If I posted anonymously to a website, is a cease and the desist letter that threatens legal action if the post is not removed valid?

UPDATED: Oct 1, 2022

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If I posted anonymously to a website, is a cease and the desist letter that threatens legal action if the post is not removed valid?

Several months ago I posted on anonymous website having to do with homewreckers.. Once something is posted there is very difficult for it to get removed. I have contacted the people on

the page via every outlet I have found online and the post is still there. New Link Destination
day I received a cease and desist letter from an attorney stating that I needed to remove the post and images or I would be prosecuted. Do they have a legal leg to stand on? Why wouldn’t they send the cease and desist letter to the website? There is nothing tying my name to this post in anyway shape or form.

Asked on October 17, 2017 under Personal Injury, Pennsylvania


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 5 years ago | Contributor

They sent you the letter because for some reason, in some way, they tracked the post to you and determined that it was your post--possibly you included some details in it which identified you.
As to why they sent you the letter:
1) A person who posts something online, even if they ostensibly do so "anonymously," is responsible for what they post; if they defamed someone, for example, they can be sued over it, or if they disclosed protected confidential information, they could be sued for that disclosure.
2) Federal law protects the website from liability: a website is not liable for what other people post on it, so long as the website did not help create the post. If the website is simply being a "conduit" for your posts, you, not they, are liable under the law. 
Therefore, they sent the letter to you because you are the one who is legally responsible for this post. If you do not comply, if they have a valid cause of action (e.g. if you defamed someone), you could be sued.

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