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Cuccinelli joins letter to Topix.com about abusive online comments

Rosalind Helderman

Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli (R) has signed on to a letter with 22 other state attorneys general demanding that the online message board Topix.com cease charging $19.99 to provide expedited review for inappropriate messages left on the board.

An initial investigation into Topix by Kentucky and Connecticut found that obscene and abusive messages are routinely left in the "forums and polls" section of the popular online site, a violation of the site's terms of service. But when the company is alerted by users to the inappropriate posts, it charges $19.99 for a quick review.

"Targets of false, abusive, or obscene posts are being victimized a second time by being charged a removal fee for having the site take those posts down," Cuccinelli said in a statement. "I find it deplorable that a website would deliberately create an environment where these types of comments - many of them directed at children - are permitted and then allowed to remain on the website."

The letter is just one of many efforts made by state attorneys general in recent years to attempt to crack down on abusive and obscene online activity, particularly related to children.

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By Rosalind Helderman  |  May 14, 2010; 4:45 PM ET
Categories:  Ken Cuccinelli , Rosalind Helderman  | Tags: Attorney general, Ken Cuccinelli, Virginia  
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Comments

ASK BLUMENTHAL WHY HE SAID HE WOULDN'T TAKE ANY PAC MONEY AND NOW HE HAS !!!!!

Posted by: yourmomscalling | May 14, 2010 6:36 PM | Report abuse

I completely agree with Cuccinelli and the other officials. The level of on-line discourse is appallingly low. Obscenity and profanity are only the beginning. Name-calling, outright lies, and unrelated invectives are common. It is fascinating to see that the worst excesses are invariably accompanied by poor grammar, incorrect spelling, bad punctuation, overuse of exclamation points, and/or imprecise typing. Perhaps if there were an automatic screen for these indicators, the only postings remaining would be those written by people who have something intelligent to contribute.

Posted by: los22 | May 15, 2010 9:01 AM | Report abuse

This is the first evidence suggesting Cuccinelli cares about something other than his private agenda. Imagine -- being the Attorney General for all the people of the Commonwealth!

Posted by: Globo | May 15, 2010 9:07 AM | Report abuse

Cuccinelli is so gay

Posted by: SofaKingCool2009 | May 15, 2010 2:44 PM | Report abuse

Awesome Cuccinelli! Let us ALL hope that Topix does not succeed! This is not an ethical company, far from it, they are using devious programming practices and I can prove it:

Something way funky is going on over at Topix.com!
http://open.salon.com/blog/virginia888/2010/05/18/something_way_funky_is_going_on_over_at_topixcom

excerpt:
“Topix practices a form of censorship called “shadow-banning”. A commentator will be blocked from the forums, without any contact or warning notice email from the Topix company. They will then, continue to see on their computer, every comment they write posted to the forums. Unbeknownst to them, they are the only ones who can see these comments, every other Topix viewer does not see their comments. This programming dirty trick, can fool a banned commentator into commenting for months and months without realizing their writing is not being seen. I have been twice shadow-banned from Topix. The first time it took me over two weeks to discover it. I was lucky, it could have been months. Topix is also able to shadow-ban a single comment, the commentator sees it, no one else.”

Posted by: VirginiaHoge | May 19, 2010 8:36 AM | Report abuse

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