County fights Topix


Reporter - Jason Hibbs
Photojournalist - Eric Ziglin

OBION COUNTY, Tenn. — Local leaders blasted the website Topix for allegedly ruining the reputation of members of their community, their businesses and their churches.

They want it stopped and on Monday, they took a step to end online bad mouthing.

They're not asking for removal of the website but simply want the trash talk to stop and want names alongside the posts.

"The Union City forum seems to be one of the worst I've seen. They'll just pick a name and throw it out," an anonymous victim said.

The man said his name is one of those plastered all over Topix. He says it's full of people posting one outrageous lie after another.

"It's accusations of sleeping around or constantly being out drinking," he said.

Accusations he said he has no way of stopping. That's why Pastor Eddie Mallonee is doing all he can by speaking out for others in his community who are affected by online trash talking.

"People were being slandered. Businesses were being slandered, churches being slandered," he said.

Even his own church is plastered on the site.

Mallonee said he's counseled plenty Topix victims.

"Their character has been assassinated. Their marriages flaunted to the public," he said.

He supports the resolution passed by Obion County leaders. County Commissioner Richard Arnold said calling for Topix to include names or I.P. addresses beside posts will protect the public.

"Anything like that, that harms a person in my county or my district or anywhere, I'm concerned about," Arnold said.

The anonymous victim with whom we spoke said just maybe something will be done, so others won't have to suffer like he is.

Local 6 called Topix and left a message but our call hasn't been returned. In the past, the Topix president told Local 6 the site encourages free speech, allowing gossip and anonymous insults but not threats.

The president said if someone is trash talking you, respond to the post. But Pastor Mallonee advises everyone to ignore the negativity and said if you post a reply, that'll send that thread back to the top of the Web page and add fuel to the fire.

For the the Topix resolution from the Obion County Commission, click here. You can send your own letter to Topix at the address below:

Chris Tolles, C.E.O.
Topix LLC
1001 Elwell Court
Palo Alto, CA 94303