To reduce the likelihood of adverse consequences when a third party
publishes offensive material on your website (or the website you
are hosting), have you considered installing a "Report Offensive
button on your site? This will allow anyone spotting
an offensive message on your website to alert you to the problem.
If you promptly remove the material you may avoid any liability as
you may then have a defence of “innocent dissemination.
The benefit of this sort of functionality on a website came to
light last month in the case of James Murray v Jonathan
, where Mr Murray sued Mr Spencer for publishing a
libellous statement about him on the website, Friends Reunited.
Friends Reunited had installed the button previously in order to
head-off complaints made about offensive material posted by third
parties. Mr Murray notified the website owners and the defamatory
material was promptly removed.
In consequence, Friends Reunited were not sued, but Mr Spencer was,
and had to pay damages and costs.
For further information, please contact Karen
Marshall at firstname.lastname@example.org or on +44 (0)20 7367