Aaron Charney, Biglaw, Cyberlaw, Defamation, Free Speech, Gay, Media and Journalism, Peter Lattman, WSJ Law Blog

Charney v. Sullivan & Cromwell: WSJ Law Blog Comments Policy

H Rodgin Cohen 2 Chairman Aaron B Charney Aaron Brett Charney Sullivan Cromwell Above the Law Above the Law Above the Law ATL legal tabloid legal blog.JPGLast week there was some speculation over what happened to certain particularly delicious reader comments posted over at the WSJ Law Blog, concerning Charney v. Sullivan & Cromwell.
As explained here:

“[N]o work is getting done [at S&C]. We’re too busy concocting conspiracy theories about why certain highly-detailed comments to the WSJ law blog were pulled…(these posts were fairly specific in their criticisms of S&C and, in particular certain partners/wannabe underlings)…”

Over at the WSJ Law Blog itself, there was some meta-commentary about the deletion of these comments:

“Why are comments being deleted from the board? There were definitely a few on here that were posted since 7:35 AM today.”

“[O]ne of my finest writings was summarily removed by the WSJ Law Blog thought police. Why don’t we all keep parallel logs of our writings as each is entered, and if the law blog continues with its caprice in 2007, et seq., we loggers can then start a class action against WSJ law blog. Coul[d] be fun!”

“I am a gay blogger and WSJ expunged me without my consent. It felt GREAT.”

“A post regarding the attractiveness of one of the attorneys mentioned in complaint ([Melissa] Sawyer) was removed, I know that much because I remember it being there. And after looking up her profile myself . . yes, she is a fox.”

We followed up with Peter Lattman of the WSJ Law Blog, to find out why certain S&C-related comments were getting zapped. We received a response from Bill Grueskin, managing editor of WSJ.com.
We reprint Mr. Grueskin’s response, and explain ATL’s own policy on reader comments, after the jump.

From Bill Grueskin, managing editor of WSJ.com:

Peter [Lattman] passed along your query re certain comments being removed from the LawBlog. Without commenting on exactly which comments went awry, I’m happy to onpass our general policy:

Our blogs are open to comments, without registration or other requirements. We do monitor our blogs and, on very rare occasions, remove comments from them — particularly when those comments include offensive obscenities or raise unsubstantiated or gratuitous attacks on individuals.

Hope that helps.

“[U]nsubstantiated or gratuitous attacks on individuals”? But those are the best kind of comments!
As previously explained, unlike the WSJ Law Blog, we do not moderate reader comments here at ATL. Our “hands off” policy underscores the fact that, under this nifty thing called Section 230, it’s the individual commenters — and not ATL — who bear the legal responsibility for their comments.
So have fun in the comments. But please post responsibly, understanding that YOU are on the hook for any defamatory material contained in the comments you post.
Bloggers’ FAQ – Section 230 Protections [Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF)]
Earlier: Charney v. Sullivan & Cromwell: WSJ Law Blog = Bermuda Triangle for Comments?
Prior ATL coverage of Charney v. Sullivan & Cromwell (scroll down)

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