back to article Game censorship crusader sues Facebook for $120m

Anti-video game gadfly Jack Thompson is suing Facebook for $120 million, accusing the social website of causing him emotional distress by not removing threatening comments posted by gamers. Thompson is best known for his frenzied attempts to sue game makers over claims adult content in video games is directly responsible for …


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  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Just to echo...

    Jack Thompson is a fucking douche

  2. Inachu


    The guy is paranoid and needs meds.

  3. David 45


    Just what sort of attention-seeker is this muppet? Oh no - of course, he's in it for the money. Silly me.

  4. Glen 9

    double echo...

    Jack Thompson is a fucking douche

  5. Paul 4


    Just fail... He can't work out that there is a bit of a diffrence between saying someone should be hit in a slapstick way (clearly a joke) and assaination a world leader, and that oddly enough he dose not have the same clout as the secret service.

  6. adnim

    An idiot?

    Maybe. I personally think he is full of shit. But inciting people to smash the guy in the face for $50 is out of order, I am pleased the right thing has been done by removing this group. Wrapping an Atari 2600 around his head, just a joke, right?

    Yes a very, very small minority may enact scenes they have played in a game to exorcise their ghosts. I just wonder when this number will catch up with those who use TV and film as a guide to acceptable behaviour... or magazines, newspapers, politicians etc. I think you can see where I am going with this.

    I see desensitisation as the real devil in the detail of violent games and TV/movies. (The shite printed in popular publications, politicians etc.).

    Why? Because it makes it all the more acceptable

  7. Oninoshiko
    Big Brother

    not a significant gamer, but

    someone really does need to punch Jack Thompson in the face, but don't use an atari 2600, waste of a perfictly good Atari

    the face icon...

  8. Charles 9


    ...he has a point. Facebook should've at least had the courtesy to reply to the faxes rather than just blow them off. Now, do I agree with the damage amount? No, but that can be settled during litigation.

  9. EvilJason


    Is...Is...Is...he referring to him self in the third degree in his letters to the company?

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    I thought that websites were immune to the postings of their users, even if they use moderators. I even thought a few cases recently strengthened this.

    Perhaps as some lawyers do, he's hoping judges don't know much about the law, and often it seems even when they do they will allow illegal arguments or evidence unless it is challenged by someone competent enough to have knowledge of precedent. Judges apparently aren't allowed to tell you when your opponent is cheating.

    Still it will be amusing when he gets his arse handed to him in court, but I doubt either the comments or his public humiliation by Facebook lawyers will prevent him from spouting more ridiculous claims that video games are a good excuse for psychotic behaviour.

  11. Ian Ferguson


    Is he stuck in the 80s? I'm surprised Facebook even have a fax number.

  12. slooth


    Just because you say (in a joke, or in anger ) you will kill someone does not mean you will do it. A game is just that - a game. And because someone says they will wrap an Atari around your head does not mean they will do it. ALSO, just because you mark an email to the MD/Governor/President/Prime minister as URGENT does NOT mean you will get a reply.

    The fucktard needs to wake up. He is not the ONLY person in the world with a problem.

    We need sensibility here.

    Mine's the one with the "get out of jail free" card in the pocket

  13. The Vociferous Time Waster

    Just so we're clear...

    Jack Thompson is a fucking douche

    Can we not all just ignore him and let him fade into obscurity?

  14. Simbooth

    Waste of court time

    I think they should allow it to court; before reducing the damages to the cost of 3 faxes and not awarding costs.

    Seriously (IMO to avoid him suing me) this guy seems a core short of a cel processor.....

  15. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Atari 2600?

    Why waste what could be a perfectly good Atari 2600 in slapping this douche? A nice nail-studded 2x4 would do just as well.

    Or a frozen salmon.

    Or a disbarrment order from Florida sealed in concrete.


  16. Anonymous Coward
    Big Brother

    A boot, stamping on Jack Thomson's face - forever.


  17. Anonymous Coward

    Thick skin

    He should get a thicker skin. Nor should he be surprised if he gets attacked if he attacks the games industry.

