Topix lawsuits regarding slander and libel

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Scooter

Hewett, WV

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#1
Mar 16, 2011
 

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The site is under pressure from the judicial system as evidence by a quick internet search via google. All it takes is one person to find an attorney who is willing to file a class action lawsuit, then watch out, your comments may no longer anonymous. Slander and Libel are not protected under the 1st amendment, and rightfully so.
The following is from wikipedia-Kentucky Attorney General Jack Conway and Connecticut Attorney General Richard Blumenthal recently questioned the website's practice of charging $19.99 for expedited review of slanderous comments in local forums. According to a press release from Conway’s office, the tools provided by Topix.com to remove the abusive posts are ineffective unless consumers agree to pay the fee. Topix CEO Chris Tolles accused the pair of grandstanding and intimidation, insisting the site operates with appropriate and timely oversight.
On February 03, 2009, Mark and Rhonda Lesher filed a defamation lawsuit against anonymous posters on Topix.com . According to the Leshers' petition, over 1,700 defamatory statements were made about them by anonymous posters on Topix.com . The 365-page petition includes 2,568 counts of defamation, libel per se and defamation per se against the anonymous users. Although Topix was not a party to the lawsuit, it was forced to reveal the IP addresses of the posters and the dangers of unmoderated anonymous posting on Topix were brought to light for the first time in the public eye.
From the Rome-News Tribune (copyright)-The chief executive officer of a nationwide chat board isn’t happy with Polk County Sheriff Kelly McLendon.
“I think what the sheriff’s office did was criminal and, at the very least, violated rights to freedom of speech,” said Chris Tolles, CEO of Topix L.L.C., based in Palo Alto, Calif.
Topix is a news, chat and discussion board.
The Polk County Sheriff’s Office obtained seven subpoenas in late summer to obtain the IP addresses and identities of bloggers on a Cedartown discussion thread titled “Polk County Deputy and Co-worker.” As of Friday, there were more than 540 comments on that thread.
Two sheriff’s office employees who were fired from the sheriff’s office
— Sgt. Johnny Moats and officer Barry Henderson — filed a federal lawsuit in October claiming they were wrongfully terminated. The Topix forum discussed some of the issues within the sheriff’s department related to those lawsuits.
In addition, Moats was identified by Polk County sheriff’s officials as one of the posters to the Topix forum, through the information obtained through the subpoenas.
The subpoenas stated that the sheriff’s office was seeking the IP addresses to support an investigation into defamation of character and slander.
Topix doesn’t maintain records of the personal information of those blogging on its site, Tolles said. However, the company did turn over the IP addresses of more than 50 bloggers after the company was served with subpoenas, Tolles said.
jimmy d

Lubbock, TX

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#2
Mar 17, 2011
 

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Scooter wrote:
The site is under pressure from the judicial system as evidence by a quick internet search via google. All it takes is one person to find an attorney who is willing to file a class action lawsuit, then watch out, your comments may no longer anonymous. Slander and Libel are not protected under the 1st amendment, and rightfully so.
The following is from wikipedia-Kentucky Attorney General Jack Conway and Connecticut Attorney General Richard Blumenthal recently questioned the website's practice of charging $19.99 for expedited review of slanderous comments in local forums. According to a press release from Conway’s office, the tools provided by Topix.com to remove the abusive posts are ineffective unless consumers agree to pay the fee. Topix CEO Chris Tolles accused the pair of grandstanding and intimidation, insisting the site operates with appropriate and timely oversight.
On February 03, 2009, Mark and Rhonda Lesher filed a defamation lawsuit against anonymous posters on Topix.com . According to the Leshers' petition, over 1,700 defamatory statements were made about them by anonymous posters on Topix.com . The 365-page petition includes 2,568 counts of defamation, libel per se and defamation per se against the anonymous users. Although Topix was not a party to the lawsuit, it was forced to reveal the IP addresses of the posters and the dangers of unmoderated anonymous posting on Topix were brought to light for the first time in the public eye.
From the Rome-News Tribune (copyright)-The chief executive officer of a nationwide chat board isn’t happy with Polk County Sheriff Kelly McLendon.
“I think what the sheriff’s office did was criminal and, at the very least, violated rights to freedom of speech,” said Chris Tolles, CEO of Topix L.L.C., based in Palo Alto, Calif.
Topix is a news, chat and discussion board.
The Polk County Sheriff’s Office obtained seven subpoenas in late summer to obtain the IP addresses and identities of bloggers on a Cedartown discussion thread titled “Polk County Deputy and Co-worker.” As of Friday, there were more than 540 comments on that thread.
Two sheriff’s office employees who were fired from the sheriff’s office
— Sgt. Johnny Moats and officer Barry Henderson — filed a federal lawsuit in October claiming they were wrongfully terminated. The Topix forum discussed some of the issues within the sheriff’s department related to those lawsuits.
In addition, Moats was identified by Polk County sheriff’s officials as one of the posters to the Topix forum, through the information obtained through the subpoenas.
The subpoenas stated that the sheriff’s office was seeking the IP addresses to support an investigation into defamation of character and slander.
Topix doesn’t maintain records of the personal information of those blogging on its site, Tolles said. However, the company did turn over the IP addresses of more than 50 bloggers after the company was served with subpoenas, Tolles said.
well i see there is not alot of comments about this, maybe some of the trash talkers need to think about it the next time they decide to trash other people and remember they are not so safe
good timing

