For the time being at least, former Cincinnati Bengals cheerleader and convicted sex offender, Sarah Jones has won her defamation suit against Nik Richie and the dirty
.com. Jones claimed that two posts on the site defamed her. Specifically, one which alleged she had sex with every member of the Bengals and the other which alleged she had two STD's. She said those posts caused her mental anguish. They probably did. The underage kid she had sex with might need some therapy down the road too. A jury awarded Jones $338,000.
When Richie appeals the verdict, which he will, the award will probably be set aside. The Communications Decency Act is what Richie relied on during his case, and it says that comments from third parties that is published on sites is protected speech and that the publisher should not be held responsible. If this verdict were allowed to stand, then every single comment on every single website would have to be moderated or verified before allowing it to be posted.