Google Told To Reveal IP Addresses Of Mean YouTube Commenters

from the anonymity-ain't-so-anonymous dept

Back in August we wrote about yet another case involving someone trying to unmask "mean" commenters online. In this case, it involved a consultant named Carla Franklin who was upset that some commenters on a YouTube video had referred to her as a "whore." As we noted at the time, there was some irony in the fact that in the video, Ms. Franklin advises people: "Don't take things so seriously." And, of course, by suing, Ms. Franklin's name has been splashed across the news, along with the fact that she doesn't like being called a whore. Now, as upsetting as it may be to be called a nasty name, chances are very few people would have ever seen these comments, and those that did would not have cared much about random anonymous internet commenters saying something immature. But, by suing, she's called a lot more attention to the whole thing.

Either way, a judge has now ordered Google to hand over the IP addresses of those who made the comments. It's unclear exactly how much Google fought this, though Google isn't always known for fighting to protect the anonymity of its users. It's unfortunate that more and more judges seem quick to demand turning over IP addresses for commenters who are obviously just making dumb comments no one's going to take seriously. But, even if the commenters are revealed, it's hard to see how Ms. Franklin is somehow better off now than if she had just not taken the whole thing so seriously.


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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 18th, 2010 @ 2:05pm

    Google can give the cellphone number of people using YouTube why do they need the IP address?

     

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      bugmenot (profile), Oct 18th, 2010 @ 5:02pm

      Re:

      You don't need a Google Account to make a Youtube account so that wouldnt work

       

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        Anonymous Coward, Oct 19th, 2010 @ 6:17am

        Re: Re:

        I don't know about you but that doesn't work here I still get the message to provide a cellphone number for verification even if I don't use a Google account, or Gmail.

        I'm sure there is a way to bypass that, but most don't know about it.

        Now if we are talking old accounts then it would be another story.

         

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    Rich Kulawiec, Oct 18th, 2010 @ 2:12pm

    IP addresses are utterly useless as personal identifiers

    Given that there at least a hundred million compromised systems out there, any one of which can be used by its new owner(s) for any purpose they choose at any time, it's foolish to keep pretending that knowing an IP address yields more than...knowing an IP address. (And this is before we even get into things like proxies, NAT, dynamic addressing and all the other factors that remove the correlation between addresses and users.)

    If it were otherwise, then we might be asking why Microsoft was providing DNS for illicit pharma spammers last week. (Answer: their network, like everyone else's, also has compromised systems on it.)

     

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      Anonymous Coward, Oct 18th, 2010 @ 2:30pm

      Re: IP addresses are utterly useless as personal identifiers

      My thoughts exactly. She gets an IP address.... then what? This has got to be rather expensive for her long-term...

       

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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 18th, 2010 @ 2:12pm

    So, anytime someone files a lawsuit for defamation, they're going to get the "Streisand Effect" and that somehow makes it not worth it? And it's a shame that judges are following the law and allowing discovery to commence is these cases? And, really, you can't see how someone would be better off after going after the defamer?

    Good goodness, you're silly, Mike.

     

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      Anonymous Coward, Oct 18th, 2010 @ 2:18pm

      Re:

      Are you kidding? Must be. They're Youtube comments. That makes it not worth it.

       

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      Anonymous Coward, Oct 18th, 2010 @ 2:22pm

      Re:

      Not only you are risking the Streisand effect you are also risking negative feedback meaning more cussing, if you didn't like it the first time how about a second and a third and a fourth. How long would you keep doing that? and for what some idiot commenting on the internet?

      Yah really worth all the abuse she will endure for a second time, there are things the law can't "fix", but people could avoid it just by ignoring it.

       

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      DH's Love Child (profile), Oct 18th, 2010 @ 2:28pm

      Re:

      So, anytime someone files a lawsuit for defamation, they're going to get the "Streisand Effect" and that somehow makes it not worth it? And it's a shame that judges are following the law and allowing discovery to commence is these cases? And, really, you can't see how someone would be better off after going after the defamer?

      Good goodness, you're silly, Mike.


      This all coming from someone who is posting anonymously?

      Hey Mike, I wanna sue this clown for being an idiot. Send me his IP addy, will ya?

       

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      Anonymous Coward, Oct 18th, 2010 @ 2:29pm

      Re:

      When the "defamation" consists of some random YouTube comments, yes, that makes it not worth it.

      Unless you're a lawyer.

      Or a law student.

