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2004-08-07, 05:20
Lawsuit filed against Yahoo over message board harassment

LOS ANGELES (AFP) - An Internet surfer has filed a potential class action lawsuit against US online giant Yahoo, accusing it of sheltering anonymous users who electronically harass message board users.

The action, filed in Los Angeles Superior Court late Wednesday, alleged that the California-based Internet provider protected message board users who anonymously posted abusive and defamatory remarks about others.

Attorney Stephen Galton sued Yahoo after the company refused to reveal the name of message board posters on its service who allegedly harassed Galton on a message board, the suit showed.

Yahoo representative could not immediately be reached for comment on the action.

Galton, who wants other users to join him in the suit, posted a message challenging an "abusive" posting by someone using the name "mumioler," only to be subjected to a "barrage of harassing, defamatory and abusive messages" from "mumioler" and other users.

When Yahoo refused his request to identify the unfriendly poster, Galton sued the company in April seeking names, addresses, phone numbers and e-mail addresses of the alleged offenders.

But he only received partial information -- some of it false, the suit stated, prompting him to pursue his legal action against the company.

He claimed that Yahoo profits from the free online registration process because it increases advertising revenues and consumer information it collects is used for marketing purposes.

Yahoo asks its customers to refrain from posting messages that are "unlawful, harmful, threatening, abusive, harassing, tortuous, defamatory, vulgar, obscene, libelous, invasive of another's privacy, hateful, or racially, ethnically or otherwise objectionable," the suit states.

However, the boards regularly have postings that break this rule, and Yahoo provides no redress to persons who are the target of such abuse," according to the suit.

Galton is seeking restitution for others who allegedly were "abused" on Yahoo message boards in the past four years and were allegedly denied help from the company.

2004-08-07, 14:39
That dude's a big crybaby. He ought to be disbarred for his frivolous lawsuit, or he could run for office and become a politician.

Is this the guy?