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An online slanging match over a 9/11 conspiracy book that quickly degenerated into a vitriolic war of words is now the subject of a $42.5-million defamation case.
The case could be a landmark case as it may set a precedent around the responsibilities of website owners to police the comments published by readers.
Greg Smith, a small Sydney film producer specialising in conspiracy theories, claims he is now millions of dollars out of pocket after he was defamed on the forums of Australian community website zGeek.com.
Smith had been contracted by a group of Eastern European investors to produce a film called Merchant Of Death, a documentary about the life and times of alleged Russian arms dealer Viktor Bout, who is being held in Thailand waiting for the outcome of an extradition request from the US.
But the film deal was axed after the overseas party that contracted Smith to make the film allegedly stumbled across the comments on the zGeek forum and decided Smith's reputation was too damaged to continue.
Smith, 34, is now suing Sydneysider Tony Brisciani, owner of zGeek, in the Supreme Court for $42.5 million plus an amount for damage to his reputation.
Originally posted by tristar
I do hope you will keep this up to date.
Originally posted by Frogs
reply to post by Iamonlyhuman
Forum trolls can also really boost a company just for fun.
Take for example the wonders of the "Three Wolf Moon Shirt" whose sales have rose by 2300% recently.
Just because it says its great (or awful) on the net doesn't always make it true...hmmm..or maybe it can.
The pros of Three Wolf Moon, according to the Amazon reviewer who turned the accurately titled T-shirt into an ironic Internet phenomenon, are these: "Fits my girthy frame, has wolves on it, attracts women."
The cons? "Only 3 wolves ... cannot see wolves when sitting with arms crossed, wolves would have been better if they glowed in the dark."