       

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      Anonymous Coward, Oct 18th, 2010 @ 2:41pm

      Re:

      A youtube comment is defamation?

      I'm sorry, you are not apt for surviving in this era. Please head to the nearest reprocessing center where you will be broken into sub-atomic particles that will be released into nature. Hopefully, one day, they will be part of a multi-cellular organism that isn't as stupid.

       

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      Mike Masnick (profile), Oct 18th, 2010 @ 4:00pm

      Re:

      So, anytime someone files a lawsuit for defamation, they're going to get the "Streisand Effect" and that somehow makes it not worth it?

      Ah, your compulsion to lie about what I said knows no bounds. I did not say that "anytime" someone files a defamation suit, it doesn't make sense. But I do believe that one ought to take the context into question and then judge whether filing such a lawsuit would make you better off or worse off.

      It scares me that you're about to give people legal advice and you don't think it makes sense to weigh the pros and cons of the reaction to filing a lawsuit. What do they teach you in law school?

       

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        The Infamous Joe (profile), Oct 18th, 2010 @ 4:23pm

        Re: Re:

        If all you have is a hammer, everything looks like a nail. If all you have is a lawyer, you're fucked.

         

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          MadderMak (profile), Oct 18th, 2010 @ 5:17pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          If all you have is a hammer, everything looks like a nail. If all you have is a lawyer, everyone else is fucked.

          :) fixed that for you

           

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            martyburns (profile), Oct 19th, 2010 @ 2:38am

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            If all you have is a hammer, everything looks like a nail. If all you have is a lawyer, everyone is fucked but the lawyer.

            fixed that for you :-)

             

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      • This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
         
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        Anonymous Coward, Oct 18th, 2010 @ 4:38pm

        Re: Re:

        When did I ever say that one should not weigh the pros and cons of filing a lawsuit? I never said that. That doesn't stop you from lying about it though.

        Honesty's not your strong suit. That's a problem with intellectually dishonest people such as yourself.

        And what exactly did the judge do wrong? It's scary to me you think the judge did anything wrong. I know you can't back that one up, bud.

         

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          Ryan Diederich, Oct 18th, 2010 @ 6:06pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          YOU are the fool.

          Why SHOULD she get this persons personal details? Why?

          I KNOW you cant back that one up, bud.

           

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          Mike Masnick (profile), Oct 18th, 2010 @ 11:30pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          When did I ever say that one should not weigh the pros and cons of filing a lawsuit? I never said that. That doesn't stop you from lying about it though.

          I did not lie. I made the point that one should take into account the pros and cons before filing a lawsuit, and your response was to claim that meant I was saying you should never file a lawsuit. Taking that implication to the obvious conclusion, you believe that I was wrong in suggesting one should take into account the pros and cons of a lawsuit.

          Now you're claiming that's a lie. So now I'm confused, because that means your original statement makes no sense.

          Honesty's not your strong suit. That's a problem with intellectually dishonest people such as yourself.


          You amuse me. Your childlike need to take every point I score against you and then pretend to score it against me only serves to highlight your immaturity. I would suggest that growing up might do you a world of good, but it seems unlikely to happen any time soon.

          And what exactly did the judge do wrong? It's scary to me you think the judge did anything wrong. I know you can't back that one up, bud.

          Anonymous speech is protected under the First Amendment, unless there are clear cases of defamatory speech. A comment on YouTube referring to someone as a whore, taken in context, where no one is likely to take it seriously, should not meet the standard to reveal the commenter. Judges have pointed out that online forums are more akin to random chit chat, and should not be taken seriously as statements of fact.

           

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            Anonymous Coward, Oct 19th, 2010 @ 6:37am

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            I did not lie. I made the point that one should take into account the pros and cons before filing a lawsuit, and your response was to claim that meant I was saying you should never file a lawsuit. Taking that implication to the obvious conclusion, you believe that I was wrong in suggesting one should take into account the pros and cons of a lawsuit.

            Now you're claiming that's a lie. So now I'm confused, because that means your original statement makes no sense.


            Mike, I was commenting on the fact that as far as I have ever seen, you never side with the plaintiff. Can you point me to one of your posts where you thought the plaintiff was right to bring a suit? If not, I'll stand by my observation that you never think it's a good idea. If you want to disprove that, simply point me a counterexample.

            You amuse me. Your childlike need to take every point I score against you and then pretend to score it against me only serves to highlight your immaturity. I would suggest that growing up might do you a world of good, but it seems unlikely to happen any time soon.

