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Jack Thompson Sues Facebook For $40M 421

Posted by samzenpus
from the just-when-you-thought-it-was-safe dept.
angry tapir writes "Jack Thompson has sued Facebook for US$40 million, saying that the social networking site harmed him by not removing angry postings made by Facebook gamers. The lawsuit was filed in the US District Court for the Southern District of Florida. Thompson is best known for bringing suit against Grand Theft Auto's Take Two Interactive, Sony Computer Entertainment America, and Wal-Mart, arguing that the game caused violent behavior."
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Jack Thompson Sues Facebook For $40M

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  • by A. Kim (620073) on Thursday October 01, 2009 @08:00AM (#29603949)
    Wasn't this idiot disbarred a couple years ago? Could he really be so desperate to feed his narcissism?
    • by OrangeMonkey11 (1553753) on Thursday October 01, 2009 @08:06AM (#29603989)

      Correct the Florida Supreme Court disbarred his ass

    • by thepotoo (829391) <thepotoospam@yahooPARIS.com minus city> on Thursday October 01, 2009 @08:06AM (#29603993)

      Whether he was disbarred or not doesn't really seem to matter.

      Slashdot (and the gaming media in general) are doing a fantastic job feeding his narcissism just by reporting on every frivolous lawsuit. He's just a really skilled troll, and everyone always falls for him.

      (Of course, if we ignored him, he'd probably go away only to be replaced by an anti-gaming figurehead that wasn't batshit fucking insane, so maybe it's best for everyone to just keep him around for the amusement factor.)

      • by djdavetrouble (442175) on Thursday October 01, 2009 @08:16AM (#29604075) Homepage

        He's just a really skilled troll, and everyone always falls for him.

        I would have to disagree, a troll is aware of his/her trolling, it is intentional.
        Jack is like a troll, except for the fact that he is dead serious, and there is no "lol, trolled".
        He really would restrict your rights and regulate the hell out of video games and the
        rest of the online world that in his eyes is destroying the morals of America.

        • by macshit (157376) <milesNO@SPAMgnu.org> on Thursday October 01, 2009 @09:58AM (#29605057) Homepage

          He's just a really skilled troll, and everyone always falls for him.

          I would have to disagree, a troll is aware of his/her trolling, it is intentional. Jack is like a troll, except for the fact that he is dead serious, and there is no "lol, trolled".

          On usenet, the distinction is made between a "troll", and a "netkook"; their behavior is often strikingly similar, except that the former is doing it intentionally to incite reponses, whereas the latter actually believes what he's saying.

          Jack, I gather, is more of a kook than a troll...

          • by bennomatic (691188) on Thursday October 01, 2009 @04:08PM (#29610221) Homepage

            He's just a really skilled troll, and everyone always falls for him.

            I would have to disagree, a troll is aware of his/her trolling, it is intentional. Jack is like a troll, except for the fact that he is dead serious, and there is no "lol, trolled".

            On usenet, the distinction is made between a "troll", and a "netkook"; their behavior is often strikingly similar, except that the former is doing it intentionally to incite reponses, whereas the latter actually believes what he's saying.

            Jack, I gather, is more of a kook than a troll...

            Right. People think of the term "troll" as referring to some sort of monster, like the ones beneath the bridge in the story about the billy goats. But "trolling" is actually an old word for fishing by dragging a line with a baited hook or hooks behind a slow-moving boat. You can see how the older definition applies...

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          I can't say he keeps me up at night.

          There have been many such people in power over the years, and there appears to be no lasting damage.

          It's pretty hard for these extremists to slip past public opinion, and even when the public is with them, it typically doesn't last for long.

      • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

        by sopssa (1498795) *

        Now now everyone, watch your language or he will get Slashdot taken down too! You're underestimating this geniuses power. I, for one, think he's going to rule the world one day [youtube.com].

        • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

          by DBCubix (1027232)
          So instead of getting Slashdotted, Slashdot will get Jack Thompson'ed. Oh the irony.
    • Unfortunately, disbarring him didn't seem to stop him... only changed the direction of his frivolous litigation.
    • by Narpak (961733) on Thursday October 01, 2009 @09:16AM (#29604587)
      I find this lawsuit fairly amusing and hypocritical; since Thompson himself claimed First Amendment protection [law.com] against his critics, and then when for good measure that the criticism of him violated state religious protection laws since he was motivated by his faith.

      Mister Thompson wasn't damaged by "angry postings made by Facebook gamers" he was damaged by all the stupid, unethical (and illegal) crap he did that spawned those posts. This is just a greedy lawyer who got himself disbarred through his own machinations trying to get himself a payout so he can finance his insidious campaign of ignorance and fear. Hope Facebook takes this to court and tear Mister Thompson a proverbial "new one".
  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday October 01, 2009 @08:00AM (#29603951)

    This man seriously needs some help from a professional.

    • by moon3 (1530265)
      He is a professional troll waiting for a $40 million paycheck. All his maverick ideas made him celebrity already.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by mcgrew (92797) *

      Most of the mentally ill in the US have no insurance (because it's damned hard to get a job with clinical depression, bipolar disorder or schitzophrenia) and can't get professional help. Why would you give a monster like him the help a poor homeless schitzo can't?

      Besides, I don't think they have any effective treatments for sociopathy yet.

  • by Nursie (632944) on Thursday October 01, 2009 @08:01AM (#29603959)

    I know that doesn't stop him using other lawyers to sue people, but I would think it probably says a lot about the validity of said facebook postings if he *was* struck off for being a serial asshat.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday October 01, 2009 @08:02AM (#29603963)

    ARGH!

  • by Pedrito (94783) on Thursday October 01, 2009 @08:02AM (#29603965) Homepage
    Sorry Jack, but Facebook didn't make people hate you. You did that all on your own.

    What a tool!
    • by techiemikey (1126169) on Thursday October 01, 2009 @08:18AM (#29604091)
      I agree completely with you that Facebook didn't make people hate him...his own actions did. Unfortunately Jack Thompson might (for once) have something on his side since he's complaining that Facebook didn't remove the hate groups against him (like the now removed "i'll pay someone $50 for a video of you punching Jack Thompson in the face" post) but removed a poll of "Should Obama be shot." I don't think it's unreasonable he found a lawyer to help him on this one.
      • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

        by Red Cape (854034)
        Threats against the president's life are a serious criminal offense. Someone making a video game about punching a well known figure in the face repeatedly is perfectly legal.
      • I don't think it's unreasonable he found a lawyer to help him on this one.

        Legally speaking, there may be some leeway there. But what kind of lawyer would take on a borderline frivolous case filed by a man disbarred for bad practice including, but not limited to, the malicious use of frivolous lawsuits? Any reasonable lawyer would need a rock solid case before they'd touch that, given the nature of their client, and his history.

        With that in mind, it may not be unreasonable for him to have found a lawyer, but there's a better than even chance he's hired an unreasonable lawyer.

      • by noundi (1044080)

        I agree completely with you that Facebook didn't make people hate him...his own actions did. Unfortunately Jack Thompson might (for once) have something on his side since he's complaining that Facebook didn't remove the hate groups against him (like the now removed "i'll pay someone $50 for a video of you punching Jack Thompson in the face" post) but removed a poll of "Should Obama be shot." I don't think it's unreasonable he found a lawyer to help him on this one.

        Excuse my european ignorance for not understanding. But is it illegal to hate people in the US? If not, is it illegal to form groups sharing the same hate? Please before anybody answers, I'm not referring to hate crimes, which infact doesn't tend to be about the hate, but rather what actions people have taken against eachother. Basically I understand that shouting "nigger" and hitting a black person is illegal, but is it illegal to tell that same person: "I hate you. Infact I've formed a group and we all ha

  • Next week: (Score:5, Interesting)

    by bcmm (768152) on Thursday October 01, 2009 @08:04AM (#29603975)
    Jack Thompson Sues Everybody, For No Reason.

