News came in overnight that David Shott, the owner of yet-to-open Du Vin Osteria at 14th & Florida, had threatened two local bloggers – Prince of Petworth and U-Street Girl – with legal action unless they removed comments from their blog entries concerning his new establishment. The strong-arming appears related to comments made by a former Union Row Resident, who was reminding readers of a 2008 interaction with the Union Row community by Mr. Shott. Mr. Shott’s threat of legal action is an empty one, as comment forums provide the blog owner, but not the commenter, safe harbor under the Communications Decency Act.
We have requested comment from Mr. Shott by email, but have not received one.
Generally, we consider it in poor form to strong-arm bloggers concerning the comments that are posted on their site, as it stifles an open community. This is a place to engage your customers, not threaten them.
As a precaution, I would point everyone to our comment policy before they decide to write in below. We will also note that the comments are the property of their author, and not of We Love DC.