Encyclopedia Dramatica Owner May Face Charges Down Under… Despite Not Being In Australia

from the jurisdictional-issues dept

You would think after all these years on the internet we would have figured out how to deal with basic jurisdictional issues, but there are still plenty of countries who think that the laws in their country can reach over borders and be applied to people and websites in completely different countries, just because they don’t like it. The problem with this, of course, is that if this is true, it automatically creates a very low ceiling for all internet communications, since they are all automatically held to the most draconian censorship laws out there. But, still, someone sees something they don’t like online, even if it’s from another country, and legal threats come out.

The latest such example involves the guy who runs Encyclopedia Dramatica, which might be simply described as… 4chan’s version of Wikipedia, or the “internet troll’s Wikipedia.” However you want to describe it, it’s filled with content you probably don’t want your mom looking at. But, it’s quite an institution at this point.

But it turns out that the Australian Human Rights and Equal Opportunities Commission (HREOC) is upset about a “deliberately offensive article about Aborigines,” and is threatening to take the site’s operator, Joseph Evers, to court. The thing is, the stuff on Encyclopedia Dramatica are deliberately offensive to pretty much everyone. That’s the point. But the nice thing about the internet is that if you don’t like that sort of thing, you can avoid it. Furthermore, Evers is in the US and isn’t breaking any US laws.

But really, what good does this do for Aborigines or Australia? All this threat does is call a lot more attention to this offensive article. Prior to this most people now reading about it never would have known about it. Those who spend their time on ED would see it, but that’s what they find amusing anyway. Of course, it also turns out that ED is apparently on Australia’s “secret” censorship filter list, so if the gov’t ever gets around to forcing ISPs to block sites, the people offended by ED won’t be able to access it (and everyone else will just route around the filters anyway).

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Comments on “Encyclopedia Dramatica Owner May Face Charges Down Under… Despite Not Being In Australia”

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66 Comments
aguywhoneedstenbucks (profile) says:

ED

On Topic: I’ve been through a lot of ED and have never seen that article. I’ll have to look it up when I get home.

Off Topic: I like tricking my epileptic friend into going to the ED page on epilepsy. It’s funny to watch her twitch.

Disclaimer: I don’t really do this because looking at that page makes me twitch and I can’t imagine what it would end up doing to her. I’ve always wanted to see, but decency gets in the way of curiosity sometimes.

Epi Leptic says:

Re: ED

Depends on her levels. I’m epileptic and that page doesn’t bother me. Not that I was pleased when /b/ went into the Epilepsy Forums and started posting flashing gifs which actually effected a lot of people. It sounds funny, but falling off a chair and busting your head open whether at home or at work in front of co-workers makes for a tough day.

The Root (user link) says:

ED's Crimes (the users making articles about people in a way to mess up their lives one way or another AND encouraging online to be taken offline.. CRIME ALERT!)

If you think about it, THE USERS, who make those articles about people, including me (yes, not linking it of course, it’s full of LIBEL), have lots of lies written, false accusations, child pornography and PERSONALLY IDENTIFYING INFORMATION (includes but is not limited to, first/last names, phone numbers, cities, states, provinces, schools, jobs, colleges, universities, daycares, zip/postal codes and apartment/unit/suite numbers) listed (of minors, adults, teens, etc. obtained via harassment, blackmail, extortion threats, you name it) for the purposes of taking anything online, OFFLINE.

This is considered breaking the laws once an individual or family is harassed, threatened, blackmailed, extorted, injured, harmed, property damaged, theft, trespassing, vandalized, etc. and causes trauma to the targets IN the article.

Often, people are TRICKED into (the above noted) trolling, hating, bullying, picking on, etc. on people without any reason.

I think these articles need to be reviewed by the HOST of the website and LOCAL LAW ENFORCEMENT. Fuck the government. The LAW has to get involved. The host will remove an article when the police tell it to. If not, the host is charged for hosting that content AND the owner is held liable for all charges implied.

