Poll to Juniper: Bad Move
The decision by Juniper Networks Inc. (NYSE: JNPR) to file a lawsuit against 10 Light Reading message board posters could be a big mistake, according to an LR poll. Juniper's complaint accuses 10 unknown persons of posting harmful statements about Juniper and its executives that could damage the company's profits and reputation. (See Juniper Sues LR Message Boarders.)
Only 15 percent of poll takers -- 112 respondents, so far -- think the company is doing the right thing by suing the posters. The majority, 75 percent, say the lawsuit is not the right thing to do. Ten percent of the respondents said they "don't know" whether it's right or wrong.
Further questions give insight as to why the legal strategy may backfire. The poll indicates that people believe Juniper's lawsuit may be drawing even more attention to the messages at issue. Eighty-two percent of the repondents say the lawsuit has drawn their attention to the posts, of which they were previously unaware.
Will the lawsuit go anywhere? Sixty-two percent of poll takers say no, they don't think Juniper will win. Thirteen percent of respondents think Juniper will win.
Respondents also question the impact message board posts have on a company's business: 79 percent say that the message posts did not harm the company in any practical way such as pushing down its share price or driving away business. Eleven percent of repondents have so far disagreed, saying it did do harm.
A large majority of the respondents -- 76 percent of them -- think that in responding to the posts in this way, Juniper is being "paranoid" or "has something to hide."
The poll also finds:
- Twenty-nine percent of respondents feel the case will make them more cautious about what they post on Light Reading, compared with 41 percent who said it won't affect them and 30 percent who don't post on the boards.
- Thirty-seven percent say the case has made them more interested in reading the message boards on Light Reading, compared with 63 percent who said it did not influence them.
- Postings on Light Reading's message boards are taken with a pinch or two of salt. The majority, 68 percent, view the message boards as "a lot of rubbish but worth sifting for occasional gems," compared with 19 percent who say there's inside information to be found that's "often got some truth in it." Nine percent think it's all "rubbish," while 4 percent figure it's where you get the "real" news.
What do you think? Share your views by clicking here to take the poll and see the full results.
— Nicole Willing, Reporter, Light Reading