Sutton, WV

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#3
Mar 17, 2011
 

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With all the lawsuits going on in the state I wondered when we would get another post about people speaking their minds on the topix sites around the country. If people dont want to get their feelings hurt they should stay clear of topis. If they want the unbiased truth they should stay away from topix. If they want to be threatened by a lawsuit when they exeercise their 1st amendment rights topix is right where they need to be. I dont know anyone who has ever lost a job, not got a job or got divorced because of what has been posted here. The truth can be stated here concerning people and events without the speakers identity being revealed. What we the readers do with that truth is up to us.
Poor goats

Clendenin, WV

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#4
Mar 17, 2011
 
Word on the street is scooter is a goat rapist.
Frank

Beckley, WV

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#5
Mar 17, 2011
 

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So when and where in the first amendment does it give anyone the right to slander and lie about the people in any community. In fact we have laws to prevent that kind of actions. Im happy to see there is finally a Sheriff and lawyer that has proven it.
good timing

Sutton, WV

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#6
Mar 17, 2011
 
Frank, I n no way want to suggest that the first amendment gives someone the right to slander and lie. I attempted to make the point that some people who post and read this site always seem to raise the threat of someones action against someone. Those people only seem to raise it when their goat is being located and the subject is about to hurt them or reveal something about them that they would rather keep secret. The truth can neveer be slandereous to anyone, no matter who speaks it. It is not up to me or you to decide what is slanderous of someone if we are not in a position to know the truth.
Know it All

Charleston, WV

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#7
Mar 17, 2011
 
Well said good timing.Thank you,I could not have said it better my self. Some one with a brain nice. .

Level 2

Since: Nov 09

Hinton

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#8
Mar 17, 2011
 

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Topix also agreed to stop charging money to get rid of comments such as that. Your article has outdated information...

They don't charge for stuff like that anymore, and the suits against them have been dropped. The attorney generals of 20 something states (I believe it was) met with the people that run Topix and they all agreed to stop charging for comment removal if it was determined to be slanderous. However, that doesn't mean that people will have to register for accounts anytime soon, or that gossip will stop. Simply because it's online doesn't mean it's worse than the gossip that goes on in this town in person.
hey

