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« Thermage Repetitive Motion Lawsuit | Main | Botox and the 80/20 rule »
Thursday
Jul012010

Cynosure & Their Legal Intimidation Department

Someone supposedly from Cynosure and using the dubious name 'Legal' has decided that posting threats against people making comments on the Cynosure Laser Users forum is the very best way to move the discussion along.

Now there are any number of dubious posts on Medical Spa MD to be sure. The straight spammers are easy enough to pick up but the 'hidden agenda' groups are around too. (I've outed others in the past.)

Here's 'Legal's' IP address lookupAnd this appears as though it's really coming from someone at Cynosure; although probably not thier customer service or sales departments.

You can see their IP address to the right >

More on that in a moment; here's what 'Legal' left as his initial comment:

ATTENTION:
Mike P did not write the above statement in regards to Mr. Leibl. The person involved with Mr. Leibl must refrain from using any executive's name at Cynosure or any current Cynosure employee's name in this forum to publicly air their differences.
Cynosure may take legal action and have all IP addresses pulled for sourcing of information, if these action do not stopped immediately.

Cynosure has no involvement with this web site and the accusation by Leon Leibl,
Paul Edmondson, Dee Greene and the fictitious employee by the name of Bob West.

It seems odd that 'Legal' wouldn't identifiy themselves if the actually worked for Cynosure; Medical Spa MD has been threatened with lawsuits many times by companies who didn't like what someone had to say and in every other instance, there's been a lawyers name attached.

This didin't only seem suspect to me. LH (A well respected regular around here) had this comment:

Legal,
It sounds as if you have nothing to say in this matter considering the fact that you have left an anonymous post and the others have left their names. Please do not try to come on her with your legal crap and try to intimidate people. This threat has been used before and did not work. If I am not mistaken these posts are over a year old and this is called free speech.
LH

Here,  'Legal's' response gets a little shrill:

Dear LH,
It's called defamation of character, not free speech when placed in this context. Establishing a statement exposing a person to hatred, ridicule, contempt, or causing injury to you in your occupation.
It isn't enough that the untrue statement was said and published, it must also have been conveyed or be published to others and understood to be about you. Figures seeking to prove defamation of character must also show that the false statement was made with actual malice

LH,
Do you care to tell us your name? Do you care to share with us your infinite brilliance of wisdom on this subject?

'Legal's obviously not been reading the site for long. (LH has bee around for more than a while and has a stellar reputation. Many of our Members, including myself, do know who he is.)

So what are we to think about Legal?

To be honest, he may have a legitimate gripe. There's a comment in the thread above that does sound as though it's written by someone claiming to be from Cynosure. However, I get emails every couple of weeks about some comment that's mistakenly attributed or where someone has revealed their business information and would like that information removed. (Although this is a hassle I try to oblige as long as it does not change any 'content'.)

I'll note here that Cynosure has not contacted me in any way. If Cynosure had, and they provided me with anything reasonable that indicated that someone was posing as one of their employees, I probably would have just removed the comment. We have a very strict policy around this. (Posting anonymously is fine; there are a lot of physicians and others who could be hurt by airing their real opinions in public. But posing as someone else will get you banned and outed.)

While it seems that 'Legal' is posting from Cynosure, it's hard to say who they are or what their motives are. (And their grammar is suspect. "your infinite brilliance of wisdom'???)

The threat that 'Legal' makes of 'have all IP addresses pulled for sourcing of information' is totally bogus. It would take a court subpoena in order to even try to get any IP addresses. The fact that the treat is even made is just stupid. 

Cynosure's business management should walk in and have a talk with 'Legal' about making corporate threats in public. I don't imagine that Cynosure reps want to be in answering questions about this thread while they're trying to demo a Smartlipo or Affirm.

If Cynosure's business or legal departments actually have an issue with someone's comment or claim that it's been posted fraudulently, please contact us directly. We're happy to help and if it makes sense we'll remove it. But don't just go around threatening and trying to intimidate others on Medical Spa MD forums... you'll make the front page and get your IP address banned... as in this case.

