Legislation that protects websites from lawsuits is cleansing negative comments from online forums, BBC Radio 4’s You and Yours has been told.

Companies that threaten Section 5 defamation notices say they are a legitimate defence against false statements.

But one forum claims they lack the resources to challenge them, and criticisms are being “bleached”.

Section 5 of the 2013 Defamation Act says that a person or company whose reputation has been damaged has to first attempt to sue the person who made the comments, not the website operator.

This takes some of the pressure off hosting websites.

But with the significant rise in online reputation management in recent years, a forum has claimed the orders are having unintended consequences.


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