Post Removal Policy: Why We Don't Remove Posts
Since BarComplaint.com started, our policy has always remained the same - we don't remove posts. We will not remove posts even when they are alleged to contain defamatory statements. We will not remove posts even if the original author asks us to do so. We will NOT remove posts for with offers of money - EVER. Don't believe us? Just make us an offer and see how we respond. Such requests will be ignored and simply deleted.
Although in receipt of occasional criticism for this policy as being unfair, we adamantly adhere to our policy as essential, fair, and far better than the alternative - the practice of selected censorship.
We have many reasons for our policy, but here are three of the most important ones:
FIRST - we refuse to accept a position to judge the credibility and truthfulness of the postings and the other comments posted on our site. The veracity of the posts are the responsibility of those that share their stories. All material posted on the BarComplaint.com is either created by third party users of our site or contains existing news already in the public domain. Because the content originates from the users and independent news sources, we are not in a position to validate every detail as written. We do monitor for clearly profane, racist and/or obviously false assertions that are readily known to the general public. Of course, when people contact us to dispute the accuracy of something on our site, we have no way of knowing who they are or whether they are telling the truth. For that reason, we cannot simply remove content because one side claims that something in the report is inaccurate. Taking sides or accepting the role of arbiter is not our role.
Our position isn't unique to an Internet Content Provider (ICP). Consider these examples - Facebook does not fact-check the accuracy of every post from all of its BILLION users. Amazon.com doesn't verify the accuracy of all its user reviews, nor does Twitter confirm that every tweet is 100% true. Just like these sites, BarComplaint.com cannot and does not investigate the accuracy of everything posted by our users or news already in the public domain. For ICP websites that allows user-generated content and comments, investigating and verifying every posting would be completely unfeasible and undermine the very foundation of the Internet. On the legal front this issue was recognized as the most significant safe guard allowing the advancement of the Internet to what it has become today. In order to allow the growth experienced over the few decades of its existence was legislation to protect it from litigation that would be endless and stifle any progressive advancement: the Section 230 of the Commuications Decency Act of 1996.
SECOND - we do not remove posts because we believe this site is most effective when all complaints are maintained and preserved so that over time patterns of truly bad business practices are exposed. If we removed posts upon request or after a certain period of time, this would provide consumers with less information to use when evaluating a lawyer, law firm or company. Unlike the Better Business Bureau (which deletes complaints after just 36 months and which has been accused of hiding complaints in exchange for money), we maintain a permanent record of all complaints. This ensures that our viewers have more information rather than less.
THIRD - if we removed complaints on request this would give lawyers, law firms and companies an incentive to pressure authors to remove true and accurate posts in exchange for money or simply to avoid a costly lawsuit. It's a well-known fact that most people aren't willing or able to spend money in legal fees defending a defamation lawsuit, so even when a person who has written a 100% true report, there is a huge amount of pressure for them to just remove it when threatened with legal action.
For that reason, we will not agree to remove posts upon request, even if someone wishes to reverse the can show that a report is probably inaccurate. By having this policy, we take leverage away from lawyers or companies who threaten or pressure a client hoping to get them to retract a valid complaint
If this seems unreasonable, consider this -- if someone sues you in court and makes outlandish claims that are completely false, you can fight the case and win and at the end a judgment will be entered in your favor proving that you were right and your accuser was wrong. However, the court clerk will NOT destroy the file or seal the records of the case simply because you won. Even when a lawsuit is shown to be 100% baseless, the documents remain part of a public record that is maintained for years or perhaps forever . In this situation, the remedy you are entitled to is a court order or judgment proving that you were right, not the destruction of public records about the case.
This website is protected under Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act and Free Speech Rights Guaranteed By Our First Amendment.
If you still feel your situation needs special consideration or you would like to submit a statement for consideration to be added to the content visit the contact page.