Chat sites back under the hammer

Criminal lawyer, Chris Murphy, is launching a defamation action against online stock chat forum Stockhouse. It appears that the abuse and allegations against Murphy were addressed to both himself and his alias, Meataxe.

ASIC has previously considered the licensing of website operators and the requirement that users identify themselves before posting comments. This move was initiated after an incident on the Hotcopper site where a chat forum participant was masquerading as the Chief Executive of Coles Myer and similar defamation cases in the US. ASIC concluded from its investigation that it would rely upon website owners and the public to stamp out the manipulation of share prices via chat sites.

One way to stamp out ‘toilet wall’ comments would be for website owners to authorise comments before they’re posted, although the extra costs associated with implementing this step may be prohibitive.