The website that was once just for college friends has become a place full of political rants, false information, and overall unfriendliness. Be careful about what you say online or you could in trouble like these Rockford residents.

Rockford Residents Sued Over Facebook Comments
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By now you've probably heard about the Hanley Furniture Co. building fire and it being taken down. (If not, you can read about it here.) It was a trending topic for Rockford Facebook users with thousands of comments and shared articles. Some of those comments could cost a few users $50,000. No, it's not a joke or #fakenews.

According to, several residents have had lawsuits filed against them for comments made on local news station's Facebook pages and even Rockford Scanner.

Some of the comments:

"Next time you burn your own building down be more prepared to deal with the accusations of doing so than just threatening to sue anyone who says you did what you did."


"... they’re about to have their hands on a huge check..."


"... seems like good ol’ Urban Equity slumlords needed an insurance payout."

Those comments in's article can be considered defamatory, according to a legal expert.

"noting that publication can be in the form of saying it to another person, writing it on Facebook, or writing it in a letter that is mailed. 'To accuse someone of the crime of arson ... is defamatory, per se.'"

Those being sued, according to, include Joseph Barten, Allix D’Ann Cardenas, Jodi Dierks, Allison Doering, Joe Downey, Steve Doyle, Pat McCann, Will Parrott, and Mike Stambaugh.

The attorney for Illinois Press Association told lawsuits like these aren't always about money but more of a way to get people to be cautious on what they say. This is why it's best to think about what we're about to say online and then rethink some more. Remember, this is the internet and everything posted to it is there forever.

Catch JB Love on ‘Q98.5 Mornings with Lil Zim & JB’ on Q98.5 from 5:30 a.m. to 10 a.m. Follow him on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook.


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