Just saying. I feel that everybodys articles should be removed. It ruins online and some offline reputations (especially if your FIRST AND LAST NAME are linked and your boss happens to google you, say GOOD BYE JOB. Fired if they believe any of that BS in those articles.)

Thanks for your understanding. That’s my rant.

:Lobo Santo (profile) says:

Re: ED's Crimes (the users making articles about people in a way to mess up their lives one way or another AND encouraging online to be taken offline.. CRIME ALERT!)

Ya know… the kind of person who cannot tell that Encyclopedia Dramatica is for the most part fictitious isn’t somebody I’d like to be working for.

And in general, people who cannot generally tell fact from fiction need a reminder that not everything is true.

Though, hey, if you wanna be the sheriff o’ the interwebs, well, good luck.

John Fenderson (profile) says:

Re: ED's Crimes (the users making articles about people in a way to mess up their lives one way or another AND encouraging online to be taken offline.. CRIME ALERT!)

“Often, people are TRICKED into (the above noted) trolling, hating, bullying, picking on, etc. on people without any reason.”

How do you trick someone into trolling, hating, bullying, etc.? Did these unwitting criminals think they were somehow being friendly? Are they really that insanely stupid?

I simply cannot see how any web page can trick you into being a criminal-level jerk. I can see how a web site can give criminals a way to coordinate, but then so can the telephone, craigslist, classified ads, fliers, or any other communications medium. Why is ED so special?

Facepalmer says:

Re: Re: ED's Crimes (the users making articles about people in a way to mess up their lives one way or another AND encouraging online to be taken offline.. CRIME ALERT!)

“I can see how a web site can give criminals a way to coordinate, but then so can the telephone, craigslist, classified ads, fliers, or any other communications medium. Why is ED so special?”

Because the webmaster openly supports this criminal behaviour. On most other websites, such plans of committing crimes or posting defamatory material will be deleted and the poster/his IP address might be reported to the police.

Joe Chan says:

ED

Encyclopedia Dramatica is a pretty freaked out place, and completely understand anyone who after seeing it once, would never want to go there again.

On the other hand, it’s just a bunch of flamebait, and hyperbolic trash-talk, and ultimately pointless. It’s pretty obvious that if you take it too seriously, it’s exactly what its creators want.

Then again, there is a whole generation of older people who have little understanding of the internet as a culture and don’t care to learn.

Anon says:

Firstly, I’d like to mention that because of this case my mum has visited ED and checked out some of the pages. I doubt that Saachi and Saachi could have done a better job advertising this website.

Secondly, the Australian Human Rights and Equal Opportunities Commission should focus their efforts on issues that actually harm Aboriginals. What people seem to forget is that opinions are like arseholes, everyone has one. Someone spouting their opinion on a private website is inconsequencial to the welfare of Aboriginals.

The Australian Human Rights and Equal Opportunities Commission should focus on issues that matter, like prejudice by police officers (they call aboriginals coons in all communities outside of capital cities), Aboriginals raping their own children and other prejudice by companies or institutions.

By going after this private website, you are just atttracting attention to some idiot’s opinions.

According to AIUK http://www.amnesty.org.uk/content.asp?CategoryID=11219, I can’t see any human rights that have been infringed upon, except for the Human rights of the author at ED. (Article 19, We all have the right to make up our own minds, to think what we like, to say what we think, and to share our ideas with other people wherever they live, through books, radio, television and in other ways.)

What bugs me even more is that the pages on white people, Jews, Indians, etc etc are the same as the one on aboriginals, yet my pale white Human Rights are not infringed by ED. What this tells me is that Aboriginal human rights are more important that white human rights.

Not Anon says:

Re: Re:

Nice trick to distract from the problems that ED is causing by trolling with an unrelated topic about Aboriginals…

Do you know the webmaster of ED personally? Are you his friend? Can you be sure that you as a single person will never get defamed on his website? Why are you defending him?

Is it right for you say what you like when other people’s life get ruined that way? I think the webmaster of ED is a sociopath that only cares about his success and not about human rights.

athe (profile) says:

Re: Re:

So what? His citizenship is irrelevant to the situation. They might be able to do in that case is revoke his Australian citizenship if they wanted to be petty, but that’s about all they can do. His website is hosted in the US, and so is subject to US law, NOT Australian law.

