(Online Dating Industry Journal) A lawsuit filed last year against the controversial Don't Date Him Girl Website has been dismissed. The lawsuit, filed by Todd Hollis, a lawyer, was for defamation for Don't Date Him Girl allowing a poster to "anonymously" post lies about him, something the site has been accused of quite a bit. Don't Date Him Girl has posted pictures, names, addresses, and other information of men who women post about. Don't Date Him Girl allows women to post warnings about men they've dating, including personally identifying information. They allow posts to be made "anonymously" although they claim that users have to provide personal identifying information to them before posting anonymously.
Don't Date Him Girl was formed by a former journalist, Tasha Joseph, who launched the site a few years ago and successfully courted major media publicity.
According to Judge R. Stanton Wettick, the "Defendant’s Web site is accessible to anyone connected to the Internet anywhere in the world. Under plaintiff’s argument, defendant could be hauled into court in any state for any controversy. This result would be inconsistent with the Supreme Court’s understanding of the requirements of due process."
The judge was referring to the lawsuit being filed in the wrong venue. Since Don't Date Him Girl resides in Florida, the lawsuit should have been filed in Florida, according to the judge. The suit had been filed in Pennsylvania. This leaves a potential option for Hollis to once again go after Don't Date Him Girl.
The lawsuit defendants received the support of the ACLU, which routinely takes on controversial cases surrounding the issue of "free speech". Don't Date Him Girl has been a source of continual controversy, some of which you can read in an Online Dating Magazine Inside the Industry column titled Reputation Management Systems like Don't Date Him Girl Have Several Flaws to Work Out.
Hollis originally filed the lawsuit in June of last year, claiming that his reputation had been ruined by laws posted on Don't Date Him Girl that the site refused to remove. Some of the lies he says were posted was that he had herpes, gave a girl an STD, is gay/bisexual, and has multiple children.
In analyzing the 14th Amendment, the judge concluded:
"In the present case, the Joseph Defendants do not perform a significant amount of commercial business over the Internet. thus the website is insufficient to establish general personal jurisdiction."
The Online Dating Industry Journal has left a message with Hollis for comment.
The whole venue issue is too bad. Many believed that the lawsuit was a longshot to begin with, but I applaud Hollis for moving forward with it. The thought that any Website can promote hate-filled vile messages presented as fact, but potentially rooted in rumor or lies, is not good. Joseph has been consistently saying that she is protected under a law that protects Internet Service Providers. Yet what she doesn't realize is that she isn't an Internet Service Provider. She is a Website hosted by an Internet Service Provider. A Website doesn't qualify as an Internet Service Provider.
I hope Hollis moves forward with filing the lawsuit in Florida. Joseph, who I once appeared with on Fox News needs to be held accountable for her actions in promoting and participating in a process that is ripe for defamation.