Matthews, NC

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#9
Mar 17, 2011
 
Scooter wrote:
The site is under pressure from the judicial system as evidence by a quick internet search via google. All it takes is one person to find an attorney who is willing to file a class action lawsuit, then watch out, your comments may no longer anonymous. Slander and Libel are not protected under the 1st amendment, and rightfully so.
The following is from wikipedia-Kentucky Attorney General Jack Conway and Connecticut Attorney General Richard Blumenthal recently questioned the website's practice of charging $19.99 for expedited review of slanderous comments in local forums. According to a press release from Conway’s office, the tools provided by Topix.com to remove the abusive posts are ineffective unless consumers agree to pay the fee. Topix CEO Chris Tolles accused the pair of grandstanding and intimidation, insisting the site operates with appropriate and timely oversight.
On February 03, 2009, Mark and Rhonda Lesher filed a defamation lawsuit against anonymous posters on Topix.com . According to the Leshers' petition, over 1,700 defamatory statements were made about them by anonymous posters on Topix.com . The 365-page petition includes 2,568 counts of defamation, libel per se and defamation per se against the anonymous users. Although Topix was not a party to the lawsuit, it was forced to reveal the IP addresses of the posters and the dangers of unmoderated anonymous posting on Topix were brought to light for the first time in the public eye.
From the Rome-News Tribune (copyright)-The chief executive officer of a nationwide chat board isn’t happy with Polk County Sheriff Kelly McLendon.
“I think what the sheriff’s office did was criminal and, at the very least, violated rights to freedom of speech,” said Chris Tolles, CEO of Topix L.L.C., based in Palo Alto, Calif.
Topix is a news, chat and discussion board.
The Polk County Sheriff’s Office obtained seven subpoenas in late summer to obtain the IP addresses and identities of bloggers on a Cedartown discussion thread titled “Polk County Deputy and Co-worker.” As of Friday, there were more than 540 comments on that thread.
Two sheriff’s office employees who were fired from the sheriff’s office
— Sgt. Johnny Moats and officer Barry Henderson — filed a federal lawsuit in October claiming they were wrongfully terminated. The Topix forum discussed some of the issues within the sheriff’s department related to those lawsuits.
In addition, Moats was identified by Polk County sheriff’s officials as one of the posters to the Topix forum, through the information obtained through the subpoenas.
The subpoenas stated that the sheriff’s office was seeking the IP addresses to support an investigation into defamation of character and slander.
Topix doesn’t maintain records of the personal information of those blogging on its site, Tolles said. However, the company did turn over the IP addresses of more than 50 bloggers after the company was served with subpoenas, Tolles said.
who pissd in your wheeties lol good luck with all that im sure you will keep us posted and yes somtimes the truth hurts so lets all man up and stop crying about it if its not true then who gives a goats ass lmao
i 4 an i

Fayetteville, WV

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#10
Mar 18, 2011
 

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good timing wrote:
Frank, I n no way want to suggest that the first amendment gives someone the right to slander and lie. I attempted to make the point that some people who post and read this site always seem to raise the threat of someones action against someone. Those people only seem to raise it when their goat is being located and the subject is about to hurt them or reveal something about them that they would rather keep secret. The truth can neveer be slandereous to anyone, no matter who speaks it. It is not up to me or you to decide what is slanderous of someone if we are not in a position to know the truth.
Spoken by someone who has never been harassed on this website. If you feel that it is nothing...why not put your name? or the name of someone in your family. Let these people talk trash about you, see how it feels. I am not interested in slander and libel suits... I don't care to go to court or sue. I simply want good old fashioned revenge. I am a person who does'nt bother anybody unless I'm provoked. And when provoked I get devious. When I find out who the person is hiding behind the computer screen. I will lie in bed at night plotting what i will do each day to them for the rest of my life.Sometimes freedom of speech is something we should use wisely...it can cause you a lot of heartache. My life is hard enough. I'm not going to allow some nut job to make it worse. People get on here and say anything they want because they THINK no one will find out who they are...you are never safe on the computer. If you are writing these things from home, your identity can be discovered.
Mountaineer

Charleston, WV

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#11
Mar 18, 2011
 

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Azathoth wrote:
Topix also agreed to stop charging money to get rid of comments such as that. Your article has outdated information...
They don't charge for stuff like that anymore, and the suits against them have been dropped. The attorney generals of 20 something states (I believe it was) met with the people that run Topix and they all agreed to stop charging for comment removal if it was determined to be slanderous. However, that doesn't mean that people will have to register for accounts anytime soon, or that gossip will stop. Simply because it's online doesn't mean it's worse than the gossip that goes on in this town in person.
That settlement is on that one issue alone. Just because Topix agreed to stop extorting people doesn't mean they are off the hook. Topix just recently lost a motion to quash in federal court and had to surrender the ISP addresses of 169 posters in another lawsuit moving through the system.

Topix has to be the most lowlife website on the internet and that's saying something.

They set up a totally anonymous and unmonitored website where any piece of filth can post whatever they want without any accountability. Then, after giving these psychopaths and bullies free rein and a manner in which to attack their victim and inflict the distress and pain, Topix sets up a method to charge victims to remove content.

Now how great is that!?

Now for all the filth and scum who have used this board thinking they were anonymous, there's something called a cyber thumbprint and you leave it wherever you go, forever. If you think you are anonymous, think again, because an ISP address can lead right to your front door. Even if you've jettisoned your computer, you can still be sued.