    Why is he still going? Don't they make him pay his opponent's costs when he loses? Shouldn't he be broke?
    • by Bicx (1042846)
      He's probably hoping he'll win and be able to pay off some of the huge debt he's racked up.
    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      Why is he still going? Don't they make him pay his opponent's costs when he loses? Shouldn't he be broke?

      No. You don't automatically pay your opponent's costs when you lose in the U.S. They can ask the judge to grant it, but it doesn't always happen.

    • Re:Next week: (Score:4, Interesting)

      by jimicus (737525) on Thursday October 01, 2009 @08:29AM (#29604213)

      I'm not sure the US operates on a "loser (almost) always pays" system.

      The theory is that by not having such a system, it's harder for the big guy to steamroller the little guy by saying "You do realise if you carry on we will apply for costs, and our costs so far have been $X hundred thousand?".

      So instead what happens is they've got a fantastically complicated system whereby the big guy can keep going back to court until the little guy can no longer afford representation in court.

      Note: IANAL, nor am I a merkin.

      • by dkleinsc (563838)

        That's not to say there's no protection for the little guy exactly: the judge has the option of awarding the victorious party attorney's fees, and a lot of judges are willing to give that out if the losing side appears to have been taking advantage of the fact that lawsuits cost money.

        The trouble is that the little guy might have already been driven broke by the attorney's fees before that award can occur, and if the big guy doesn't pay might not even be able to move for contempt. So it's not a perfect reme

  • by realsilly (186931) on Thursday October 01, 2009 @08:04AM (#29603977)

    I really hope this Lawsuit is thrown out, simply because people are entitle to their opinions of this guy and what he stands for. He seems to forget that he's on some sort of one man crusade to fight computer game industry, and puts himself out there ans is not ready to be scrutinized for what he believes in. These individuals are using the tools provided to them to voice their opinions. We still have that right to free speech. I have not read these posts, and nor do I want to, thus the beauty of the Net. Now that Mr. Thompson has advertised that these posts exists, he's drawing national attention to them and may find that more people agree with the angry posts rather than his points.

    I don't necessarily agree with vial and viscious things but people will do what people will do.

    • by MRe_nl (306212)

      "I don't necessarily agree with vial and viscious"
      Me nether!
      It's file and fishes indead.
      Please won't somebody think of the Atari 2600.

  • by FrostDust (1009075) on Thursday October 01, 2009 @08:05AM (#29603987)

    I think Jack Thompson's caused more harm to "Jack Thomspon" than any other entity possibly could.

  • Get over it (Score:2, Interesting)

    by lyinhart (1352173)
    Angry comments by gamers on Facebook? Gamers, get over it. The man's just a litigious nut who hasn't got anything successfully banned in the United States. Saying bad stuff about him only gives him more ammo to criticize and sue companies with. Don't worry, Jack Thompson isn't going to get between you and Grand Theft Auto 19 or Halo X Spin-off.
  • Forty million? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Max Romantschuk (132276) <max@romantschuk.fi> on Thursday October 01, 2009 @08:08AM (#29604009) Homepage

    Living in a country where you can't sue people for amounts like forty million dollars for Facebook postings sounds, well, friggin ridiculous.

    I wonder how much just keeping the legal system running and churning through all these cases costs in tax dollars for a US citizen...

    • Re:Forty million? (Score:4, Insightful)

      by Leebert (1694) * on Thursday October 01, 2009 @08:42AM (#29604309)

      Living in a country where you can't sue people for amounts like forty million dollars for Facebook postings sounds, well, friggin ridiculous.

      It sounds ridiculous in America, too.

