FPA Forums and Reviews Admin
Two Binary.com employees
threaten to sue the FPA over a forums post
threaten to sue the FPA over a forums post
Every post in the FPA's forums contains a Report Abuse button. This is supposed to be for reporting spam, uncivilized behavior, and other violations of forums rules.
Many people abuse the Report Abuse button by reporting every post they disagree with. That's not how a forum works. Within the boundaries of civilized discussion and anti-spam rules, the FPA's forums are designed to be as open as possible.
An FPA member and binary.com employee with the username karenyap reported the post FPA member marioruss made here...
Her report included the following statement...
Can you release me the contact details of "MarioRuss" so we can take proper action against this individual?
And please take this down ASAP, else you leave us no choice but to take legal actions against this matter.
I'd like to assure all FPA members that the FPA does not release private member information because a broker asks for it. The FPA does not release private member information because a company threatens to sue. The FPA also does not remove member content because of legal threats. I personally consider such a threat to be an attempt to blackmail the FPA into hiding what a member has to say.
Karen Yap also seemed to think the FPA should be screening out forums posts. Other than checking for spam, acceptable content, and multies, I try to permit members as much freedom as possible in the forums. If I turned every forums post into a full scale investigation before it was approved, I'd need 100 new staff members to handle the job.
As you can see in post #8 of the thread under dispute, FPA Member and Binary.com representative Jean-Yves Sireau submit a reply in May, 2016. Karen click Like on the post by Jean-Yves, even though his statement would make no sense without the initial post by marioruss.
I emailed Karen and CCed Jean-Yves...
I am in charge of front end content at the FPA. As I see it, I have 2 choices.1. Replace the contents of the post with...
"The FPA humbly apologizes for not carefully pre-screening all 3rd party content concerning binary.com and all other companies and individuals in the forex industry. Per a legal threat from (Karen's email removed), this post has been removed.
To prevent further incidents like this, all new forums posts will be moderated. Karen is hereby appointed to personally research and screen all 3rd party content at the FPA and agrees to bear full legal responsibility for the effects of all all content which is published as well as all content which is rejected effective immediately."
I'm going to have to reject this idea. As much as I would like to make you spend even a week moderating reviews and forums posts, there's no way forums users would put up with 100% of posts going into moderation. I also don't think you would be able to keep up with the workload while still doing your day job. Your competitors probably would not like it if you were in charge of what did and didn't get published about them.
So, I'm going to stick to current policy and go with...
2. You permanently and irrevocably withdraw all legal threats you have made against the FPA.
I'm going to need this by 5 PM New York time on Tuesday, August 15, 2017. Otherwise, I'll have no choice but to to begin take the steps outlined here...
Karen didn't reply. Jean-Yves send me an email disputing the content of the marioruss post. He didn't restate or lift the legal threat.
I wrote back. I explained to Jean-Yves that the FPA does not discuss or negotiate while under legal threat. I again asked for the threat to be lifted so that we could discuss the issue.
Jean-Yves wants me to not believe what marioruss wrote about his company, but wrote back with links to some anti-FPA hate sites which are full of lies. He said he'd be getting quotes for a lawsuit from US defamation lawyers. He went on to say that the FPA made a conscious decision to promote itself through defaming forex companies.
I wrote back and explained how the sites he was quoting were operated by scammers. I told him one was a broker who scammed clients and another was unknown group that demanded removal of materials about many scam companies, including companies charged with crimes by the CFTC.
I explained that his company opened what could have been a polite discussion with an attempt at what I consider to be legal blackmail. I explained that trying to hide behind the lies of known scammers was saying a lot about his company.
I explained that the content was 3rd party and protected by US law.
I told him he still had a choice to act like a civilized adult.
He responded in a way that surprised even me. He claimed that me calling a company a scam in email wasn't protected by US law. I suppose he didn't notice the big scam label the FPA applied to that company years ago. If they want to sue, the FPA stands ready to countersue for all the provable lies that broker has published. The FPA doesn't initiate lawsuits, but would not miss the chance to make that broker's employees take the witness stand and try to back up the libel they've been spreading.
He then went on to claim that US legal protections didn't apply because the FPA because of an unrelated case where there is a possible suspicion of a publisher creating an anonymous comment. The FPA keeps logs. I have evidence to show a judge which backs up the fact that no FPA employee was involved in making that post. He also claimed US protections didn't apply because of of the ownership not being US citizens. The truth is that the FPA is owned by an American corporation, so is subject to US laws. The Russian citizenship of the US resident who owns the corporation which owns the FPA is irrelevant.
In my final email to Jean-Yves, I pointed out the recent time weighting of reviews at the FPA. This was done about a week before the Binary.com lawsuit threat. The new weighting resulted in more companies getting an improvement in their overall rating than having their ratings reduced. I made sure to tell him how binary.com got a ratings improvement because of the new system.
I explained that forums don't get and never will get the same screening as reviews. The same post he was complaining about in the forums failed the first step of review moderation. I pointed out several other places where the review moderation benefited his company.
That was on August 11th. I haven't heard back from anyone at Binary.com or any defamation lawyers from the US or Russia yet.
Jean-Yves seems to think my job is to defame his company and all the other companies in the FPA's reviews. While this was going on, I had an unrelated person claiming my job was to promote all the companies in the FPA's reviews. If either of these people is correct, I should be fired, because I try to keep the reviews as fair as possible and try to give all sides the ability to share their points of view in the forums.