Planted Tank Guru
Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: Denver, CO & Phang-Nga, Thailand
I see your perspective, but I don't think it's all that stupid. You have to consider the perspective of the forum owner.
Having reviews of local stores is a nice feature, but wouldn't be considered a 'must have' feature for this particular forum. There is definitely some risk associated with running a forum, and most forum owners are careful to make sure that there is no objectionable or illegal content on their site. This can be extended to general liability issues, especially when it comes to fraud, libel, copyright, etc. so forum owners are wise to be extremely cautious.
I assume this forum doesn't have a legal department to determine what, exactly, is worth the risk. But, to take a perceived risk on content that isn't essential to the site doesn't seem wise. You may think it's stupid, but it would be more stupid to lose the forum over a legal battle that originated with a post on a non-important thread.
All that said, I think there is probably not much legal risk. When I was running forums in the late 90's things were much more 'new' then they are now. There is quite a bit of settled law and doing reviews of stores is probably not risky at all, but I'd certainly run it by attorney if it were my forum.
"The fewer our wants, the nearer we resemble the gods." — Socrates