If you run the site and others post comments, then the Communications Decency Act may provide some protection for you. Match.com and other sites have protection like this.
Sit down with an attorney and evaluate the potential for liability based on exactly how your site will operate.
Then, even if the protections are there, you may want to consider the lawsuits that will be filed anyway.
Mr. Goldstein is a Virginia-licensed attorney only. The information is not, nor is it intended to be, legal advice. You should consult an attorney for individual advice regarding your own situation. Answering this question does not in any way constitute legal representation. Contacting Mitchell Goldstein or the Goldstein Law Group does not constitute legal representation, nor is any information you provide protected by attorney-client privilege until otherwise advised.
Whenever any of these people sue a poster, they will automatically sue you. Expect subpeonas, demands for documents, and the opportunity to appear in court. If you fail to defend yourself adequate, consider the possibility that you will lose a lawsuit and end up with a judgment. Go to Amazon, and subscribe to a monthly delivery to Tylenol - you will need it.
If you do plan to bring up this site, contact an attorney to see what, if any, protection you can put in place.
We do not have a client/attorney relationship until you make an appointment, we discuss your case face to face, I accept a retainer, and we explictly agree to enter into representation.
Please rethink this disastrous idea. What possible good will come of publishing what one anonymous person thinks of another poorly disguised, still identifiable person? You will do nothing but sow seeds of discontent and distrust, and stress relationships that might deserve a chance to grow and flouish. And Mr. Poulsen is correct, you will be held responsible for the damage. It is one thing to review businesses and the quality of politicians and performers, but close to immoral to "rate" personalities of identifiable people. The legal ramifications are minor in comparison to the havoc you will raise in your community. What you do might be legal in every respect, and you will still be hated.
Best wishes for a more mature understanding of how to nurture healthy human relationships, and please remember to designate a best answer.
This answer is offered as a public service for general information only and may not be relied upon as legal advice.