Folks I recently deleted two threads from my forums, these threads were about a year old and thus were spidered and indexed by the ‘big three’. If I had have spotted these threads at the time they were posted I would have deleted them straight away as they were simply threads going on about how great a certain company is, I believe SPAM is the word you kids are using these days, yes SPAM plain and simple.
Anyhow the threads got through the forum moderation team (me) for whatever reason I don’t know, perhaps it was a busy week so I didn’t even know these threads existed. That was until about two months ago when I started getting emails asking me to remove them because they were ‘inaccurate’.. whatever that means. When I didn’t ‘jump’ when they asked me to ‘jump’ they started asking me for my solictors number so legal action could begin.
Can you believe that? They spam my site and then about a year later when one of the threads appears in Google and I refuse to remove it (at least for the time being) because I don’t like being told what to do be spammers (as it kind of means they ‘win) they threaten legal action. I asked them what possible grounds would they have for legal action against me and my site, there was no response. That was the end of the email ‘correspondence’ (or threats), however this week the voicemails and phonecalls from Manhattan in New York started coming in, about three or four in total, asking me in a not so pleasent tone to ‘cease and desist’ and remove the threads as they were ‘inaccurate’.
I toyed with the idea for a couple of days, not actually knowing if this went further (and I continued to refuse to remove the threads) could it put the future of the site at risk. I came to the decision to just remove the threads and forget about them just in case any ill effects could come my direction by way of any legal action this company may opt to take.
I have to admit that I didn’t feel good about it afterwards, I felt I was right (morally at least) to refuse to remove these spam threads (which by this stage were ’buried’ and not detracting from the quality of topics) from my forums so removing them certainly felt like handing a victory to the spammers. What do you guys think? What would you have done? Was I indeed breaking some ‘law’ which could have resulted in legal action being taken against me? Have I let the ’side’ down? Should I have made it more frustrating for them?