            And your shortsightedness amuses me. You're such a silly creature, Mike.

            Anonymous speech is protected under the First Amendment, unless there are clear cases of defamatory speech. A comment on YouTube referring to someone as a whore, taken in context, where no one is likely to take it seriously, should not meet the standard to reveal the commenter. Judges have pointed out that online forums are more akin to random chit chat, and should not be taken seriously as statements of fact.

            It's hilarious that you think the First Amendment trumps all. You seem to have absolutely no understanding of the intricacies and nuances of First Amendment doctrine. Nor do you understand the duties of judges. It's made all the more funny by the fact that you run a website where you pretend you understand all of this stuff. It's way over your head.

             

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              Josh in CharlotteNC (profile), Oct 19th, 2010 @ 8:37am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              "Mike, I was commenting on the fact that as far as I have ever seen, you never side with the plaintiff. Can you point me to one of your posts where you thought the plaintiff was right to bring a suit? If not, I'll stand by my observation that you never think it's a good idea. If you want to disprove that, simply point me a counterexample."

              Took me all of 3 minutes to do one search and find an article from 3 weeks ago.

              http://www.techdirt.com/articles/20100927/16595811186/privacy-international-plans-to-sue-acs -law-for-mishandling-information-on-those-it-threatened.shtml

              While Mike didn't come straight out and say 'it is a good idea', so without putting word in his mouth, I would imagine that he agrees with the plaintiff in this case.

               

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                Anonymous Coward, Oct 19th, 2010 @ 8:47am

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                Took me all of 3 minutes to do one search and find an article from 3 weeks ago.

                http://www.techdirt.com/articles/20100927/16595811186/privacy-international-plans-to-sue-acs -law-for-mishandling-information-on-those-it-threatened.shtml

                While Mike didn't come straight out and say 'it is a good idea', so without putting word in his mouth, I would imagine that he agrees with the plaintiff in this case.


                LOL! That's someone suing one of his most-hated copyright "troll" companies. Of course he thinks that's a good idea.

                This thread is about defamation, not suing trolls. I've yet to see him agree with the plaintiff in a defamation suit. Nor have I ever seen him agree with the plaintiff in an IP case.

                 

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                  Anonymous Coward, Oct 19th, 2010 @ 10:24am

                  Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                  Has it ever occurred to you that maybe there is no such thing as a "good" defamation lawsuit since the advent of the internet?

                  Also, this is a blog, not a news organization. The blog is devoted to disusing bad legal choices and while Mike does throw in articles about good legal precedents/cases/decisions - it isn't the primary purpose of the site.

                  Speaking of which, why don't you start your own blog - you could call it something like Thoughts of a Disingenuous Bastard. Then you can write about how everyone should always be suing someone and talk about how the plaintiff is always right. If you're looking for "fair and balanced"** try Fox news.

                  **Fox news does not guarantee that any of it's programming is fair or balanced. Any implied expectation of reason, critical thinking, or intelligence is not warranted or promised by Fox news.

                   

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                    Anonymous Coward, Oct 19th, 2010 @ 11:07am

                    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                    I think sometimes it's a good idea to sue, and sometimes it isn't. It depends on the plaintiff's unique situation and what they hope to or are likely to achieve. I couldn't say it was per se a bad idea or a good idea.

                    And I actually have my own site with lots of active members. Thanks, though.

                     

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                The Infamous Joe (profile), Oct 19th, 2010 @ 9:05am

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                He admitted to being a troll. There is no further need to discuss anything with him. Save your efforts for people who are asking genuine questions.

                 

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          Anonymous Coward, Oct 19th, 2010 @ 10:07am

          Re: Re: Re:

          Going to have to "somewhat" stick up for AC here.

          Please don't click the Report button on tripe like this. Let their statements stand and fall on their own.

          Can't tell anyone what to do, but unless one has onion-paper thin skin, I see no reason to report anything but spam, or perhaps *extremely disturbing, threatening stuff.

           

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    ofb2632 (profile), Oct 18th, 2010 @ 2:24pm

    whore

    she's a whore!
    and yes, you can give her my ip
    i would love to have her sue me for my constitutional rights to have an opinion about her.