  18. Darkone

    He had to find something new to complain about

    Jack Thompson... After he had Howard Stern removed from a station in Orlando in 2004 and consequently Howard moved to satellite, hes had to find a new topic to complain about.. The guy is a total jackass.

  19. Anonymous Coward

    Odd architecture in here

    All these echoes!

    Jack Thompson is a fucking douche.

  20. Anonymous Coward

    Jack Thompson is a White Knight

    Riding for the cause of those who don't need it, don't want it and wouldn't stop to look if he got hit by a bus.

    Since he got disbarred for his actions the would has been a more acceptable place, however now it seems, he is back, going for the big money, god help us all if the US let this guy win.

    Post him a dollar stuck to an envelope for the cost of the faxes sent and call it quits.

    Some posts may be a little out there on Facebook, but really, it is the meeting place of like minds to rant and rave and discuss their illicit meetings and rear guard activities.

  21. JimC
    Thumb Up

    I think he's got a point...

    Too many companies in the "Internet age" are keen to take the money but not the responsibility... If the people who make a profit from a set of circumstances don't pay then who should?

  22. Random Coolzip


    "He is not the ONLY person in the world with a problem."

    Ah, but he's the only person in HIS world with a problem. Planet Jack's a pretty rocky place, and could do with a good suck on the media teat.

  23. Pablo

    He's probably half right

    In that he suffered millions of dollars worth of of emotional distress. His behavior seems to bear that out. I just don't think he can pin it on Facebook, I suspect it happened much earlier.

  24. Tom Maddox Silver badge


    Good cast . . . now reeeeeel them in, nice and slow.

  25. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down


    >"Facebook should've at least had the courtesy to reply to the faxes rather than just blow them off."

    No they shouldn't have, they're under no obligation to waste their time answering green-ink letters from every kook and wackjob out there, and taking him the least bit seriously would only encourage him. Never respond to a troll!

  26. Anonymous Coward

    I got your real-world violence right here...

    Every time I read of Jack Thompson's shenanigans, I am overcome with all sorts of violent urges. The man is his own self-fulfilling prophecy!

  27. Maty

    How about ...

    A game called 'Kill Tom Jackson'? (No resemblance to anyone living or dead ...) Make the guy a douchebag ambulance-chasing lawyer. The objective is to wipe him out in any one of a number of possible ways before he wins a $100million lawsuit. Extra bonus if you can get the grand piano to drop on his head just as he approaches the courthouse doorway, or attacked by a poisonous pet octopus.

    Naturally this would be just a game, and I stress this lest people start stringing grand pianos over courthouse entrances or combing the south seas for venomous octopi.

    I should also like to point out that reading the (totally unrelated) article about someone justifiably and properly suing Facebook for their incredible negligence caused my blood pressure to rise to dangerous levels. That puts the Reg on the hook for ... shall we say £20mill? Make it 50 to be sure.

  28. dunncha
    Thumb Up

    I agree with Jack Thompson

    Facebook is shit and If I can come up with a way of scoring $120 big ones from them for nothing. Bonus

    And WOW is shit and should be banned!

    Who is Jack Thompson anyway? Does he Post here?

  29. Anonymous Coward

    Incase someone missed it....

    Jack Thompson is a fucking douche.

  30. fishcakes

    I wonder if he sees himself as some sort of superhero

    But what would his superhero name be?

    I vote for "Retardo the Wonder Boy."

    Da dada d'uuhhh.

  31. Alistair MacRae

    If all is fair

    Jack Thompson's face is offensive to me, quite probably enough to move me to violence. Does that mean we can ban his face?

  32. Dave Brown 1

    Minor article edit required

    Replace Gadfly with Nutjob.

  33. Peter Gray

    Faxing the CEO?

    I can't say I'm a fan of this idiot, but I don't agree with the "$50.00 to punch him in the face" thing - we run the risk of convincing non-gamers that he may be right when we do things like that.

