So you don’t like something you’ve read on the internet, possibly even on this site. Your first and immediate response is to puff up your chest and tell everyone who will listen that you’re “calling your attorney” and that you’re “going to sue”. You might even send us a fake cease and desist (yes, it’s happened). In reality, you’re about to be even more butthurt. You are absolutely not going to like what you’re about to read. Are you prepared? Are you sitting down? You might even want to wait to read this until you’re alone, because we’d hate to make you look stupid in front of all those folks you just puffed up your chest in front of and proclaimed that you had an attorney on retainer and were going to shut our site down and sue us.
Ok, if you’re ready – there is NOTHING you can do. Go ahead, call your attorney, he or she will tell you the same, and charge you about $200 for the pleasure, but since you already have them on retainer, that’s no big deal, right? Let’s start with the fact that (like it or not) we are considered a news publication by definition (just ask any first amendment or constitutional lawyer, they’ll tell you how it works) – and that means that any news item we receive from a source, namely our tips@ email address, is a protected source. You may not like that we are considered a news publication, but we are, so get over it. Write your congressman, get a pet, do something productive with your time.
Secondly, we are very careful to write our news stories in a manner that lets the reader form their own opinions on the topic, and we only provide screenshots of information, which are, by definition, truthful – as they are exactly what the person said, word for word, frozen in time, and that can’t be disputed. You see, in all 50 states, a person who wishes to successfully sue for libel must generally prove the statement is false. The truth is a complete defense to a libel action. You can’t sue if the statement in question is true, no matter how unpleasant the statement may be to you – and a screenshot is just that, considered the truth.
To recap, we can post a screenshot of anything say or do online, and it is not considered defamation (libel/slander) in any of our great 50 states, because it is the truth, you did it, you posted it, no matter the intended audience or context. The words we display are the words you typed. So think twice before you post something online – that should be a lesson to everyone.
We should add that should you think you’re being smart by emailing our hosting provider, from who we lease our server, and assuming they have any control over content, let us save you the time – they don’t. Not only do they have no control over our legally protected content, but they even plainly spell it out in their terms,, just in case you’re bored enough to try and email them about it. Here – let us save you the trouble:
Should you have any further questions, we welcome you to ask us (firstname.lastname@example.org) or contact your own personal attorney that you have on retainer or that answers your phone calls and emails for free at, your whim, at 3AM when you need advice.