     

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      TPBer (profile), Oct 18th, 2010 @ 2:41pm

      Re: whore

      I believe she just committed a "SBDC" error,

      Stupid Bitch Dumb Cunt, take my IP and play with it :)

       

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      Sue Perman, Oct 18th, 2010 @ 2:54pm

      Re: whore

      I'm feeling lazy today so I won't bother hiding my IP address. So yes, come & get me. Oh, wait, I'm using someone else's computer, so come and get him.

      You don't have a right to lie about someone, even if you call it your opinion. "In my opinion, you just stole $1,000,000 from the bank. You are a thief. And a terrorist, not to mention a child molester. But that's just my opinion, even if in my opinion I saw you do it all."

      However, this who...chick is stupid. Now everyone will know she is a who...paranoid person who does more harm than good to her reputation.

      She will have to prove she is not a whore. And perhaps the judge will ask her personal questions. Besides, I have photographs (or watercolors) to prove she is (in my opinion).

      Hmm. Maybe I should create a fake IP address just to be sure I don't get a visit from the FBI. Or a whorehouse looking for new employees.

       

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    Sean (profile), Oct 18th, 2010 @ 2:30pm

    you just don't get it do you?

    Anonymous Coward, Oct 18th, 2010 @ 2:12pm obviously, (in my opinion)

    A. is a lawyer,
    B. is litigiously over stimulated, and/or
    C. Just doesn't get it

    why?

    Knowing the IP Address of the computer where an Internet post originated is useless. The most it can tell you is what ISP they were using. Dynamic Addresses change all the time. My Address could be xxx.xxx.xxx.xx1 today and if I don't login for 3 days it WILL be a different the next time I log in and the xx1 address will be assigned to another user.

    Also IF after you get the IP address from google, you then have to get the ISP to give up the account info that the xx1 address was assigned to on a given day. That is going to take a court order as well.

    Then you STILL don't know who posted it. If that xx1 address belongs to a company it could be anyone of 100's or 1000's of PC's and they are not going to tell you anything with out a 3rd order.

    If it belongs to an individual there could be many computers in that house or an Ipod or Iphone, So even if you get to the actual device that posted, Can you prove WHO posted? not likely! and IF you do, what are you going get out of it?

    -???

     

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      Blatant Coward (profile), Oct 18th, 2010 @ 3:00pm

      Re: you just don't get it do you?

      That's not even counting the possibility of someone making a post at a restaurant/bar/public area with "free" wifi.

       

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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 18th, 2010 @ 2:42pm

    Shes a whore.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 18th, 2010 @ 2:58pm

    This is why I'm designing my site to hash IPs in the database (used in conjunction with evercookie to foil ban-dodgers) and to limit the amount of personal information users may enter on their profiles.

    If someone wants to use the law to get personal details, let them go bug the user's e-mail provider or web host too. Maybe the phrase "our system can't match users to their IPs" will discourage them from even trying.

    (IP logging will be limited to Apache logs with a lifetime of maybe a week (two at most) used only for handling attacks against the site.)

     

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    Coach George (profile), Oct 18th, 2010 @ 3:22pm

    Do it from an open wifi

    Bottom line,
    If you care that much to comment on stupid videos and blogs to the point of calling the poster or blogger names, find an open or public wi-fi connection and send the comment from there. Stay away from the library, office or home.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 18th, 2010 @ 3:36pm

    Biggest whore on Fifth Avenue, I'm told!

     

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    Johnny, Oct 18th, 2010 @ 4:13pm

    So Carla Franklin doesn't want to be called a whore?

    How many times will the web now have her name and that profession in one sentence?

    Is this a case of blonde on the inside?

     

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      The Infamous Joe (profile), Oct 18th, 2010 @ 4:21pm

      Re:

      Google says 330,000 times. Epic fail.

       

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        Johnny, Oct 18th, 2010 @ 4:27pm

        Re: Re:

        > Google says 330,000 times. Epic fail.
        I get 1,150,000 results for "Carla Franklin Whore" (without quotes) on Google... That's an epic fail indeed.

         

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          The Infamous Joe (profile), Oct 18th, 2010 @ 4:32pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          Oh, I typed "Carla Franklin is a whore" without quotes.

          Interesting side note: If I type "Carla Franklin is a whore without quotes" (without quotes) google asks if I meant "Carl Franklin is a whore" and returns 225,000 hits.

          Poor Carl, he's the real victim here.

           

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    Johnny, Oct 18th, 2010 @ 4:57pm

    Tolstoy

    Poor Carl!

    More side notes:

    I wonder what Tolstoy would have said about Carla Franklin....