Now one of these days, soon probably, a smart lawyer is going to file that class action lawsuit after which he will be able to retire to the Keys somewhere and in the process of that suit, plenty of filth will be exposed to the light of day when the rocks they are hiding under are turned over.

I can't wait.

Topix is really the place to come if you want to find out how truly ugly many people are at their core.

Level 2

Since: Nov 09

Hinton

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#12
Mar 18, 2011
 

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What you all seem to forget is: You don't have to go to any website, ever. Forums are used to express opinions, not necessarily fact.

Anyone of any intelligence at all realizes that ANY website, no matter how monitored, will still have content on it that some people will find offensive. For example, I can say fuck over and over, even type it in ways a censor won't notice, and that will surely offend some people.

As I've already said, slander and libel laws don't stop gossip in person as it is, they won't stop it online. REASONABLE people are capable of realizing this and also realizing that gossip is meaningless. If you live your entire life worried about what other people are saying about you, you're not living any real life at all.

I know a lot of the junk on here is either about druggies, the people that turn in druggies, bitter divorces, etc. Now, while I don't necessarily enjoy seeing it constantly popping up as new threads, or reviving old ones, I choose not to read any of them, because they're irrelevant to me entirely. The way I look at it: It's not really any different than a divorced couple fighting in the streets, or someone calling someone else a druggie/"snitch." AT MOST, a cop would make them take it somewhere else because of noise and you wouldn't be allowed to sue someone for something said in relation to that fight. Sure, it makes you look like an ass, but that's about the extent of what anything as such can do.

If you don't like seeing smut on Topix, stop coming to Topix, or simply don't click on the threads you know contain it. You consistently griping about what's on here simply shows that you live your life centered on what random people are saying about you or your family. It's pathetic.
Mountaineer

Charleston, WV

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#13
Mar 18, 2011
 

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Azathoth wrote:
What you all seem to forget is: You don't have to go to any website, ever. Forums are used to express opinions, not necessarily fact.
Anyone of any intelligence at all realizes that ANY website, no matter how monitored, will still have content on it that some people will find offensive. For example, I can say fuck over and over, even type it in ways a censor won't notice, and that will surely offend some people.
As I've already said, slander and libel laws don't stop gossip in person as it is, they won't stop it online. REASONABLE people are capable of realizing this and also realizing that gossip is meaningless. If you live your entire life worried about what other people are saying about you, you're not living any real life at all.
I know a lot of the junk on here is either about druggies, the people that turn in druggies, bitter divorces, etc. Now, while I don't necessarily enjoy seeing it constantly popping up as new threads, or reviving old ones, I choose not to read any of them, because they're irrelevant to me entirely. The way I look at it: It's not really any different than a divorced couple fighting in the streets, or someone calling someone else a druggie/"snitch." AT MOST, a cop would make them take it somewhere else because of noise and you wouldn't be allowed to sue someone for something said in relation to that fight. Sure, it makes you look like an ass, but that's about the extent of what anything as such can do.
If you don't like seeing smut on Topix, stop coming to Topix, or simply don't click on the threads you know contain it. You consistently griping about what's on here simply shows that you live your life centered on what random people are saying about you or your family. It's pathetic.
There are plenty of ways to use the internet to defame people that is true. However, there are few, if any, that are not only geared towards small town malicious gossip - and actually exist for that purpose - that have absolutely no oversight of any kind like Topix. You can't post on 90% of websites and blogs without at least registering and most sites are very responsible about monitoring content. Most have built in filters as well as monitors.

Topix is indefensible and if you are ever given the Topix treatment, you might not be so quick to defend it.

People die over this crap and it's got the attention of lawmakers and the courts. A woman's murder suicide of her and her three children that played out on Topix has brought renewed attention and calls for accountability from this site.

Topix is pure blooded evil. It attracts the sickest of sickos. It's lawless is what it is and it brings out an element in people that comes out when the rules are off. Some people can be trusted to do the right thing under such circumstances but most don't. This site attracts a certain type of sick predator and it feeds a sadistic need they have to inflict pain and suffering on others and they are cowards too because they do it anonymously.

