PostAlmostAnything.com is a global classified advertising service dedicated to fostering free speech on the internet. It has everything you would expect of a classified advertising site where people can post community, housing, employment, personal, service, and shopping ads, but with one thing that sets it apart from the rest. The Rant and Rave Section where you can exercise your right to free speech in a way never before possible regardless of where you are. In this section we will outline the legal policies and free speech protection that really makes PostAlmostAnything.com special before concluding with a guide for how to prevent cyberbullying.
Legal Policies and Protection Levels
PostAlmostAnything.com benefits from free speech protection laws in several jurisdictions and extends that protection to its users. Those jurisdictions include the United States, the State of Oregon, and the jurisdiction where the server resides.
United States Law and Jurisdiction
PostAlmostAnything.com is protected by the First Amendment of the United States Constitution and Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act as provider of online services.
First Amendment Protection
The First Amendment grants us freedom of the press which gives us the right to accurately report statements made by third parties regardless of their content. It means that even if we pre-screened and published user generated content (UGC) ourselves that we would have the right to say something to the effect of "person X stated that person Y is…" regardless of how that sentence ends. That is because no matter what person X says about person Y the fact that the statement was made will always be true even if the content of the statement does not contain any accurate facts.
Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act
PostAlmostAnything.com is protected by Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act which grants immunity to online service providers from legal liabilities resulting from UCG. This means that when an end user agrees to accept full responsible for the content they publish that they alone are responsible for what they say. The law reflects the basic concept of personal responsibility that makes you responsible for what you do and not what someone else does.
Oregon Law and Jurisdiction
PostAlmostAnything.com and its staff all reside in the State of Oregon. As Oregon residents they enjoy additional protections under state law including the Oregon Media Shield Law, a lack of civil provisions against the publication of private facts, and state extradition laws.
Oregon Media Shield Law
The Oregon Media Shield Law protects anyone engaged in a medium of communication to the public from being forced to disclose the source of information gathered in the process by subpoena or otherwise. This law protects user data from being subject to discovery unless the data indicates that a crime has been or will be committed. The only information that PostAlmostAnything.com collects from users are IP addresses and email addresses. In order to get an Oregon judge to request that information one would have to prove that IPs and email addresses are evidence of a crime in and of themselves. There is no such thing as an illegal IP address and an email address can only be illegal if created using someone else's legal name for the purpose of impersonation.
Private Facts Law
Some states in America have enacted civil statutes against the publication of private facts that allow the subjects of such publications to file civil lawsuits against those that publish them. These laws typically require the publisher to show that the facts are newsworthy in some way. Oregon has no such law, so people are free to publish truthful information about private individuals even if it is not newsworthy.
Oregon Extradition Law
Oregon law requires that anyone facing criminal charges outside the state must have been physically present in that jurisdiction when the crime occurred. The only exception to this is if the defendant committed an act in Oregon for the purpose of creating a crime in that jurisdiction. This law protects PostAlmostAnything.com and its staff from extradition related to any charges based on an alleged failure to act because the existence of such a charge by itself would be an admission by the prosecutor PostAlmostAnything.com committed no acts at all.
Offshore Server Jurisdiction
PostAlmostAnything.com does not, has never, and will never host its file system on servers located in the United States due to the result of a research study on hosting solutions in countries that offer a higher level of free speech protection. PostAlmostAnything.com used this study to select its first host and compiled a list of preferred back up hosts in several countries. This decision was made to prevent frivolous lawsuits, enable us to run the site more efficiently, and to protect us in the event of any domestic judicial errors that could otherwise interfere with our operation. This configuration allowed the last prototype to keep operating for over a year and a half despite the owner being in jail and a federal judge ordering him not to have anything to do with that site while in jail because the site was configured to run with or without the owner.
Frivolous Lawsuit Prevention
The mean spirited, lazy, gullible, and ultimately stupid nature of web users has spawned an entire industry full of internet reputation management services. They include basic services that scan the web for negative information about you, submit removal requests to service providers, and try to sink negative search results with good information about you. Those services are all well and good, but there is a bad side of the industry that doesn’t know how to respond appropriately when being told no. The bad side of reputation management is made up of private investigators and attorneys.
Private investigators do good work at times because when tracking down cyber bullies their conflict resolution skills can be very persuasive in deterring future bullying, but they can get quite nasty when blocked by a human shield of immobile bystanders. In hours of desperation some have even been known to tenaciously harass bystanders to the point of stalking innocent service providers because like predatory frat boys with pockets full of roofies they know that "no means no", but they just don't care.
Attorneys often go hand in hand with private investigators, but are usually far more intelligent and their ability to manipulate the legal system can more than make up for any lack of face to face on the ground work that an investigator might do. Like ambulance chasers before them, today's civil litigators see the internet as one big emergency room full of minor bumps and bruises that are just a retainer away from becoming major life altering injuries.
Attorneys are the atomic bomb of all legal reputation remedies when no clear evidence of a crime exists. Given the right set of circumstances they can be so effective that our competitors have routinely done as they asked out of fear that not doing so might increase their legal expenses by making it necessary to hire their own lawyers to quash a motion. Unfortunately for our competitors they suffer from the strategic disadvantage of significant in country seizable assets such as buildings or offices containing expensive server hardware that could be confiscated by the government to pay a judgment. Domestic hosting companies share the same disadvantage and have a track record of imposing demands on their customers that create both unreasonable restrictions on free speech and human resource requirements to comply with demands that would otherwise be unnecessary.
