Remember Jack Thompson? You know, that lawyer in Florida who hated gaming, but loved making headlines? If the name doesn’t ring a bell, then perhaps you remember him as the guy who called Grand Theft Auto a “murder simulator.” Well, he got disbarred a while back, and it seems that he feels Facebook had something to do with it.
Earlier today, Thompson filed a $40 million lawsuit against the social networking behemoth for not removing comments that were critical of him, according to thestandard.com. At this point, I’d like to take a moment to discuss why Thompson was disbarred in the first place: In September of 2008, the Florida Supreme Court determined that he made “abusive and frivolous filings” within the state’s court system, and he was fined and permanently banned from practising law in the state.
To be entirely fair, there are some pretty abusive comments about Thompson on Facebook. A quick search turns up 430 group results with “Jack Thompson” in the title, and almost all of those are critical of the man. One politely suggests that Thompson is a homosexual; another implies that he is a feminine hygiene product, and yet another states that Jesus himself is none too fond of the man. I’m going to refrain from stating my own opinion about the man; he sues a lot of people, after all.
Thompson filed his Facebook suit after news broke that the site had removed a user poll that asked if Facebook patrons felt the President Obama should be shot. Of course, that was a matter of national security, and the Secret Service intervened. Thompson, meanwhile, apparently hasn’t read a law book in the last few years. Social networking services have no liability for what people do with their services.