    That said, is faxing the CEO of the company the suggested means to get something removed? I don't use Facebook, but I suspect there is some info on how to lodge a complaint through the correct channels.

    Probably best if he doesn't use email though, I have no difficulty imagining him spamming everyone to get his message across.....

  34. Anonymous Coward

    He's just some douche?

    Jack Thompson isn't just some douche, or idiot, or crusader - nothing that benign. Jack Thompsom is a bully, pure and simple. What makes him dangerous is that he is a smart bully. He knows how to use the legal system, launching legal actions to intimidate, harass, and ultimately force people to do his bidding. If you are summoned into court to defend yourself, you need a lawyer. How long can YOU pay a lawyer? Jack Thompson doesn't have to - he IS a lawyer. It's usually costs less to simply OBEY him instead of fighting him in court. Imagine the chilling effect on free speech - if you speak your mind, you get sued.

    Grenade? I guess I cannot safely advocate taking a greased grenade, and shoving it right up his .... anymore. But Jack Thompson cannot die of natural causes soon enough to suit me. No wonder dictators always kill the lawyers first.

  35. amanfromMars 1 Silver badge

    Crime doesn't Pay so who Offers Protection and Other Options

    "I should also like to point out that reading the (totally unrelated) article about someone justifiably and properly suing Facebook for their incredible negligence caused my blood pressure to rise to dangerous levels. That puts the Reg on the hook for ... shall we say £20mill? Make it 50 to be sure." ...... By Maty Posted Friday 2nd October 2009 01:36 GMT


    Given the Friends in IT that El Reg Attracts [with probably a Good Proportion of them Certifiable] to Court Mayhem in Spheres of ITs Influence would be Most Unwise as IT can Easily Completely Wipe Out Perps Financially.

    Closing their Bank Accounts will Freeze All Assets and Destructive Actions which means that the Monetary Banking System is the Supply Driver for the Delivery of War Games for Real for without their Money Laundering and Paper Currency Facilities would Reward Payment to Warrior Terrorists not be possible ......... and thus is Present Military Industrial Complex Chaos Laid to Rest at their Vault Doors?

    Colluding and Conspiring with Deadly Forces to Hold Humanity to Slave Ransoms with Central Bank Spider Control of Virtual Sums/Fully Transferable Great Fortunes, which can surely be Put to Better Beta Good Use in Better Beta Good Hands, would be an InterNetionally Catastrophic Business Model to Champion and Lead, whenever Global ReConstructions are Vogue...... Hot Stuff.

  36. Anonymous Coward

    Here we go again...

    ....look just cut of his publicity air-supply! Plain and simple!

    Stop this giving this prat time and space in new articles, then his sad little crusade will die, every time you mention MR X ( as I shall now call him to avoid giving him "airtime" ), he gets more interest from the raving middle classes who think that banning dodgy media is the answer to saving little Jocasta's sanity, meanwhile drive air-polluting 4x4s 1 mile up the road, brain-damaging little Jocasta far more!

    MR X sounds like he has issues if he needs to sue for hurt feelings from a bunch of mouthy, spotty, cellar dwelling gamers, writing childish comments on a forum no one will ever read!

    MR X needs to clear off and grow a pair, worrying about what spotty gamers think indeed!

  37. alien anthropologist

    and echoed in capitals..


  38. Henry Wertz 1 Gold badge

    He's "emotionally distressed" alright...

    but I don't think facebook did it to him considering he's been that way since before Facebook was even founded. Allegedly. Yeah.

  39. David S 1

    I think

    Mr. Thompson seems to have too much spare time on his hands. He probably also needs to get out a bit more: I hear walking in the countryside can be very helpful.

  40. Dave Ross

    Another JT story?

    Nothing to see here folks, move along quietly.

  41. RobMc

    Why the CEO?

    Why did he get directly onto the CEO about it?

    Surely there's a customer services / support section for this kind of thing?

    Notifying the CEO does not mean you've notified Facebook...

  42. Anonymous Coward

    Count me in on the echo

    Jack Thompson is a douchebag.