That’s the point, Australia has NO jurisdiction over websites that are not hosted IN Australia – no country has such jurisdiction.

Idobek (profile) says:

Human Wrongs

Why do almost all “human rights commissions” ignore the most basic and important ones like FREEDOM OF EXPRESSION.

Suppressing the true and fundamental rights freedom of expression because people might be offended, not harmed – offended (ah, diddums), is a massive ABUSE of human rights. I wish those that claim to be upholding these rights could see this.

Human Rights says:

Re: Human Wrongs

…and another sociopath who wants to distract from the abuse of freedom of expression, so he (or she?) can justify his malicious actions.

You are allowed to express yourself, as long as you don’t hurt others. ED is clearly crossing the line. Better shut up as long as you don’t experience oppression daily.

Gene Cavanaugh (profile) says:

Encyclopedia Dramatica

Those who don’t know history are doomed to repeat it.
This same argument was used against American Indians (okay, I am part American Indian – the good part) and African Americans (okay, I am part African American – good too) and Irish (got me again) and Welsh (ouch, again!) and lately French (oooo! Great grandmother, they don’t like us!), and …. but you get the point.
As Jesus said, the weak and oppressed need protection that the (realatively) wealthy and accepted don’t need. (Not an exact quote, but accurate).

TimVim says:

I am ashamed to be an Australian

I am an Australian and this sickens me to the core.

It seems that the only people who care about implementing internet censorship are the bought Australian Government and Offended Aboriginals.

I live in a small town which white people built for the Aborigines to live in, they decided to move 1km away to live in the wild like they did before European settlement, they come to town for various supplies.

My aboriginal friend was not offended by the ED article, rather he was offended that somebody wanted to perform censorship upon it.

The article speaks truth about how the Aboriginals have been culturally destroyed by the Jews.

Todd says:

ED: maintained by sociopaths

My opinion: Mike Masnick, the author of this article, is an idiot. Encyclopedia Dramatica can be deliberately harmful to pretty much everyone. THAT’s the point.

I wonder if the author has checked ED thoroughly. What “The Root” wrote is true. ED disguises their criminal actions as satire and parody to get away with the laws.

ED is not harmless. Some people might believe and take things serious that are written there. It’s not fiction when you get falsely called a pedophile on ED, then few days later people spit at you or punch you on the streets because of that rumour. When private information about an individual person is posted, it’s obvious that it’s used to incite sociopaths to harass that person. What else would the reason be?

Parents of deceased teenagers are getting harassed and have to endure jokes and mockery about their dead child which they supported for years, people with disability are exposed as freaks to get mocked and harassed as well, emos get bashed just because they are part of a music scene, people with strange but harmless sexual fetishes get stigmatized as freaks too to be shunned or harassed. Gore and gross sexual images are posted there, along with a sarcastic comment which will most probably offend the relatives of these victims. Some articles sympathize with serial killers, just(?) for shock value.

ED is NOT a harmless website. Many people could tell what happened to them because they were exposed on that website if other medias gave them a voice.

RSNG says:

Are you people serious?

The Dramatica website is no more harmful than Wikipedia. They both use user generated content, certain people just don’t like certain content. Encyclopedia Dramatica is very clearly labeled, so if people get offended then what are they doing on the site anyway? It’s common sense, if you’re offended by porn then you wouldn’t surf a porn site right?

Just because some people are offended by content on a website doesn’t mean the site owner is responsible. If that were true then I could sue Wikipedia for containing pages on Christianity…because it offends me. My friend could sue them for having pages on Hitler or the Nazis…because she’s jewish & that offends her.
What would be next? Suing every blogger if you don’t like what they write?

It’s a slippery slope with censorship instead of using common sense, you begin to ‘re-write’ history & delete the realities of life.

To the person referring to personal information & identifying information being revealed, everything you listed is public information. It’s actually on thousands of websites if you look for it. Pretty easily too.