    Had he lived in present day America, he'd have spent his entire life in court rooms instead of writing books.

     

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    netwrok, Oct 18th, 2010 @ 5:49pm

    Well that is just silly...

    What kind of sick bastard would say, "Carla Franklin is a whore?"

    That's just rude and inconsiderate. I would never say, "Carla Franklin is a whore". But if someone else were to say "Carla Franklin is a whore", then I guess it would be their constitutional right to say that Carla Franklin is a whore, whether Carla Franklin is actually a whore who fucks for money or not. I mean, really, we have no proof if Carla Franklin is a whore, since I don't believe she has formally denied the fact that she is a whore. But I'm going to give her the benefit of the doubt, if I really cared.

    Just so we are clear, I would never say that "Carla Franklin is a whore", since I have no idea who she is to even have an opinion on her taking money for sexual favors or not.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 18th, 2010 @ 7:52pm

    carla franklin is a whore. Or so i'm told.

     

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    sheshouldgetjailtime, Oct 18th, 2010 @ 7:52pm

    sheshouldgetjailtime

    I question not only whether she has merit but also whether she didn't lie about the whole thing. Sounds like a crazed ex going after a rich former boyfriend to me. It's not that hard to get a restraining order after 1 year of stalking... but 4 years! The cops must have laughed her out of the station for the joke she was telling. She decided to tell the joke to a judge and scream HELP my safety is in danger. The judge and Google got duped.

     

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    whatisthis?, Oct 18th, 2010 @ 7:55pm

    whatisthis?

     

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    whatisthis?, Oct 18th, 2010 @ 7:56pm

    whatisthis?

    if Google gives anything over, we would be sheep for not leaving Google en masse for selling us out so easily. baaabaaabaaabaa.

     

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    lee, Oct 18th, 2010 @ 9:07pm

    She Should Sue

    I'm glad she is suing i am tired of the keyboard cowboys calling people n******* and fag* on youtube. She is going to win on defamation of character.

     

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    Wolfy, Oct 18th, 2010 @ 10:09pm

    "Anonymous Coward, Oct 18th, 2010 @ 4:38pm

    When did I ever say that one should not weigh the pros and cons of filing a lawsuit? I never said that. That doesn't stop you from lying about it though.

    Honesty's not your strong suit. That's a problem with intellectually dishonest people such as yourself."

    circular logic employed like a religionist.

     

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    G Thompson (profile), Oct 18th, 2010 @ 11:38pm

    Definitions and context

    So Ms Franklin has advised in a professional manner whilst being a consultant not to take things so serious and then compromises that principle for what any reasonable person of ethical integrity would see as personal gain...

    Wow.. isn't that the other non sexual definition of Whore?

    Therefore it seems in my personal opinion that Ms Franklin is acting whorish and is therefore justified in being called a whore.

    If your reading Ms Franklin (or her counsel) you can easily find my details by following the links on my profile here at Techdirt. I'd be glad to receive correspondence.

     

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    iamtheky (profile), Oct 19th, 2010 @ 5:18am

    Sue

    its cute you put on your alter ego to inquire about fellatio

    (but the gravatar never lies)

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 19th, 2010 @ 7:57am

    Those who protest the most usually are. Pierot 101.

     

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    Etch, Oct 19th, 2010 @ 8:00am

    Let's give it a shot!

    Carla Franklin is a whore!
    There!
    Mike, I authorize you to give my IP address to Carla Franklin, and let's just see if she can reach me, and where this is going to take us! :P

     

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    Free Capitalist (profile), Oct 19th, 2010 @ 10:13am

    Technical Question

    If the word on the street is that this person is a whore, can the transportation department be sued for defamation?

     

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    Bas Grasmayer (profile), Oct 19th, 2010 @ 12:02pm

    This might be bad news for those Greek guys who uploaded offensive videos of Attatürk, founder of Turkey. Turkey has asked Google to identify them, so that they can act if they were to enter Turkey. Turkey has pretty harsh punishments for anti-Turkish acts, such as insulting the founding father of modern Turkey.