    This guy should be captured then stranded on a desert island that's 10m x 10m in size and surrounded by shark-infested waters and an electrical fences, with no technology and no food.

    Granade. Should problably drop a live, triggered one on the island with him before leaving.

  43. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Jack Thompson is a fucking douche

    O so true.

    Can we have a douche icon please.

  44. Steve Sherlock


    Just imagine what you could do with 120 million dollars...

    I'd go with getting Jack Thomson smacked in the face 6 million times.

  45. Stef 4

    Thompson again? Seriously?

    He is suing for emotional distress?

    This is the guy that stereotyped Scottish people as kilt-wearing alcoholics. Can all of Scotland sue him?

    This is the guy that said he would give $10,000 to Paul Eibeler's favourite charity if people would make a game that conformed to his sick and twisted fantasy. Naturally, when 5 people immediately made 5 games, he refused to give the $10,000 to charity. What a douche bag. Luckily Penny Arcade made the donation instead for him. You know those penny arcade guys, who host a big children's charity thing each, while Thompson creates bigger and bigger lawsuits.

  46. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Where would it end?

    If FB did that for everyone that was persecuted in a group's name, where would it end?

    If you go through society doing such things, you must learn to live with these sort of feedback.

    Maybe the cash incentive to hurt him is a bit too much, but the rest is just nonsensical fun group names that actually have no basis in reality outside of FB. If someone did end up hitting him across the face with an Atari 2600, then I don't see how FB could really be liable. He might, but then he's a fucking douche - simple as that.

  47. Anonymous Coward

    RE: slooth 'et al.'

    No typing violent threats whilst chuckling to yourself is still making violent threats. It's a bit like trying to wink at some one over the telephone. Perhaps a course in netiquette should be compulsory before being allowed online.

    I used to think that video games did not condition an impulse to violent behavior, but then I started reading the comments posted on websites by other gamers who thought the same way. There are ways of dealing with life's challenges other then reaching for the linguistic equivalent of a rusty chainsaw which seems to be about the only response you gamers have been left capable of.

    anonymous because lets face it, suggesting video games encourage aggression is like pouring petrol on an open fire.

  48. Graham Bartlett
    Dead Vulture



    Or maybe Reg, with regards to this icon.

  49. Dan 10

    Douche douche douche

    "Jack Thompson should be smacked across the face with an Atari 2600"


    As for faxes, you just know he sent them to Zuckerberg's PA office fax number. You really think that will get the problem resolved? You would likely have infinitely more success by simply using the links provided on the site to report offensive material. But no, this idiot is too important to have his request sit in a queue with the other plebs. Obviously a billionaire CEO should drop everything, stop thinking about strategy, vision etc and deal with the crazed rantings of this moron.

  50. DavCrav

    @Steve Sherlock - Division Fail

    "Just imagine what you could do with 120 million dollars...

    I'd go with getting Jack Thomson smacked in the face 6 million times."

    120 000 000/50 = 2 400 000.

  51. lpopman

    about the Atari 2600...

    The internals are housed in a thick metal case to shield the RF interference and to also serve as a heat sink.

    An original 2600 can quite easily stay intact after a heavy impact ;)

  52. lpopman
    Thumb Up


    I was thinking that myself, He was probably using an old Pentium with the FDIV bug.....

  53. Daniel 31

    pacman made me do it...

    Yeah, Pac-Man made me pop pills, make funny noises and eat sutff lying around the place...

    OH WAIT.... NO.... Sorry my bad, that was just uni :P

    Anyways, can i sue facebook for just existing??? its causing me great distress.

  54. HFoster

    Semper Idum

    There's always some moral mouthpiece sounding off against video games. I hope this timewasting oxygen thief has his license to practise law revoked permanently in all 50 states.

  55. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up

    Suprised he's absent from... - seems to be closest to the old classic (except now they fight back).

    ...could be painful with the thumb as pictured here though

  56. Scott 19


    Jsut for us brits that don't know what a douche is,

    Jack Thompson is a t*@t.