    • by hedwards (940851)
      You can sue for any amount you like here, pretty much, however getting it is another matter. Depending upon jurisdiction you might have to prove the damages or get some judicial buy in on that and some amounts are so large as to be unconstitutional. Then there's the part about actually collecting, which isn't necessarily easy as some types of wealth and income can't be garnished. That's who OJ was living such a lavish lifestyle up until his arrest and subsequent conviction.
  • by Atreide (16473) on Thursday October 01, 2009 @08:08AM (#29604011)

    "Jack Thompson [said] that the social networking site harmed him by not removing angry postings made by Facebook gamers."

    "Jack Thompson [argued] that the game caused violent behavior."

    Seems to me these angry postings prooved his cause
    by showing game caused violent behavior.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Sj0 (472011)

      You have a different definition of violent than I do.

      "Oh, I know what I'll do! I'll beat the tar out of him! NO! Better! I'll post an angry message to his facebook page! Why, he'll be so upset he'll start to cry! That's way better than beating the tar out of him!"

  • Jack Thompson should be disbarred. His lawsuits are nothing but frivelous and a waste of tax payer money. He must have blown all his money that he earned from his tv show and now needs to keep filing idiotic lawsuits in hte hopes to make money for his ridiculous lifestyle. This guy should be disbarred and then he should be exiled from our country.
  • ....Jack Thompson has already threatened Slashdot with a US$100 million lawsuit, saying that if the "news for nerd" site does not filter and removing any angry postings made by its' members.....

    • by elnyka (803306)

      ....Jack Thompson has already threatened Slashdot with a US$100 million lawsuit, saying that if the "news for nerd" site does not filter and removing any angry postings made by its' members.....

      Good luck with that.

  • This just in, angry crackpot won't piss off and die already. Next!
  • by OrangeTide (124937) on Thursday October 01, 2009 @08:15AM (#29604061) Homepage Journal

    Our right to free speech is a serious burden for this man, what can we do to ease his suffering?

    • by jimicus (737525)

      Well, you either abolish free speech nationwide or you make arrangements to get him residence in a country which is quite happy to silence people on the whim of someone powerful.

      I believe Zimbabwe should fit the bill quite nicely.

  • If I post on here that I would pay someone $50 to punch Jack Thompson in the face, would that cause him to sue Slashdot for $40m? :)

  • this guy may even get the chance to see a judge. He's been disbarred, and his legacy is one of contempt for the US Legal system.
  • Is tort and legal system reform...

    Proven batshit crazy nutjobs like Jack Thompson should be banned from filing lawsuits himself and should have a sane person appointed on his behalf to judge as to whether or not to file a suit.

  • Quick /. (Score:3, Funny)

    by immortalpob (847008) on Thursday October 01, 2009 @08:26AM (#29604161)
    Delete all these comments before Jack reads them or you are totally getting sued!
  • Seriously. Who is pulling his strings??

  • by G3ckoG33k (647276) on Thursday October 01, 2009 @08:31AM (#29604221)
    From a fairly recent Court Order [floridasupremecourt.org]

    "Thompson may petition the Court, but may do so only through the assistance of counsel, whenever such counsel determines that the filing has merit and can be filed in good faith. However, Thompsons frivolous and abusive filings must immediately come to an end. Further, if Thompson submits a filing in violation of this order, he may be subjected to contempt proceedings or other appropriate sanctions. All other pending petitions, motions, and requests for relief filed by Thompson are hereby denied without prejudice."

    After reading that Court Order, I must say that this man needs professional help. No, I am not talking about legal help. The examples provided by the Court are very convincing.
  • One Word (Score:3, Informative)

    by DynaSoar (714234) on Thursday October 01, 2009 @10:17AM (#29605277) Journal

    Barratry:

    "The act of persistently instigating lawsuits, often groundless ones."

    It's a crime. If anyone was seriously threatened by one of these, they could simply file charges. Facebook is already protected by the law per TFA, as Thompson should be well aware. Being aware and persisting makes it all the more likely he'd be convicted of this, and in each case receive greater fines and/or jail time.

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