It's a 'dog eat blog' world out there
HOTCOPPER is Australia's largest stockmarket chat room. Its managing director, Greg D'Arcy, told us this week he was getting ready to move to another country, probably the US, due to the relentless pressure from lawyers.
''There is no freedom of speech in Australia,'' said D'Arcy. You can speak freely about politicians, but when it comes to business, no such luck.
HotCopper has 170,000 members. On average, it receives 6000 blog posts a day. It has 10 volunteer moderators catching 50 defamatory posts a day.
And it cops, on average, two legal threats a week. It was three this week, said D'Arcy, including one from Excalibur Mining and one from Samson Oil.
The worst thing, he reckons, is that companies are using their shareholders' money to shut down debate.
In the case of Empire Oil & Gas, where he was forced to remove the entire history, 60,000 posts, the company is raising money from its shareholders at the same time as threatening to sue them for defamation. More on that later.
D'Arcy already has his servers and the HotCopper database offshore.
''I employ people here, I pay tax here, ASIC has logins, but I really don't have a choice''.
IT'S a peculiar situation. This writer is subject to regular tirades on HotCopper, slandered with all sorts of nasty epithets and nefarious claims. We last unleashed the fury of the chat forum's faithful back in March, in the wake of a story on Energy World Corp, which preceded a halving in the share price.
Market manipulation, they cried. Attacking a stock for personal gain! Abusing his role as a reporter! There has been worse.
Read more: http://www.smh.com.au/business/its-a...#ixzz25yUCENsx