  57. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    As with anything legal you need to prove the communication was received by the appropriate people before you can legally claim it has not been acted on. Sending a fax to the CEO of a company without getting a receipt would almost certainly not meet the necessary criteria.


    Jack Thompson is a fucking douche.

  58. Elmer Phud

    Only 50$?

    Shirley if anyone was serious they would offer a bit more than $50.

    Or are they hoping for a long queue?

  59. Anonymous Coward

    Haha a fax - seriously?

    Genius, use an outdated piece of communications equipment to contact the CEO of a company. What an idiot. Maybe he thought it was Faxbook?

  60. Paul Charters


    Been reading CTRL+ALT+DEL by any chance?

  61. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Jack Thomson is a fuckin' dumbass motherfucker

    I'm Rick James, bitch!

  62. Daniel Owen


    Can we not find something bigger and heavier than an Atari 2600?

  63. transientcylon

    The case for healthcare reform...

    This guy makes the case, how in the hell is he still running around free? What a nut job.

  64. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    he >was< a lawyer.....

    He was disbarred......



  65. Carter Cole

    god i love gamers...

    lolz commentz...

  66. RW

    @ Etherfiend

    Maybe fax is the only conduit? Have you ever tried to notify Google, Adobe, or Ebay of a problem with their systems? All three have gone to great lengths to block complaints, and perhaps fax would be the simplest approach, instead of wading through a labyrinth of web pages and then discovering that you can't complain without "registering", which entitles you to an infinite supply of browser cookies and probably spam down the road.

    I regularly notice incredible screwups on Google maps, but have stopped even thinking about trying to do my civic duty and let Google know they've made a hash of things. Clearly they don't want to hear about it.

    Ditto for Adobe and problems with Flash 10.

    And then there's the unspeakable Ebay.

  67. Trevor Pott o_O Gold badge

    Jack Thompson is a fucking douche

    Yeah, chipping in on that too.

    Seriously though, facebook "groups" that threaten physical harm (jokingly or not) are probably a little over the line. Much as I personally would love to see Jack Thompson go 10 rounds with a bunch of nerd raging FPS players, (there's something worth pay per view!) there is a big fuzzy grey line here. on one side is where things like "Jack Thompson is a fucking douche" and suck like is a political/philosophical statement, and should be protected...and on the other side are serious/overt threats of violence which are illegal and honestly should be prosecuted.

    I do not envy facebook for this, or any other of dozens of other cases where the content on their site is somewhere in the grey haze between "acceptable content" and "blatantly illegal."

  68. Mr Mark V Thomas

    Re:Jack Thompson

    I wonder if Mr Thompson has ever played Saints Row 2, as one of the Mayhem missions has a rather scathing critique of a certain "Zack Johnson" , during it's introductionary cut scene...

    Mr Z Johnson, according to "Playa's" Patron for this, Jane Valderama, " get's a H****n over suing people", & is "forever on Moral crusades...".

    So, to paraphrase earlier posters, don't use a Atari 2600, but rather a old gaming P.C, with a copy of Saints Row 2 in the DVD Drive...

  69. Grim2o0o

    Erm? Nice conclusion

    @ RE: slooth 'et al.' -- I used to think that video games did not condition an impulse to violent behavior, but then I started reading the comments posted on websites by other gamers who thought the same way. There are ways of dealing with life's challenges other then reaching for the linguistic equivalent of a rusty chainsaw which seems to be about the only response you gamers have been left capable of. --

    Hmm, nice conclusion there matey. I'm sure you somehow managed to capture 'every' gamer in the worlds sentiments: as of course you must have met us all to come to that conclusion. Videogames don't condition an impulse to violent behaviour for the vast majority of us, so don't spread FUD.

    Of course, Jack Thompson is a lamer but not all of us advocate punching him, I would much rather see him penniless, sporting a big beard and sleeping under some bridge somewhere.

  70. Anonymous Coward

    RE Grim2o0o

    et al.

    abbr. Latin

    et alii (and others)

    so not "'every' gamer in the world", just those who wish ill of people who express views other then their own.

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