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Censorship The Courts Your Rights Online

Financial Services Group WCS Sues Online Forum Over Negative Post 112

Posted by samzenpus
from the I-wish-you-wouldn't-say-that dept.
First time accepted submitter kavzee writes The popular Australian online discussion forum, Whirlpool, is being sued by a financial services group for refusing to remove a negative review about its services. A similar story occurred a number of years ago when another company by the name of 2Clix attempted to sue Whirlpool for the same reasons but later withdrew their case. "A financial services business licenced through National Australia Bank is suing an online forum for refusing to remove an allegedly fake and negative post about its services, claiming it has damaged its reputation with would-be clients. It is the latest legal action launched against an online forum or review website for publishing negative comments, following several high profile cases in Australia and overseas. Financial advice group WCS Group has initiated action against Whirlpool in the Supreme Court of Victoria, seeking unspecified damages and costs, despite the fact the forum generates no revenue."
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Financial Services Group WCS Sues Online Forum Over Negative Post

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  • by Applehu Akbar (2968043) on Sunday August 17, 2014 @01:09PM (#47689605)

    ...when Australia had the reputation, especially with conservatives, as being "America done right." How times have changed!

    • by BitZtream (692029)

      When was that exactly?

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by GNious (953874)

        I'm thinking it was around the time everyone there were either prisoners, or people hired to look after said prisoners ...

      • by TWX (665546)

        When was that exactly?

        Probably '86 - '88, when Paul Hogan fleetingly made a particular self-reliant stereotype popular.

      • Roughly speaking, the '60s and '70s.

    • ...when Australia had the reputation, especially with conservatives, as being "America done right." How times have changed!

      I'm not sure how this law suit falls outside that view...

    • Australia has been heavily corrupt for decades.

      It's only since the navel-gazing that occured after the revelations of massive levels of governmental and police corruption (predominantly in Queensland) that occured in the early 1980s that Australians have had the temerity to try and deal with the problem - and every investigation in every state is uncovering greater or lesser levels of corruption in government and business circles.

      It's said that sunlight makes the best disinfectant - for many years australia

      • I knew Australia was in trouble, freedom-wise, when a judge stripped a dwarf of his right to be tossed in bars for profit, saying it violated the dwarf's "dignity".

        So he stripped the dwarf of the dignity of being a sef-reliant, self-deciding, sovereign individual and turned him into a ward of his local royal highness.

          " I decide when you have dignity, not you, dwarf!"

  • not smart (Score:5, Funny)

    by slashmydots (2189826) on Sunday August 17, 2014 @01:15PM (#47689639)
    Why did WCS hire Barbara Streisand? She doesn't know anything about investing.
  • by deodiaus2 (980169) on Sunday August 17, 2014 @01:29PM (#47689711)
    In an age where companies collect and trade info about customers, it seems only fair that customers should be able to trade info about companies and governments. I hate it when my bank sends info about me to their financial investment partners. Banking and investing are separate business, however there is money to be made off suckers and to avoid people with financial or legal problems.
    The most egregious of these are doctors, who recommend unnecessary procedures just because you have the money to afford them. A patient puts his trust in a doctor, yet it seems as if oftentimes this trust is misplaced. I noticed that Angie's List no longer maintains reviews on doctors. They must have been sued into silence.
    The other day, Fox news ran a story about a lawyer who was charging his client money for sleeping with her. Funny story, but it would have been even funnier had they released the name of the lawyer. Whatever happened to free speech and defending to the death our right for it.
    • Whatever happened to free speech and defending to the death our right for it.

      That was some British chick talking about what she thought a French dude believed. This is an Aussie mess, so I don't think it applies.

  • I mean, all the companies do fake positive posts, buy likes, give presents like whole tablets for 'free' (for positive ratings), so why would it be more illegal to post fake negative comments?
    In the end you can never tell which post is real and which is not, do you?

  • The comment. (Score:5, Informative)

    by Macfox (50100) * on Sunday August 17, 2014 @03:02PM (#47690091) Homepage
    This is the comment they're referring too apparently. http://forums.whirlpool.net.au... [whirlpool.net.au] Could have all been dealt with, had they participated in the forum to correct any misunderstanding. Too late for that now.
    • by KitFox (712780)

      In many cases it is more "profitable" to do something dumb, take a loss, thus being able to write off that loss on taxes and make more net as a result. Having somebody handle the forums intelligently would cost money that couldn't be written off.