Cynosure Links:

Reader Comments (2)

Jeff,

Thanks for watching over the site. I do not care about some of these comments made under the Cynosure comments. I just hate it when somebody comes on this site and makes anonymous threats. I have no dog in this fight except wanting this site to maintain its integrity.

07.2 | Unregistered CommenterLH

Hi Jeff-

Forgive this very long post but I thought it was timely and relevant to this event:

The full post is here:
http://computer.howstuffworks.com/troll1.htm

“ What is an Internet Troll?
“Just as it's common for people to call any kind of malware a computer virus, it's not unusual for people to call any kind of disruptive person online a troll. Here are a few of the broad categories trolls might fit in:

Flame On!

Some trolls love to rile people up to the point that they start insulting the troll. This is called flame baiting. If enough people get upset, the discussion can devolve into a flame war. At that point, legitimate communication ceases and insults take over.

· Many trolls find it amusing to pose as new members of forums or chat rooms -- also known as newbies -- and ask clueless questions until the discussion collapses as a result. These trolls often attempt to present themselves in a sympathetic light. The goal here is to encourage others to start flinging insults. The troll can then point to the other person and accuse him or her of being unfair or mean while maintaining the role of innocent victim.

· Sneaky trolls will sometimes pose as people who are genuinely interested in the topic before posting a message that undermines the discussion. This is common in political forums -- a person with opposing views might pretend to be sympathetic to other members in the community while simultaneously posting messages and threads that criticize their point of view. For example, the troll might say, "I really like Politician X, but do you think she's really strong on domestic policy?" The goal of this troll is to foment doubt within the community at large. Trolls who pose under a false identity are also known as sock puppets.

· Colluding trolls are people who work together to create chaos. One member might use classic trolling tactics while the others pose as normal members of the online community. These trolls in disguise can publicly defend the obvious troll and claim that the troll is really trying to add to the discussion. Another tactic is to pit one online community against another. Trolls do this by posting messages within one community while posing as members of the other one and vice versa. The goal here is to cause an all-out online war between two victimized communities.

Trolls are troublesome and distracting -- that's their very goal."

FYI- Last week Amazon had to shut down for almost 2 hrs. (imagine the lost revenue!) to get a handle on an absolute flame war with over 3000 comments on one posting- all from paid trolls trying to influence the sale of a book.

So what is the solution? is this just the price of doing business? is locking out only registered users an answer?

In speaking for myself only; I came on this blog 3 years ago because of the unprofessional conduct of ALC and their shoddy treatment of both employees and patients. They had been pretty successful up to that point of keeping a close watch on their reputation and business.

Evidently I did not hold a minority opinion, as this site was instrumental on forcing them to change some of their Standard Operating Procedures, and cleaning up their business.

I’ve seen postings here that have made my jaw drop (DIY Botox Injections?) but have also learned little tips and nuggets along the way (shout out to Pat Mounroe and C. Lee- their insights are always helpful and interesting) and ones that have made me wonder a little (exactly what ARE they saying in Russian?)

But while I empathize with One Opinion when he complains:

“So many forums though disintegrate to emotional rantings.....I don't know how we can revert it back to being forums for learning.”

I respectfully disagree. The emotions come from a place of passion and dedication for this crazy hybrid business and where it’s future lies.

LH and I have clashed many times because (in my opinion) we have deep fundamental differences in what we want for the future of the MedSpa industry.

But I believe the spirit of our comments spring from the same place: we see where this industry is and we both just want it to be a better place to be.

I agree with WendyH when she so eloquently says:

”I've noticed that some questions that have been asked by doctors were actually answered by laser technicians, RN's, Medical Spa owners, and people who work for medical equipment companies when other physicians were unable to provide an answer. You guys won't get that anymore if you banish us!”

It was my understanding, Jeff, that you began this journey to provide “a single voice of sanity in the cosmetic medical wilderness.”

The jungle growth is getting thicker and thicker every year, and yet you are still staying true to your original vision.

I am a little concerned that regulating this board may censor opinion and close it off to others with differing viewpoints.

But be that as it may, it is YOUR board and I am cautiously optimistic that you will keep this a “A fantastic and vibrant community of physicians and business professionals.”

I look forward to seeing the changes.

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