Australian (ASX) Stock Market Forum

Being sued for telling the truth

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One of the most valuable parts of ASF is having open and frank discussions about some/many very questionable investing opportunities offered. It is refreshing to hear members offer insights into what are sometimes quite dangerous "investments".

But it seems that truth is not necessarily a defence.

]Australian Shareholder Centre clients 'losing their hard earned'

The Australian Shareholder Centre markets itself as "A complete source for all sharemarket needs".

It really ought to be "A complete solution for losing your savings quickly".

...
Since that introduction, a number of victims have touched base. Their stories are too numerous to detail in this space, and many have been told on Aussie Stock Forums (ASF).

Alas, ASF is now fighting a defamation action from the Centre in the Queensland Supreme Court.

"Their business model is almost the same in every instance," said a contact from ASF.

"Hire professional telemarketers to cold-call those who don't have a clue about the market, charge an up-front fee, then sign them up with an affiliated broker and take a big cut of the brokerage on each trade."

Aussie Stock Forums (ASF) is an online venue for chatting about the sharemarket. It is also where victims share their tales of woe.

It is an indictment on free speech in this country, and on the defamation laws that people can be prosecuted for venting their frustrations and warning others about boiler rooms.

Read more: http://www.canberratimes.com.au/bus...-challenge-20150906-gjg9nr.html#ixzz3l21yBOlq
 
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It seems truly ridiculous that a stock market forum could be sued for the comments made by people simply posting on that forum. Same with any forum on any subject.

The overwhelming majority of forum posters are anonymous, there is only one member of ASF whose true identity I have worked out via their posts, and there is no "official" status to a privately owned online discussion, its participants or their comments. ASF, and practically everything online, is just the unverified opinions of those choosing to comment.

Something I've learned over the years is that those with nothing to hide don't fear someone making comments about them whether true or not. That goes for pretty much everything. A public grilling is nothing to fear if you have nothing to hide. :2twocents
 
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It seems truly ridiculous that a stock market forum could be sued for the comments made by people simply posting on that forum. Same with any forum on any subject.

The overwhelming majority of forum posters are anonymous, there is only one member of ASF whose true identity I have worked out via their posts, and there is no "official" status to a privately owned online discussion, its participants or their comments. ASF, and practically everything online, is just the unverified opinions of those choosing to comment.

Something I've learned over the years is that those with nothing to hide don't fear someone making comments about them whether true or not. That goes for pretty much everything. A public grilling is nothing to fear if you have nothing to hide. :2twocents
Suing a public forum over anonymous comments by the public? Now I've heard everything.
 

Tisme

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Suing a public forum over anonymous comments by the public? Now I've heard everything.
Going to the highest bidder, do I hear a starting bid of $ for meta data? Great business opportunity for the ISPs
 
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Going to the highest bidder, do I hear a starting bid of $ for meta data? Great business opportunity for the ISPs
:D

They've been selling my metadata to google ads for a while now - I should call and ask for a discount on the bills.

Now the ATO want in on those data too. In case terrorists don't pay their taxes?
 

galumay

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Suing a public forum over anonymous comments by the public? Now I've heard everything.
Might pay you to read up on the law as it applies to online communications then. Its something admins and mods need to be well aware of and understand their vicarious liability.

In general the claim against ASF would be likely to be unsuccessful if it can be deonstrated the comments were true, so the headline of the thread is a little misleading. (as is the poorly written article, quoted.)
 
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Might pay you to read up on the law as it applies to online communications then. Its something admins and mods need to be well aware of and understand their vicarious liability.

In general the claim against ASF would be likely to be unsuccessful if it can be deonstrated the comments were true, so the headline of the thread is a little misleading. (as is the poorly written article, quoted.)
Exhibit A would be the case itself - that their business model is to try and make a buck out of innocent people and betting that they're too non-violent to break legs, too busy to pursue their claims, or just settle to make the bad people go away.

You might be right and I'm no lawyer but can a person really claim defamation even if the publisher themselves wrote the bad review about their product/services? We're not Alan Jones pay for comment here right? [wait, did I just got Joe into trouble with Jones? haha]

See, if they win then any idiot could get people like Joe into trouble and soon all the media will be own by Murdoch and all comments and reviews paid for by businesses like they are now to News Corp [again?].
 
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Might pay you to read up on the law as it applies to online communications then. Its something admins and mods need to be well aware of and understand their vicarious liability.

In general the claim against ASF would be likely to be unsuccessful if it can be deonstrated the comments were true, so the headline of the thread is a little misleading. (as is the poorly written article, quoted.)
If the comments at issue were just people telling the story of what happened to them, this would seem to fit the definition of "truth".

