Legal Technology

Blogging lawyer is banished from legal networking site Foxwordy

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A lawyer who signed up for the legal networking site Foxwordy to write a review for his blog has been banished from membership.

The lawyer, Robert Ambrogi of LawSites and a regular freelancer for the ABA Journal, says he wrote two online posts about the new website, which bills itself “the first private social network for lawyers.” Neither was entirely positive.

Ambrogi’s first post suggested that, despite its claim, Foxwordy wasn’t the first private social network for lawyers. His second post, written after he registered as a Foxwordy member, said he was “not bowled over” by Foxwordy, though it did appear to be different from other lawyer networking sites because users could post anonymously.

Users of the website can share what they know, ask questions anonymously, and give and get referrals.

Ambrogi tried to log back into Foxwordy this week after seeing an article on Law Insider by its CEO Monica Zent, which said the website had become a top network. He was unable to log on, so he clicked on a feedback link and explained the problem.

The response was from Zent, who wrote: “To ensure the highest level of participation amongst our members, we are not currently including press as members of the Foxwordy community.”

Ambrogi wrote back to explain that he is a practicing lawyer as well as a blogger. In a follow-up email, Ambrogi explained he didn’t intend to snoop on members’ conversations. Instead, his interest was to report on the platform.

Zent wrote back, telling Ambrogi, “We have placed those members who have used Foxwordy for the purpose of blogging about the Foxwordy product on hold based on the requests of users.” She also offered to give Ambrogi a demonstration when Foxwordy unveils a new look and features.

“If we are to believe what Zent says,” Ambrogi writes, “then it is her members who have asked her to ban any bloggers who want to write about the product. This confuses me. I would think lawyers would welcome independent reviews of technology platforms they might use.”

Foxwordy issued this statement to the ABA Journal: “The following statement is in reference to recent reports which have incorrectly described the Foxwordy policy. To be clear, the legal blogging community has not and is not banned from the Foxwordy community. Many of our members do have their own blogs that they publish to regularly that pertain to their own practice and expertise. Our policy based on user feedback is to not include a very small sector of the legal tech blogging community whose sole purpose for joining Foxwordy is to blog about Foxwordy and its members’ activities. This decision was based on a number of legal tech bloggers who have posted screen grabs of the community and its activities which is a violation of our Terms of Service. We have a duty to our members to maintain the integrity of our private social network.”

A Foxwordy representative said the website warned the banned bloggers that its terms of service were being violated.

See also:

ABA Journal: “Silicon Valley lawyer creates another social network for lawyers”

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