Speaking as a parent and hopefully a productive member of society, I have been very concerned about the company called Topix for a long time. This company has long taken the lowest road possible claiming freedom of speech. What people fail to recognize is the first amendment was written so people had the right to voice their views toward government. That is a right I think we all support.
However, the first amendment never protected all speech. Libel, defamation, and other attacks are not protected speech and the amendment only applies to government not to corporations. In other words, Topix is basically an excuse for people to attack one another. Recently the press has began to catch on. When someone attacks you, Topix response was to go on their site and fight back. That is the worst thing a person could ever consider doing. It makes them more money, gives them more traffic and you are inviting even further attacks when internet trolls gang up on you. You are wiser to try and ignore that, don't post and simply report it. One cannot help but notice that many newspapers and tv stations realize how out of control Topix is and are going to different commenting systems such as Disqus and others where one can still voice their opinion but (gasp) have to take a little responsibility. With freedom comes responsibility. I cannot help but think about this country during 9/11 and how together we all seemed to be. Now, as is usually the case, we are back to fighting among ourselves.
Cyberbullying is a very real problem which is leading to death in some extreme cases. The old adage "sticks and stones" has never been true. How would you feel if your child killed themselves or someone else. Topix as a business has a responsibility to protect and it does not. It claims to be a source of news yet Technorati has given it the lowest rating possible for information. It is a cyberbullying site and basically not much else.
The tragedy is it could have been really great but ultimately decided it would give up ethics for a few more comments even ones that are illegal.
What is interesting is now the state of California has passed a new cyberbullying bill where someone can be fined and jailed if they claim they are someone else in a profile. Topix does not require registration BUT people can go in and claim they are someone else which is the exact same thing and if anything is easier on a site like Topix. That makes them and any other company that does not require registration extremely liable and means police contact and attorneys are likely to hound Topix even more than before.
Cyberbullying laws are changing and one needs to hope that someday the company itself can be sued. Topix has become a menace to society. I highly recommend you avoiding that site at all cost. Do not ever post on that site, you contact the police, attorney generals, sponosors and the media and ask for them to research and investigate this company. All one has to do is take a look at some of the community forums, their AFAM forum, their drug forums (which drug sales occur) or their human sexuality forums which condone beastality, rape, incest, prostitution, and sexual predators in some instances and that will tell the media what they need to know.
One must also take action. Don't sit back and expect others to do it. Write your newspapers and contact anyone who can help. Topix could still be of same value if they will go back to being a newssite with accountability and that means closing some forums down, moderating their site, and requiring responsibility of their users through registration and other measures.