Man wins online defamation case
HARBIN: An online gamer won the province's first Internet-based defamation lawsuit earlier this month.
A young man surnamed Wei from Daqing in Heilongjiang Province, will get 1,000 yuan (US$120) and a public apology after abusive words were left posted on an online bulletin board service (BBS) for an entire day.
"The result is due to a lapse in the management of the website," said a court official surnamed Zhang, who witnessed the trial. "The website should have designed a language filter to get rid of abusive messages in the first place."
The case sends a clear signal to website administrators to keep a close watch over messages posted and better govern BBS services, he said.
The Daqing Intermediate People's Court ruled in Wei's favour on appeal, overturning a prior decision by a lower court.
Wei was a registered user of "aoxuezhongtian," a website which offers online games operated by a cyber information company in Daqing.
About 10 days after his registration on the website, Wei logged on the website and found that his account number had been sealed.
The administrator claimed on the website's BBS that Wei had used software to cheat in the game. He also posted Wei's name as a warning.
Wei also found another user left an abusive message, which included his real name and address, on the BBS the next day.
Angry, Wei called the administrator and demanded the IP address of that user and the immediate deletion of the abusive words.
But the website ignored Wei's demand and refused to provide the information, reported the Life Daily.
Those abusive words stayed posted for nearly a day.
Wei sued the company in February and demanded a public apology and pecuniary compensation.
He was turned down by the district court, but then appealed to the intermediate court that ultimately ruled in his favour.
However, the company that operated the website insisted that it was the user who abused Wei and should be responsible.
According to the court, the website infringed on Wei's dignity by leaving the abusive language posted for nearly a day.
The website is no longer in operation.