How JustAnswer Works:
  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site.
    Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.
Ask Dwayne B. Your Own Question
Dwayne B.
Dwayne B., Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 32354
Experience:  Began practicing law in 1992
11068102
Type Your Legal Question Here...
Dwayne B. is online now
A new question is answered every 9 seconds

When playing an online game, can I sue the games developer

Customer Question

When playing an online game, can I sue the games developer for harboring bullies?
Submitted: 5 months ago.
Category: Legal
Expert:  Dwayne B. replied 5 months ago.

Hello and thank you for contacting us. This is Dwayne B. and I’m an expert here and looking forward to assisting you today. If at any point any of my answers aren’t clear please don’t hesitate to ask for clarification. Also, I can only answer the questions you specifically ask and based on the facts that you give so please be sure that you ask the questions you want to ask and provide all necessary facts. Please note: This is general information for educational purposes only and is not legal advice. No specific course of action is proposed herein, and no attorney-client relationship or privilege is formed by speaking to an expert on this site. By continuing, you confirm that you understand and agree to these terms.

Unfortunately, no. To pursue a lawsuit there are two different things needed. The first one is damages, but it is often easy to find some kind of damages. The other one is a "cause of action" and that's where the issue comes with this case, there is no cause of action. There is no specific law against online bullying in a case like this but not only that, the website owner is protected by the Communications Decency Act. You can read about it at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Section_230_of_the_Communications_Decency_Act.

This is a wikipedia article that provides some background on the Act.

Essentially, the CDA states that when a user of a website writes and posts material on an "interactive website" like those with forums, games, etc. the site itself and the owners cannot, in most cases, be held responsible for the posted material. Specifically, 47 U.S.C. § 230(c)(1) states, "No provider or user of an interactive computer service shall be treated as the publisher or speaker of any information provided by another information content provider."

In addition, the CDA allows the website or its owners to countersue for attorney's fees and costs if they are sued.

If your question has been answered then I'd offer my best wishes to you and ask that you please not forget to leave a Positive Rating so I receive credit for my work. I am truly sorry to give you what I am sure is bad news, but please understand that it would be unfair to you (and very unprofessional of me) to provide you with anything less than a completely honest response. However, if your concerns were not satisfactorily addressed, then please let me know, and I will be happy to clarify my answer. Please remember to rate me based upon whether I answered your question, and not upon whether the answer was good news or bad news since I have no control over whether the law is in your favor or not.

Of course, please feel free to ask any follow up questions in this thread. I want to be sure that all of your questions are answered. In addition, once you issue your Positive Rating the question will lock open and you can come back to it anytime in the future if you think of something else.