Either Make Topix Abide by the Law or Take the Site Down
  • Petitioning Chris Tolles

This petition will be delivered to:

CEO of Topix
Chris Tolles
Tennessee Governor
President of the United States
Tennessee State Senate
Tennessee State House
U.S. Senate
U.S. House of Representatives

Either Make Topix Abide by the Law or Take the Site Down

    1. Heather Cohen
    2. Petition by

      Heather Cohen

      Franklin, TN

The first thing that I want to say is PLEASE DO NOT SIGN FOR ANYONE BUT YOURSELF.  I have been told that there are signatures on this petition of people who say they did not sign it.  This is not okay.  While I do want to collect as many signatures as possible... I do NOT want to do it by cheating.

Secondly, I suggest that you click the box that allows you to keep your signature private.  You do not need to post it publicly.  If you keep it private, nobody will know that you signed it except for the the legislators that are receiving emails about this peition and myself.  I will safeguard your privacy as this cause is about being attacked ONLINE and the last thing that I want to do is drag other people into this sordid drama.  It is terrible and I wouldn't wish it on my worst enemy.

Now... about the petition:

Naturally, when there is any degree of progress in society there also comes challenges and new issues that need to be addressed. Due to the rapid growth of technology, at the click of a button, we can publish, promote, and/or advertise anything we choose.

Most respected internet websites take great care in maintaining their reputation by regulating the content of their publications or posts, but there is one website in particular that has found the value in housing the criminals of cyberspace.

Topix, LLC has become notorious for its tolerance of offensive, defamatory, harassing, and even criminal posts. In August of 2010, CEO Chris Tolles joined into an agreement with the Attorney General’s office of 32 states. The Attorney Generals and Consumer Affairs were concerned about the conduct taking place on this website and found it necessary to address several issues surrounding that conduct and how Topix should handle those issues from that date on.

Prior to the agreement, Topix was charging $19.99 each and every time that a victim of harassment and/or defamation requested to have a post removed. The agreement specified that that charge would be removed. In addition, the agreements stated that Topix would remove posts within 3 business days of being notified that they contain harassing, illegal, or defamatory statements.

http://abcnews.go.com/2020/video/online-gossip-destroys-mans-life-15991950  

Also see:

http://toxictopix.blogspot.com/p/introduction-to-topix-dilemma-and-what.html

I believe that Topix has breached their contract with the Attorney General’s office. These “smear campaigns” are on the rise and Topix is the venue that is making that possible. The legal system is becoming more and more aware of this problem due to a rise in Topix related lawsuits. Chris Tolles silence and blatant refusal to comply, in addition to ignoring subpoenas, makes it clear that he does not care if lives are being destroyed and reputations are being tainted as long as he is getting that paycheck from ad revenue.

Consumer Affairs and the Attorney General’s Office in Tennessee have been notified of the breach of contract between Topix, LLC and the Attorney Generals and the matter is being investigated. However, the more people that file complaints, the more likely that they will take this seriously enough to take action.

In GA, a man recently won a $404,000.00 Judgment from a lawsuit against one defendant, who posted under six different screen names, on the controversial site.

http://abcnews.go.com/Technology/topix-innocent-mans-life-destroyed-anonymous-online-poster/story?id=15963310#.T23m79Xfw8U

Senator Jack Johnson’s office, among others, has taken interest in the matter and, if Topix (and other sites like Topix) cannot abide by the law and, if nothing else, keep the promise made between them and the Attorney General’s Office, we may see our legislation being affected within the next year.

In the past, Topix owner Chris Tolles has used the “freedom of speech” argument. But, I’m certain that this is not what was mean by freedom of speech. As in every other law, there is a distinct line where one person’s rights end and another person’s rights begin. That line has clearly been crossed in 99.9% of the posts made by posters on Topix.

As if this wasn’t enough to make you wonder how an organization as shady as this one could manage to fly under the radar for so long. Then you don’t even want to know what else I’ve found on Topix. Drug dealers are marketing their products via Topix in plain view.

http://www.topix.com/forum/city/holts-summit-mo/TB3OEHLS5P90RSHHK

http://www.topix.com/forum/drug/valium/TTBGB9DKNTC4AQI25/p3

This makes Chris Tolles and the employees of Topix, LLC accessories of a crime.

The public needs to be aware of this, and people need to know that they have a voice. If anyone has experienced a problem with Topix, they should report it to Consumer Affairs and your Attorney General’s Office today. Maybe if enough people take a stand, Topix CEO Chris Tolles will finally get the message that it is not okay to profit from criminal activity.

If you have been a victim of defamation on Topix, or any other forum, follow the below links for additional information on this subject.

http://www.ReputationDefenseOnline.com/

http://www.topixterror.com/ 

http://www.courantalumni.org/2010/08/09/topix-more-polish-same-crap/ 

 http://topixterror.com/?page_id=162 

http://www.abajournal.com/news/article/topix_gets_about_one_subpoena_a_day_email_addresses_of_anonymous_commenters/

HOW CAN WE FIX THIS PROBLEM?

