Ratingz posts consumers' reviews for all sorts of products and services, including services provided by lawyers. According to a recently filed declaratory judgment suit filed by Ratingz, one law firm, Adrian Philip Thomas, P.A., claimed that it was harmed by negative (and, it said, libelous) ratings posted on Ratingz' site. Adrian Philip Thomas threatened to sue Ratingz, and so Ratings acted preemptively, suing for a declaratory judgment that it has a right as a website operator, under section 230 of the Communications Decency Act, to display third-party content on its website.
claims are meritless and run afoul of bedrock legal principles protecting website operators. ... Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act categorically protects providers of 'interactive computer services' from suits such as this one seeking to make them responsible for the speech of their users. Without such protections, valuable sites like LawyerRatingz.com – or Facebook or Yelp or individual blogs that rely upon user comments – simply could not exist.
Read Ratingz' federal court complaint here.