     

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    pesti (profile), Oct 20th, 2010 @ 10:04am

    I just read this comment by Paul Harris of the Observer (UK)and just about fell off my chair..
    It is one of the most irritating and ubiquitous annoyances of the internet age: the anonymous commenter. Hiding behind a made-up moniker, anonymous commenters surface on virtually every blog or news website, posting bile, insults, prejudice and ignorance, often for the sheer hell of it. In the free for all that has so far marked internet-based publishing, there seems to be no recourse for those targeted by the so-called "trolls". Certainly not of the sort they would have if such comments were published in hard copy on the letters pages of old media newspapers and magazines, where the threat of libel has kept up standards. But, perhaps, no longer. A law suit filed last week in New York has threatened to hold some of the internet's more unpleasant denizens to account: a rare example of old media rules starting to be applied online. The heroine of the tale is Carla Franklin, a former model and graduate of Columbia Business School. She is taking Google to court over anonymous comments that called her a "whore" on the firm's YouTube website. She is seeking a court order to force Google to identify the person behind the insult. According to her lawyer, Franklin already suspects a certain individual of posting the comments, but needs concrete confirmation before she can go after them in a court of law. She is claiming the insult, which was posted several times by the same YouTube user, was "… made with the intention to harm Ms Franklin's reputation and interfere with her relationships, employment and livelihood". It is hard not to cheer Franklin's cause. Anonymous commenters claim that the cloak of secrecy allows greater frankness and honesty and means whistleblowers and others perhaps hampered by their jobs can post things online with greater safety. But in reality it is all too often just a handy excuse to be rude, juvenile or racist. Franklin is also riding a growing wave against anonymity online. Several American news websites, including the Buffalo News newspaper, have recently forced commenters to use their real names when posting their opinions on stories
    After a few idiots posted supportting comments, raising my hair even more a breath of fresh air revived me
    SergioBlumenfeld 22 August 2010 5:29AM ..........I chose to post this comment under my real name; otherwise Paul Harris (and others like him) would imagine that they can automatically dismiss it as some "ignorant troll"'s annoying blabbering. This article is beyond bad, it's outrageous. The author believes he can lump together all the anonymous commenters on all subjects on the Web, be equally derogatory of all of them, and then proceed to recommend an end to publishing any anonymous comments. You are so wrong in your pompous arrogance, Mr. Harris! Having read huge numbers of comments on a wide variety of subjects, I can tell that you find a whole gamut of them - ranging from juvenile inanities and nonsensical rudeness, to many intelligent and well-informed comments. It's not so hard to tell which ones come from a silly and ignorant kid having great fun with his computer keyboard, and which ones come from serious people, many of them with academic degrees. Hey, I'm not prejudiced, many good comments come from smart people without college degrees, but with plenty of common sense. As a matter of fact, it's a rather common occurrence to find several comments on an article which are more intelligent than the article they criticize. An example: this article. I don't need to know the real names of Volucre, anon102, ashiraz, stenchofpc, etc. (and I apologize to other good commenters whose monikers I left out) to tell that they are making better points than Mr. Harris. Just the fact of signing your name doesn't add any value to your writing, Paul H. People's ability to publish their thoughts under a chosen moniker is a huge asset of the Internet age, it is a huge enhancement of people's freedom of speech. It allows people to feel free and safe to make an honest statement of their real thoughts. Particularly in these days of political correctness gone to endless extremes, taking control of much of the media, and not tolerating dissent, publishing under a moniker is a shelter and a refuge for free speech. Professional journalists are mercenaries, trading their freedom of speech for a good salary - paid to those who write what their publisher wants them to write. By contrast, the anonymous commenters care only about making a true statement of their thoughts and feelings, while getting no pay for their time and effort. As I explained above, the better among these comments provide a genuine enrichment of the sites publishing them - even though, inevitably, you have to make allowance for the publication of the lowly ones as well. The strongest impression I'm left with from Harris's article above is that he took an opportunity to vent out his frustration with the many critical comments that he and his colleagues had to endure countless times. Oh, if only we could have a strong-handed censorship, or at least, not allow publishing one's opinions under pseudonyms!. Then, we'll see a lot less unwanted criticism, and life will be easier for the mercenary journalist; then, he could sing happily the praises of Freedom of Speech - as long as it's firmly kept under control! Thank you for your attention, Sergio Blumenfeld Raleigh, NC (USA)

     

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    Anonymous Troll, Nov 30th, 2010 @ 1:17am

    Carla Franklin is a whore

    I'm using someone else's computer so I might as well post this. Carla Franklin is a whore. She's a stupid cunt too, and I'm going to make it my mission to find every account she has on the internets and troll her without mercy.

     

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    Grigory Rasputin, Feb 3rd, 2011 @ 3:06am

    IP...freely.

     

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