Be careful of defamation especially use of the word "rip-off"

Brendan Burgess

Please be very careful about the posts on this and other forums within Askaboutmoney about your experiences in named shops and with named service providers.

The moderators tend to leave balanced factual accounts seeking advice alone. But we tend to delete over the top rants which are just trying to damage the shop in question. We do this primarily because it is unfair to allow anonymous posters abuse a shop. But there are also practical legal reasons for this policy. We have had around 5 threats of legal action over defamation relating to such comments.

I would have to personally put my house on the line to defend the rights of some anonymous posters to make such allegations. So I make the call on whether or not to remove posts or threads which could be considered defamatory.

It is my opinion that describing an expensive shop as a "rip-off" is potentially defmatory. If someone accused me of ripping them off, I would consider that I had been defamed. We will delete all threads which describe high prices by named shops as rip-offs. If you think that you have been ripped off by a named shop and want to discuss your experiences, do so in the newspapers or on Marion Finucane, but don't do so on Askaboutmoney.

In my capacity as an ordinary poster, I disagree with people using the term "rip-off" to mean high prices and this has been discussed to death here. In my capacity as an ordinary poster, I will continue to challenge what I see as the misuse of the term, particularly in headings where it is not clear that the poster means high prices.

But in my capacity as the named owner of Askaboutmoney, I will not allow any comments stand which expose me to defamation proceedings.

Brendan Burgess