Mother And Daughter Still Blame MySpace For Not Protecting Her From Sexual Assault
from the go-after-the-money dept
Two and a half years ago, we wrote about a teenager who sued MySpace following a sexual assault, saying that it was the site’s fault that she was assaulted. This despite the fact that she had signed up for the site, lied about her age and the actual assault (obviously) happened outside of MySpace. That’s not to say that a crime didn’t happen, but it’s quite difficult to see how it could possibly be MySpace’s fault. In fact, a judge made exactly that point in dismissing the lawsuit last year, noting that MySpace was protected under section 230 safe harbors, and even if it wasn’t, it would “cripple” 3rd party communication systems if you could attach liability to them for every crime committed that touched on those services. The judge also pointed out that this seemed like a clear case of a parent trying to blame a big company for her own failings: “If anyone had a duty to protect Julie Doe, it was her parents, not MySpace.”
Of course, that’s not good enough for the girl and her mother, who have now appealed the case, still claiming that MySpace somehow is responsible. The girl’s lawyers claim that MySpace still had a responsibility to protect the girl, even though he doesn’t explain how it can protect a girl who lied about her age and then went off to meet with a much older guy in real life. It’s difficult to see how that can possibly be MySpace’s fault — but the rule of thumb these days is always sue the big company that has the most money. As for the older guy accused of the sexual assault, he’s been indicted, but last we heard, his lawyers were also thinking about blaming MySpace. After all, if the girl is blaming MySpace, then how could it be the guy’s fault?