A large website that hosts user-created content has recently announced that it is redacting links to a fundraising campaign for a lawsuit against it "under direction from [its] legal team." Is there a theory of liability under which there is some legal risk for hosting said links?

Assume any action would be under Second Circuit and New York state law.


1 Answer 1



The directors of a company have a fiduciary duty to act within the law for the benefit of their shareholders - not to their customers, not to the government, not to the environment and not to the public.

A lawsuit against the company will incur financial loss irrespective of if it is won or lost. It is difficult to see how it is in the shareholder's interest for the company to be enabling the funding of a lawsuit against it.

  • 18
    If the removal of said links harms the relation with the community, and the companies value is largely based on goodwill, one could argue that it is in the shareholders benefit to leave the links as they are.
    – DeltaLima
    Commented Nov 15, 2019 at 9:48
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    So what is the legal risk? And to whom? Is it the CEO? Would the CEO be opening themselves to a personal lawsuit from the shareholders? Would the company as a legal entity be opening itself to a lawsuit from the shareholders? Why are the links to the fundraiser page specifically a problem? Are user names mentioning the law suit different? Could you please expand this answer?
    – terdon
    Commented Nov 15, 2019 at 10:08
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    @DeltaLima It is true there is a counter argument, but the OP just asked for "a theory of liability under which there is some risk". This answer gives one such theory. Commented Nov 15, 2019 at 12:49
  • 6
    The irony is that the Streisand effect means that removing such links aggravates the problem. It's literally a lose/lose when it comes to this. Therefore, the company already broke it's fiduciary duty by letting the situation escalate to that point.
    – MSalters
    Commented Nov 15, 2019 at 12:56
  • 4
    @MSalters the did not break their fiduciary duty. Screwing up a business decision is not a breach of duty - they can make mistakes.
    – Dale M
    Commented Nov 15, 2019 at 20:02

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