Industry NewsTechnology

Real estate broker’s lawsuit over blog comments dismissed

Future-Proof: Navigate Threats, Seize Opportunities at ICNY 2018 | Jan 22-26 at the Marriott Marquis, Times Square, New York

The Communications Decency Act protects website publishers from lawsuits based on defamatory comments submitted by their users, even when those comments are reposted by the website's administrators to a more prominent position, the New York Court of Appeals has ruled in a 4-3 decision.

In upholding a lower court's dismissal of real estate broker Christakis Shiamili's defamation suit against the operators of a defunct blog that promised to expose the "underbelly of the Manhattan Real Estate Market," New York's highest court said the defendants had only acted as editors and publishers, rather than creators, of most of the disputed content.

In February 2008, the blog -- allegedly created and administered by employees of a rival brokerage firm -- reposted a comment by an anonymous user who claimed Shiamili, the founder and CEO of Ardor Realty Corp., mistreated employees and was racist and anti-Semitic.

The commenter claimed that Shiamili had refer...