The Case of the Missing Threads

Discussion in 'Trading' started by Wet, May 27, 2001.

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  1. Wet



    I'm assuming that you deleted the second thread concerning Ken *******, so my comments are directed at you.

    I can understand the desire to avoid the spectre if *potential* litigation. When mgregor posted the email he received from ******* threatening litigation, I assume that you received one as well. Who wants to deal with that?

    However, this doesn't excuse you, I think, from what appears to me a duty that you have taken on AS the owner and operator of EliteTrader. If you are going to run a site like EliteTrader (which I happen to enjoy), then you have made a decision to run a site which is dedicated to the free flow of information. This being so, it seems to me that it is incumbent upon you to defend your site from attacks (like *******'s threatened litigation) whose sole purpose is to defeat the purpose behind your enterprise. Specifically, their purpose is to silence discussion and foster a climate of fear (fear of litigation). Especially when the threats are frivolous (as in *******'s case, since it was far from obvious what he would be suing anyone about). I could understand *actual* libel being printed on your site. Newspapers cannot print just anything either. But in the ******* case (especially the last thread) there wasn't a hint of libel anywhere. People posted their negative experiences with *******, and many, like myself, commented negatively about *******'s desire to sue MGregor. This wasn't a thread you could have been sued over.

    Deleting the threads may be the quick and painless answer, but you simply must make a stand. Are you going to delete any thread that comments in a negative way about a brokerage, exchange, market maker, etc? Obviously any of these entities could write to you threatening to sue you and your site if you allow criticisms to appear on EliteTrader. IB's stop system seems slow to respond, in my experience. Would you delete a thread where I mentioned this, if IB threatened to sue you? Many here have commented about their negative experiences regarding market makers. Obviously these are institutions, and they could threaten to sue you as well.

    Again, I enjoy EliteTrader, and I'm grateful that you have set up the site. As well, I can understand the desire to avoid legal headaches. But there are responsibilities that come with running a site like EliteTrader, and you cannot shy away from them.


  2. tradeRX


    Very well put. What is the law on these issues, does anyone know? Does the law permit us to post our opinions or experiences? Just how exposed to legal action are we?
  3. elie



    I totally agree with You.

  4. tradeRX


    The more I think of it, the more I have to agree with you. Of what purpose are sites such as this if not for the free exchange of information, for better or for worse? You have made a persuasive argument, Wet.
  5. PKJR


    If we cannot exchange info freely, and express our opinions here that what is this site worth it?? People should be aware of all the comments: good or bad whether they are related to Ken or someone else. No censorship please!
  6. elie



    >>>No censorship please!<<<

    I agree, thats the right sentence!

    I am glad that people are willing to speak it out.


  7. Sanity check - freedom of speech is great, but there is a practical side to exercising it. For instance, your freedom of speech ends where it impacts anothers freedoms or where it defames the character of another (certain celebrities and public officials are excluded from this).

    Example, you don't have the right to announce in public that your neighbor is a sleazebag, a thief, and a mob hitman and then claim that you were just exercising your freedom of speech. Your neighbor might be all of those, but you'd better be prepared to present proof or you're in trouble (you might be in trouble anyway - especially if he IS a mob hitman :) ).

    There have been a number of court rulings that at least suggest that they will hold operators of message boards potentially liable if they permit themselves to be the vehicle of potentially slanderous commentary and take no action.

    That's not to say that any comments that were involved in this recent deal where slanderous. Frankly I don't know, but it really doesn't matter. Comments that contain or could be perceived to contain derogetory assertions (especially if they develop into blatent character attacks) in the absence of proof or support of those assertions "could" be slanderous and a message board operator must be careful.

    Reports of results, facts, commentary, conversations, information exchanges, and opinions should be without problem as long as they don't border on character attacks.

    However, board operators DO certainly have the right to protect themselves by policing, editing, or censoring potentially defamitory content on their site.
  8. Wet



    I am neither stupid nor uneducated, so I don't need a sanity check. I am aware that freedom of speech does not extend to everything that can come out of one's mouth.

