Controversial CEO persuades a Florida judge to order that Yahoo! remove critical comments posted by two anonymous writers on a message board.
STUART, FL --
Saying he and his family were the victims of cyberstalkers, Digital Domain Media Group Chairman and CEO John Textor persuaded a Florida judge to order that Yahoo! remove critical comments posted by two anonymous writers on a message board.
According to a report by the Palm Beach Post, the Textors last month asked for an injunction against the two commenters, who went by the screen names “investedjp” and “flypapernhoney.” Both posted critical comments as shares in Port St. Lucie-based Digital Domain (NYSE: DDMG) fell in recent months.
The Textors’ suit identifies the two commenters only as John Doe 1 and John Doe 2.
“The Textors have been, and continue to be, victimized and illegally threatened by the John Does,” wrote Fort Lauderdale attorney Matthew Nelles. “This violence is alarmingly increasing on a daily basis.”
As an example, Nelles pointed to a July 31 comment by investedjp that read, in part, “this is ALL about who the real textor is and those of us who have been around him no what your are dealing with. We will see how he explains this to both his children.”
In another post that alarmed Textor, one of the commenters referred to his wife Deborah, writing, “Say hello to ‘D’ for me.”
On some occasions, the commenters noted that Textor was in California fighting a lawsuit by former investor Carl Stork: “BTW hows the trial going is Los Angeles. Enjoy the weather John.”
The Textors asked Yahoo! to “temporarily take down and disable” the message board.
While Judge Sherwood Bauer didn’t go that far, he ordered Yahoo! to remove notes by the two commenters and to block them from posting further. The two commenters’ posts no longer appear on the Yahoo! message board where investors discuss Digital Domain.
Bauer denied the Textors’ request to seal the documents filed in Martin County court.
Steven Friedman, a former CPA who lives in Palm Beach Gardens and often posts comments about Digital Domain on the message board, said he read the critical posts by investedjp but saw none that suggested violence.
“I don’t recall anybody threatening anything,” Friedman said.
Nasty notes from anonymous commenters are just part of the fallout from Digital Domain’s crash in recent months. Shares, trading at $1.12 this afternoon, have fallen 88 percent since May 1.
“I wish we never went public,” Textor told West Palm Beach commissioners during a presentation on Tuesday.
Jennifer Wolfe is Director of News & Content at Animation World Network.