NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- Do we need any more reminders that stock message boards are minefields for investors? That they are happy hunting grounds for stock promoters, paid stalkers and assorted shills? Just look at a news item that's been all over the press and you can see what I mean.There were plenty of amusing articles in the press in recent days about a drug company's appearance before the Supreme Court. The company is Matrixx Initiatives, and the cause of the merriment was Judge Antonin Scalia asking a government lawyer if he believed in "Satan." Matrixx is accused of not promptly disclosing reports of serious side effects for one of its products, and the company raised a parallel with the old rumors that Procter & Gamble ( PG) was in league with the Devil. If Procter & Gamble didn't have to disclose those stupid rumors, why did Matrixx have to report on stupid, "unreliable" reports about the harm caused by its Zicam cold remedy, even when the dang things turned out to be true? Funny, huh? Well, I guess you had to be there. After laughing for several minutes over this, I remembered that there was something about this situation that was even more of a knee-slapper. One of the "initiatives" in Matrixx's corporate mission is its aggressive effort to get ordinary people to STFU about the company on stock message boards. To me that's as big a deal as not disclosing stuff to investors, but it wasn't before the Supreme Court. That's because there's no money in it for private litigators, and our government doesn't give a hoot. But Matrixx sure gave a hoot, so it sued a bunch of people in 2002, including anonymous message-board posters, claiming that they were unfairly disparaging the company. The suits received little attention in the media while they were dragging through the courts. Why should they? After all, only small fry were involved -- a crummy little company and some ordinary people yapping on message boards. Who cares about their free-speech rights? One of the message-board posters identified in the suit was a persistent Internet gadfly named Floyd Schneider. Floyd started posting about the dangers posed by Zicam, he tells me, after he found a Yahoo ( YHOO) group composed of people claiming their sense of smell was impeded by use of the product. So he and others banged away on the subject long before the media picked up on it.