Internet Battle Raises Questions About The First Amendment

from the since-when-are-true-stories-illegal? dept

Interesting article in the NY Times about a lawsuit that hasn’t received much attention. It appears that a former beauty show queen was upset when she found out that a former boyfriend had a website up talking about their relationship and suggesting that she didn’t live up to the ideals she set forth during her various beauty contest campaigns. A judge has told the guy that he needed to remove all references to her from the website and cannot mention her, anything about her, or even link to her website from his. Apparently, all of this happened without the guy even knowing about the case, or having a chance to defend himself. The charges on the case were filed as a “privacy” claim – though, considering that she’s leading a fairly public life, it’s unclear how it should be private information that the founder of the “Sobriety Society” has a history of not being so sober. If any of the information was untrue, then she should have sued under libel law. It appears that many legal experts are stunned by the decision, saying it’s very rare to see an effective gag order on free speech like this.

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