    However, to criticize a pay service for things that -- IN YOUR OPINION -- are less than par is far from a legal offense. Another person's freedoms do not include the freedom not to be criticized. That's simply a fact. If I were to post falsehoods as if they were objective facts, knowing that they are falsehoods, then this is libel and slander. I don't reall this occuring. Furthermore, to criticize Mr. Kalhoon because of his jump to litigation -- or his rather pathetic response to criticisms -- is HARDLY a lawsuit case. Give me a break.

    Also, I could say in public that my neighbor is a sleezebag, if I added that it was MY OPINION, and not objective fact. Let's get a sanity check on that one please.

    I don't doubt that court rulings have ruled as you say in the case of internet discussion groups -- in cases of LIBEL or slander. However, Arch, "criticism of service" does not equal "slander". At least not the last time I checked.

    In addition, no one is doubting that Baron has a right to remove what he wants. I'm simply pointing out that Baron has a responsibility to protect his site -- the mission of which is free exchange of information, critical or otherwise -- from knuckleheads trying to prevent it from doing exactly that. And in this case, that's exactly what happened.

    As I said, if you are going to remove such threads, then are you prepared to remove every thread that contains criticism of a broker? If this is a legal offense (which it is NOT), then is in for big problems, as it lists customer reviews of brokers, many of which are negative. Shoot, is in trouble too, since they allow people to review books. And I've read some bad reviews.


  9. What K.. C... is trying to do is simply what we can term as legal blackmail - don't say anything negative about me or else I will sue you.
    I have been a trial member in K C's chatroom where he openly criticized Jay Yu of, calling him names and ridiculing Jay's system. How would K C react if someone were to forward the transcripts of that chat to Jay and Mr. Yu decides to seek legal action against K C?
    How can K C feel that he can criticize other people in a public forum but be exempt from the same rules when other people level valid criticism against him and his business?
    A man's character is judged by his actions. K C fell way short in this category.
  10. mgregor


    Here is the latest e-mail from Ken:

    Mr. Gregor,

    since you have decided to disregard my requests related to
    this message board forum, I will be seeing you in court. My attorney has provided me with relevant case law precedent at the following links:

    Irresponsibly damaging and untrue, libelous / defamatory statements on internet chatrooms are clearly actionable from a legal standpoint, and the courts will hold you accountable for this. I will be pursuing relevant legal action.

    See you in court.



    Here is another e-mail I received from Ken:


    I wish if there was a concern you would talk to me first rather than post a negative comment about my lifes work at DTU where so many other people can read it, without giving me an opportunity to address your concerns. I state clearly in the enrollment section that modules 1-4 and most of 5-6 are available when you enroll, this is correct.

    "Quite sloppy"?? Do you know of a site that's more professional and thorough than DTU? Please advise.

    The "good morning" greetings are part of all rooms, a social greeting that takes less than 3 minutes on the open, eg that's all done by 9:05am.

    Isn't there anything positive you can post about my services, in all honesty?

    It really disturbs me when I put so much genuine effort into something, only to see someone piss all over it unfairly. Can you please explain?




    I don't see why I should feel obligated to privately address Ken with any concerns/criticism of his site. He had every opportunity to respond to everyone's comments. To the best of my knowledge, nobody blocked Ken from posting here.

    Instead, he did respond, in a poor manner, and when things weren't going his way, he quietly removed his own posts.

    Ken, the answer to your question, "Quite sloppy"?? Do you know of a site that's more professional and thorough than DTU?" is an astounding YES!

    In my opinion, you and your site are NOT professional at all. It is also my opinion that you could use a refresher course on customer relations.

    Threatening your customers with litigation is not the best way to spread the word about your business.

    In my opinion, the most damaging posts here were those that Ken posted himself. The original discussion was about trading patterns, which progressed to some criticism of Ken's ego and his site, which then progressed to criticism of how Ken handles customer complaints/criticism.

    P.S. As I write this, my password to Ken site is still disabled. However, he has yet to credit my $295.00 to my credit card.
    #10     May 27, 2001
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