14 September 2009

UK - Boxer threatens Facebook with legal action

The WBA light welterweight champion Amir Khan and his promoter, Frank Warren, are squaring up to the social networking site Facebook in a legal battle that could have far-reaching consequences. The pair have engaged lawyers to threaten the US internet company with action over the use of images and names alongside material they consider to be defamatory and racist. Stephen Taylor Heath, head of sports and media at Lupton Fawcett, said that a cursory search of Facebook quickly led to "bogus" pages that used the images and names of the pair to link to material that would be "highly defamatory" if published in a newspaper or magazine. Warren, who has fought several high-profile legal battles, is understood to be determined to force Facebook to change its policy and take responsibility for the more unsavoury opinions of its registered users. There is a legal grey area about the extent to which the operator of a website, or the provider of community tools, can be held liable for comments posted.