Only the lowest pond scum ever created can do what these people do on these boards and Topix provides them with what they need to do it.
horsedickdotcom

Fayetteville, WV

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#14
Mar 18, 2011
 

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hey l just call a spade a spade , if someone doesn't like that them fuckem. you know people get on here to read the dirt . but when it's their dirt they start yelling sue , yea it's a double standard.
man up

Fayetteville, WV

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Mar 18, 2011
 

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horsedickdotcom wrote:
hey l just call a spade a spade , if someone doesn't like that them fuckem. you know people get on here to read the dirt . but when it's their dirt they start yelling sue , yea it's a double standard.
That's one horse dic*s opinion. The only double standard i see here is someone acting "cool", saying one thing but afraid to show his courage. If you really feel this way...put your name on here. Show you're man enough to take what people dish out.

Level 2

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Hinton

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#16
Mar 18, 2011
 

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If a woman committed murder/suicide, you can't pin that on a website... clearly that woman was MENTALLY UNSTABLE to begin with. No one thinks about killing their kids over gossip without being screwed up beyond all reason to begin with. The fact that you're trying to make a correlation between the two is INSANITY.

Even if topix were to take down stuff people complained about immediately, it wouldn't stop people from seeing it, or people like you from drawing insane conclusions because of the actions of the mentally unstable. Livejournal, for instance, could just as easily be used as topix, and with an email address that isn't linked to your name, it's just as anonymous as posting on here.

As I said, if you don't like what's on the website, just as any other, DON'T GO TO IT.
wonder

Fayetteville, WV

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Mar 18, 2011
 

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Azathoth...you hav'nt posted in a while. Wonder why?

Level 2

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Hinton

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#18
Mar 18, 2011
 

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I get bored.
horsedickdotcom

Fayetteville, WV

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Mar 18, 2011
 

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man up wrote:
<quoted text>That's one horse dic*s opinion. The only double standard i see here is someone acting "cool", saying one thing but afraid to show his courage. If you really feel this way...put your name on here. Show you're man enough to take what people dish out.
so where's your name mine , looks like you need to (man up) also .lol your no better than the average bear.
if u only knew

United States

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#20
Mar 21, 2011
 
Scooter wrote:
The site is under pressure from the judicial system as evidence by a quick internet search via google. All it takes is one person to find an attorney who is willing to file a class action lawsuit, then watch out, your comments may no longer anonymous. Slander and Libel are not protected under the 1st amendment, and rightfully so.
The following is from wikipedia-Kentucky Attorney General Jack Conway and Connecticut Attorney General Richard Blumenthal recently questioned the website's practice of charging $19.99 for expedited review of slanderous comments in local forums. According to a press release from Conway’s office, the tools provided by Topix.com to remove the abusive posts are ineffective unless consumers agree to pay the fee. Topix CEO Chris Tolles accused the pair of grandstanding and intimidation, insisting the site operates with appropriate and timely oversight.
On February 03, 2009, Mark and Rhonda Lesher filed a defamation lawsuit against anonymous posters on Topix.com . According to the Leshers' petition, over 1,700 defamatory statements were made about them by anonymous posters on Topix.com . The 365-page petition includes 2,568 counts of defamation, libel per se and defamation per se against the anonymous users. Although Topix was not a party to the lawsuit, it was forced to reveal the IP addresses of the posters and the dangers of unmoderated anonymous posting on Topix were brought to light for the first time in the public eye.
From the Rome-News Tribune (copyright)-The chief executive officer of a nationwide chat board isn’t happy with Polk County Sheriff Kelly McLendon.
“I think what the sheriff’s office did was criminal and, at the very least, violated rights to freedom of speech,” said Chris Tolles, CEO of Topix L.L.C., based in Palo Alto, Calif.
Topix is a news, chat and discussion board.
The Polk County Sheriff’s Office obtained seven subpoenas in late summer to obtain the IP addresses and identities of bloggers on a Cedartown discussion thread titled “Polk County Deputy and Co-worker.” As of Friday, there were more than 540 comments on that thread.
Two sheriff’s office employees who were fired from the sheriff’s office
— Sgt. Johnny Moats and officer Barry Henderson — filed a federal lawsuit in October claiming they were wrongfully terminated. The Topix forum discussed some of the issues within the sheriff’s department related to those lawsuits.
In addition, Moats was identified by Polk County sheriff’s officials as one of the posters to the Topix forum, through the information obtained through the subpoenas.
The subpoenas stated that the sheriff’s office was seeking the IP addresses to support an investigation into defamation of character and slander.
Topix doesn’t maintain records of the personal information of those blogging on its site, Tolles said. However, the company did turn over the IP addresses of more than 50 bloggers after the company was served with subpoenas, Tolles said.
will u post this on peterstown wv site please so people can c it thank u

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