A simple search reveals the following complaints about ASC

http://www.productreview.com.au/p/australian-shareholder-centre.html

So this site is not alone (I wonder if the above site is also being sued).

This sounds like a very fine line between truth and "malice".

I'm not a lawyer, but I don't believe any reasonable person would believe that ASF was not providing a consumer service by relating actual experiences with this company.

PS Should we be commenting on a case before the courts ? Are we likely to get Joe Blow in any further trouble ?
 

wayneL

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You don't have to win the case to ruin somebody. Many times a high wealth individual can destroy a lesser wealth individual simply by running up their lawyer fees.
 

Tisme

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Facebook is full of people broadcasting faulty products and suppliers unwilling to make good .... upto that moment of course.:rolleyes:

Perhaps those that care about this forum should let their friends know what is going on via social media; surely we are allowed to talk to our friends about our problems?
 
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Australian defamation law has long been a disgrace and this is just another example of that disgrace.
 

tech/a

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Joe

Stick that account number up again.
Happy to help out mate.
 

Joe Blow

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Joe

Stick that account number up again.
Happy to help out mate.
Thanks Tech. Much appreciated. The details are:

Account Name: ASF Legal Defence Fund
BSB: 638-010
Account Number: 10787054

I'd like to take a moment to thank those who have donated so far. I would like to make particular mention of one person, who I'll refer to as JC, who donated a particularly large amount. Thank you all for helping to protect free speech here at ASF. I am very grateful for your support.
 
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Thanks Tech. Much appreciated. The details are:

Account Name: ASF Legal Defence Fund
BSB: 638-010
Account Number: 10787054

I'd like to take a moment to thank those who have donated so far. I would like to make particular mention of one person, who I'll refer to as JC, who donated a particularly large amount. Thank you all for helping to protect free speech here at ASF. I am very grateful for your support.
Ey Joe,

I found a lot of the ads on your site really relevant and useful. Been clicking on them a fair bit. So it's a shame that such useful site is being sued.
 

awg

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One thing to be hopeful, is that some cases like this are bully boy threats, with the claimant not wishing the dirty laundry to be aired in a public court (and media), but an agreed shutdown

I suspect they would have asked the Admin to delete the thread and even provide login ID details:rolleyes:

There would be rich fellows behind the mob suing no doubt, maybe even a lawyer or two!

Seen the way they conduct themselves :eek:

Hopefully the laws are not against "forums"

Unfortunate that one has to incur legal fees for an bunfight in another jurisdiction, probably against some "no win, no charge mob"

:) sue me, you just get good old honest me, no legals, judges love my work;)
 

Tisme

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Interesting article via twitter


http://www.smh.com.au/business/markets/chasing-the-churners-is-a-challenge-20150906-gjg9nr.html

he Australian Shareholder Centre markets itself as "A complete source for all sharemarket needs".
It really ought to be "A complete solution for losing your savings quickly".
We had the pleasure of stumbling on the Australian Shareholder Centre (ASC) while tapping "Australian Shareholders" into Google. We were searching for the Australian Shareholders' Association (ASA), a bona fide, decent organisation whose purpose is to defend the rights of smaller shareholders.


Read more: http://www.smh.com.au/business/mark...-challenge-20150906-gjg9nr.html#ixzz3lNun6Smc
Follow us: @smh on Twitter | sydneymorningherald on Facebook
We soon realised how we had been so fortuitously selected for this unique opportunity. Only a few hours earlier we had googled ''Australian shareholders'' to find out what the Australian Shareholders' Association had to say about Westfield's latest highfalutin paper shuffle.
Incidentally, transaction costs on the big merger-demerger tote up to $1.47 billion. There is a spend of $150 million on lawyers, merchant bankers and soi-disant ''independent experts''; an outlay that has effectively bought the opinions of UBS, JPMorgan, Rothschild, Merrill, Credit Suisse, Deutsche, Citi and Morgan Stanley. Their views on the deal can be squarely written off - as can those of E&Y, KPMG and Grant Samuel too. Macquarie is the only major broking house to have been left off this rollicking gravy train and, fancy that, the Macquarie analyst says the deal is unfair to Westfield Retail Trust.


Read more: http://www.smh.com.au/business/devi...e-out-there-20140523-38u8z.html#ixzz3lNvGaUtq
Follow us: @smh on Twitter | sydneymorningherald on Facebook
 
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Hey Joe,

Can you tell us which law firm is representing the plaintiff?

I'll be sending some support cash through (I consider it merely 7 years of unpaid membership fees) in a few days, I encourage others to support ASF as well.
 
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