      • by sribe (304414)

        In many cases it is more "profitable" to do something dumb, take a loss, thus being able to write off that loss on taxes and make more net as a result. Having somebody handle the forums intelligently would cost money that couldn't be written off.

        Wow. You just really don't have the first clue about accounting do you?

        • by KitFox (712780)

          Sadly I do. I just simplified things for folks. Not going to bother to type out details for you though. Go to school if you want to learn those.

          • I'd say you oversimplified, because I have no idea what you could be talking about.

            • by KitFox (712780)

              That's because you are most likely an intelligent person working for a company that is unlikely to pull dumb stunts and so the mere concept of the depths of the stupidity that some companies harbor in the name of "RoI" and "Risk vs Profit" is completely foreign to you. Hopefully you will be able to continue to stay unknowing, as the reality is ruddy scary.

              Here is a small example: "Let's give WORSE customer service. We will make them wait for one hour on hold for very basic tech support, then anything that c

  • Error messages when posting. The reason you are seeing multiple postings from people is because they are receiving an error message saying: "please try posting again you are either behind a firewall or a proxy." Even though their post has been posted it is telling them to try again.
  • by jonwil (467024) on Sunday August 17, 2014 @06:23PM (#47691105)

    Anyone in Australia who hasn't at least considered one of the many smaller (and better) financial institutions instead of the big 4 banks (or one of their subsidiaries) is stupid, the smaller guys are just as good (if not better) than the big 4 when it comes to service, products etc and they dont do a lot of the crap the big 4 do.

    • by mjwx (966435)

      Anyone in Australia who hasn't at least considered one of the many smaller (and better) financial institutions instead of the big 4 banks (or one of their subsidiaries) is stupid, the smaller guys are just as good (if not better) than the big 4 when it comes to service, products etc and they dont do a lot of the crap the big 4 do.

      Yep, I dumped NAB and went to Citibank and GE Money...

      I almost miss NAB some days... Almost.

      • by jonwil (467024)

        Considering that Citibank is part of the gang of big US banks directly responsible for the Global Financial Crisis through their dodgy practices and considering they are just as bad as the big 4 when it comes to doing evil crap, I wouldn't go with them either.

        I used to be with the National once, then I switched to P&N Bank (formerly Police & Nurses credit society) who were really really good (and are the only WA based bank left). Then I moved to Queensland and wanted to switch banks to one that had

        • by mjwx (966435)

          Considering that Citibank is part of the gang of big US banks directly responsible for the Global Financial Crisis through their dodgy practices and considering they are just as bad as the big 4 when it comes to doing evil crap, I wouldn't go with them either.

          To be fair, if anyone but Citibank offered a similar product I'd jump ship.

          But I do a lot of transactions overseas and Citbank are the only one with no conversion fees what so ever.

  • Really Bad idea... (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Billlagr (931034) on Monday August 18, 2014 @02:21AM (#47692919)
    Whirlpool is incredibly popular, and has a very loyal user base - the offers of money for a legal fund are starting to roll in! I saw nothing in the thread that is defamatory, the OP asked for advice, was told 'do your homework' (entirely sensible), OP came back and said 'I found a better deal, thanks'. Nobody came out and said "this company is shit!" I very much doubt they have a leg to stand on, and all they have done is ensure that a future Google search will bring this little act of douchery up and forever associate their name with it. Good Job!
    • by mjwx (966435)

      Whirlpool is incredibly popular, and has a very loyal user base - the offers of money for a legal fund are starting to roll in! I saw nothing in the thread that is defamatory, the OP asked for advice, was told 'do your homework' (entirely sensible), OP came back and said 'I found a better deal, thanks'. Nobody came out and said "this company is shit!" I very much doubt they have a leg to stand on, and all they have done is ensure that a future Google search will bring this little act of douchery up and forever associate their name with it. Good Job!

      It should also be added, the majority of WP users didn't even have a clue about WCS until there was a news article in major papers saying that the NAB owned WCS was suing them.

      This is probably going to be back-pedalled faster than Tony Abbott running from gays on a boat.

      • by Billlagr (931034)

        This is probably going to be back-pedalled faster than Tony Abbott running from gays on a boat.

        I like your style. The whole thing stinks like lawyers fishing for business. Had they just left it alone, without the lawyering and heavy handed threats, it would have faded away and been forgotten in short order. The thread would have been buried away amongst the other bazillion now inactive threads. Doing this ensures that they generate huge amounts of negative, national publicity and probably some kind of back

  • Suing Whirlpool will have a much bigger negative impact on their business than any post would have. Goodbye WCS.

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