PostAlmostAnything.com will never spend a cent defending itself from a civil litigator in an American courtroom because we won't have to. We won't have to because the same system that empowers civil litigators to make normal businesses fear losing everything they have ends with the same lines on that map which clearly define where a lawyer can practice law and where assets can be seized to enforce a judgment. It is beyond those lines where we keep our assets, so even in Oregon where personal jurisdiction exists over the PostAlmostAnything.com administration we reserve the right to deny any request that would require contact with a computer in a foreign country or produce funds from assets in foreign countries, so the buck stops with us as far the United States government in concerned.
Proven Track Record
Offshore jurisdiction has a proven track record for assuring compliance with site policies by domestic civil litigators. One of the prototypes received a 48 hour notice to remove a page when it was hosted with a major American hosting company following a complaint from a lawyer specializing in cyber law accusing a user of libel in a failed effort to get the UGC removed faster than it would be to comply with site policies. A quick move to a Malaysian server was all it took for this cyber law litigation specialist to see the error of his ways and prove his case to the site directly.
PostAlmostAnything.com is a fully automated software program that requires no human administration of any kind to run properly with the exception having people who make sure hosting needs are met. This gives PostAlmostAnything.com the ability to run at full capacity 24/7 regardless of usage levels, content quantity, or content quality. Offshore hosting is key to maintaining efficiency because it eliminates unnecessary human resource requirements that otherwise could become necessary to address content related squabbles with domestic service providers.
Legal Policies Based on Jurisdictional Factors
PostAlmostAnything.com has five basic legal policies based on jurisdictional factors. They are based on which laws are applicable to us, the extent to which we are willing to participate in disputes between third parties, timetables for information disclosure requests, personal appearances, and harasment deterrance.
1. Applicable Law
It will be the policy of PostAlmostAnything.com to treat every user as if they reside in Oregon regardless of where they are physically located. This means that users are welcome to use our service to commit crimes in their area as long as their behavior does not constitute a crime under Oregon law and the same rule applies to any behavior that may be tortious in their area, but not Oregon.
2. Disputes Between Third Parties
3. Information Disclosure Timetable
4. Personal Appearances
PostAlmostAnything.com will only make personal appearances for marketing purposes with the exception of in state judicial proceedings. In state judicial proceedings require adherence to the above timetable and that a user be found in violation of the TOU. Failure to provide proof of a violation to the site before a hearing will result in a no show that if followed by any unwanted pestering may result in PostAlmostAnything.com exercising its right as owner of an offshore asset beyond the court's control to protect its users by not interacting with the asset.
5. Harassment Deterrence
PostAlmostAnything.com will not tolerate harassment by third parties regardless of any job title the perpetrating party may hold. Harassment includes any unwanted contact, especially contact designed to intimidate us into doing anything we do not want to do. Those who harass us risk being declared enemies of the website and may be subject to punitive action such as account suspension or being blacklisted from communicating with the site.
Free Speech Defined
If it is not clear to you by now, PostAlmostAnything.com believes in free speech first and foremost, but that does not mean that we will allow people to say absolutely anything.
What is Free Speech?
Free speech is the right to communicate opinions, ideas, and truth without censorship. It gives you the right to share your opinion about something whether it is positive or negative, it gives you the right to suggest ideas no matter how unpopular they may be, and it gives you the right to share facts with others no matter how good or bad they may make a third party appear.
What is Not Free Speech?
Free speech encompasses so many things that it is better defined by identifying what is not free speech. Free speech does not include the right to threaten, incite crime, lie, or advertise in ways that illegally discriminate.
Threats are Not Free Speech
Threatening people in a way intended or likely to alarm them is not protected by the First Amendment. For instance we do not have the right to post rants containing death threats against you if you piss us off and neither does anyone else. Threatening violence against people will not be tolerated.
Inciting Crime is Not Free Speech
Statements that are intended or likely to persuade others to break any Oregon law are not free speech. For instance if we posted an ad offering a $500 reward to anyone who successfully eggs Donald Trump in public we would not be engaging in free speech because that would be inciting criminal harassment, but we still have the right to voice our opinion that seeing Donald Trump egged publicly would be hilarious and we would have the utmost respect for anyone who perpetrates such an act.
Telling Lies in Not Free Speech
Making false statements about people or organizations including any products they may produce is not free speech. If done on the internet using written words it is called libel and in severe cases may constitute criminal harassment. For instance if we posted a rant accusing you of child molestation when in fact you are not a pedophile we would be guilty of libel and harassment. Any user caught using our services to spread lies may be dealt with harshly.
Illegal Discrimination is Not Free Speech
PostAlmostAnything.com may allow you to express your opinion as colorfully as you choose in its Rants and Raves Section, but it does not want to see discriminatory language in other sections. Housing and Jobs are especially concerning because in some areas it is illegal to discriminate against potential employees or tenants based on race, religion, sexual orientation, and other irrelevant factors. In Community, Services, and Shopping we don't want to see profanity because such speech is not considered an effective way to advertise goods and services, write community bulletins, or provide constructive feedback.
Free Speech Policy
PostAlmostAnything.com will let anyone say absolutely whatever they want as long as their statements are true, non-threatening, are not intended to incite crime, and do not discriminate illegally. PostAlmostAnything.com will use all means available to empower its users and quell any efforts intended to prevent them from exercising free speech including any attempts to unjustly punish No Limit List itself for the conduct of users in good standing.
How Can Cyberbullying Be Prevented?
It is impossible for negative information published online to give web users a negative impression about any subject unless the users themselves let it. When reading information about a third party published online you can prevent yourself from being influenced by cyberbullying simply by asking yourself, if this were a product would I buy it? If not then you have no business using it to judge other people.
If people stop believing what they read online then it would be almost impossible to cyberbully anyone. Until then you have no one but yourself to blame for the negative opinions you allow to form in your own mind until you stop failing to scrutinize information you read online.