear and stop bugging me.

                              I don't delete posts through the db or purge/prune, because it will render many threads meaningless and out of context.
                              vB Drupal Community Plumbing | vB Survey | vBusy | vB Spell | vBouncer

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