1) By holding website owners accountable for what is published on their websites.  If this were to happen, I bet that Mr. Tolles would make more of an effort to keep defamatory, harrassing, and criminal posts off of his site.  It's called moderating and it's a concept that has not been used by Topix in the past; 

2) By requiring users to register for an account and only allowing 1 user per IP address.  Of course, there are ways to get around this but it would probably cut the "trolling" down by atleast 50%;

3) By amending the defamation/libel laws to make it a crime.  This way it would be easier for victims of defamation to pursue their attackers without having to dish out thousands of dollars for justice; and/or

4) By amending the cyberbullying/harassment laws so that they are more definite.  The laws are vague and, in most cases, the magistrates/district attorneys are not willing to pursue an attacker who uses a public forum as their venue to attack.  By making those laws more clear we would be making it easier to press charges on people who use public forums to attack their victims.

 

Recent signatures

    News

    1. Continued from below (pt 3)

      Heather Cohen
      Petition Organizer

      my first last name and links to my pages and other identifiable information was being blasted on this site along with false accusations and they expected me not to care either. It's hopeless. Sad… and hopeless.

    2. continued

      Heather Cohen
      Petition Organizer

      Continued from below…

      That is why I basically gave up. Most people don't understand, or even care to understand, how big of an impact internet defamation can have on an individual's life. Is it wrong? You bet it is. But, until there is a police branch that deals strictly with internet crimes (i.e. fraud, harassment, bullying, stalking, and child pornography/enticement), the issue is simply too big. The police are far to busy with crimes that take priority over "someone talking bad about someone else". The fact is that they don't care. Trust me… I know. I told my sob story to everyone from the Senator to the police chief and everyone in between. They don't care… and neither do I anymore (about what they did to me). I just wish I hadn't put so much time and energy into trying to change something that I couldn't change. What a waste of my life. Half of the people I told my story to said the same thing… just turn off the computer. Don't go to Topix. They didn't care that

    3. Getting Nowhere

      Heather Cohen
      Petition Organizer

      Ladies and Gentlemen,

      It's been several months since I have checked in to the site to see if there has been progress. I'm amazed that there are quite a few new signatures. Unfortunately, I've come to realize that this battle is much bigger than I ever imagined. Several months ago, I met with senator Jack Johnson. We had lunch. He is a very nice man and treated me with decency and respect. I proposed legislature and requested that the language of the current statutes be modified to include internet forums as a medium for harassment and bullying. He flat out told me that there's too much money in the internet and that the "push back" would be far to big to handle. Corporate companies (such as Topix) have very deep pockets and make a lot of money because of the lax laws and jurisdictional issues that come with the internet. Anytime anyone with any degree of political influence attempts to threaten that… they get shut down (a.k.a. lose votes). Nobody wants to touch this...

    4. Reached 250 signatures
    5. Chris Tolles Complies With Subpoena

      Heather Cohen
      Petition Organizer

      I am happy to announce that Mr. Tolles has finally complied with the subpoena issued to him on May 1, 2012. This doesn't solve all of our problems. But, it is a start. Mr. Tolles, there may be hope for you yet.

      Heather Cohen

    6. Reached 50 signatures
    7. CEO Chris Tolles Responds to Me By Email

      Heather Cohen
      Petition Organizer

      Heather:

      To be clear, we have agreed to review feedback entered into our system. We have not agreed to remove everything everyone asks us to, and that is left to our discretion.

      The people who make the posts and not us, the forum, are indeed the responsible party here.

      As this is a weekend, I'll ask my folks to review this issue, but it may be Tuesday before we had a chance to look this over.

      -CST

    8. Reached 25 signatures

    Supporters

    Reasons for signing

    • Anita Kanitz STUTTGART, GERMANY
      • 8 months ago

      The law is not the private property of lawyers, nor is justice the exclusive province of judges and juries. In the final analysis, true justice is not a matter of courts and law books, but of a commitment in each of us to liberty and mutual respect.

      -- Jimmy Carter

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:
    • raina richardson SAVANNAH, TN
      • over 1 year ago

      Everyone is against bullying and this is one of the worst places that it happens!!! Please just remove this whole site!!!!

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:
    • Wendy Dodd BOLIVAR, TN
      • over 1 year ago

      I had a friend die and people can be cruel not only did they speak ill of him. There were comments before he was dead ...then before he was buried, it was pitiful...his poor parents..its awful...GOSSIP...BULLYING

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:
    • Danny Shirley RAMER, TN
      • over 1 year ago

      Allowing anyone to slander another with statements I've only seen only public restroom walls is outrageous. Someone she be liable.

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:
    • Adam Hicks SELMER, TN
      • over 1 year ago

      Because this site is garbage people can get on here and bash other people under fake names, it dies nothing but cause trouble.

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:

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