The Dramatica site doesn’t promote offline violence any more than kids on Myspace or Facebook…which have both had deaths related to them. Encyclopedia Dramatica has not.

So excuse me, I have to go sue some websites that promote Dr. Seuss since green eggs & ham highly offend me.

Chris says:

Encyclopedia Dramatica is an…interesting website. That’s all I have to say about it. I used to go there every now and then, but I guess I sort of grew out of it. Some of the stuff they host is morally questionable at best, and I don’t like the way that they harass people. Still, the Aboriginal article is just inappropriate political humor. It feels like a disturbing joke that someone put on the internet, so they got called out on it.

lulz says:

lulz

1. “Private info” can be found by using google, something that the /b/tards on ED know better then you censorship faggots and delusional overprotective parents who are too ignorant and lazy retards to block a website…

2. As mentioned above, so if a website has something I dislike I can sue them then?

3. As mentioned above, if you dont like ED why the hell are you on it anyways?

4. As mentioned above, this just shows how desperate the Aussie goverment is to show that Abos are somehow better then the white, black or jewish races… ED has articles on every religion and somehow only Abos page is being talked about?

5. Internet is serious business.

6. Im 12 and what is this?

Fuck ED says:

Pissed off.

ED is a site that sickens me through and through. What’s even worse is that that cloak their criminal activities with a false screen of satire, parody and spoof.

ED is sure as hell not a parody or satire and is certainly not harmless. Having your dox put up on your article? Satirical? Harmless? I don’t think so. Putting people’s dox (personal details) up is criminal. It not only puts their property at risk but also that person’s very lives.

I admit, I edited ED once. I tried to help out with a few things, I cleaned up an article that was a shithole. They flamed me for it and did someone to my userpage which they call “userpage rape” which is where they add templates calling you a faggot and add disgusting shock pics (e.g.: Goatse or the Pain Series). That didn’t bother me much, I kept editing.

However, here’s what made me stop editing.

At first, I thought ED was just a simple satirical wiki. Kind of like Uncyclopedia, except that Uncyclopedia is actually funny, ED is just a harmful site.

Anyway, I found someone’s dox on there. At that point, I thought game over. Then I decided to vandalise ED until they decided to ban me (which I honestly didn’t give a shit about) and edit Uncyclopedia instead. ED is a horrible website that should avoided at all costs.

Well, that’s my rant over with. If any cunts from ED want to flame me for voicing my opinion, go ahead. It’ll just prove how immature people from Encyclopedia Fagmatica really are.

anonymous says:

Re:

You fatheaded, blind-in-head, and hypocritical bigot who sucks up to ED like the trash heap it is. How you’re hypocritical is that you posted that you’re Australian and claimed to find some of the things in the website offensive yet you badmouthed Australia and lied that it’s hilarious.

If you’re not careful what you say, write, type and/or post, you will get your ass handed to you.

And if you and trolls think that you and them can win the Internet this time, then you and them should be prepared to lose your and their lives for being total jerkasses.

anonymous says:

Are you people serious?

You’re such a hypocritical liar, you know that? It’s ironic that you don’t want ED sued yet you want the Wikipedia sued because it has Christianity and it offends you. How blind you are to that religion that you can’t see the positiveness in it.

You claim to have common sense but you want to sue Dr. Seuss’ Green Eggs and Ham even though that author’s dead. What a deluded, biased, and self-righteous jerk you are.

Are you blind to how bad Encyclopedia Dramatica is? If so, then don’t blame me if you get a huge amount trouble with it.

anonymous says:

Pissed off.

I was going to congratulate you being against Encyclopedia Dramatica like I am. But when I read that you dared any ED workers to flame you, I changed my mind.

For your information, a true ED hater wouldn’t dare anyone to antagonize him or her for expressing his or her opinion. Instead, she or he would fight back.

Another reason why I changed my mind about joining your in your hatred for ED is because you support the Uncyclopedia, which I’m against as much as ED. Can you not see that it’s as bad and harmful as ED?!

But don’t think that I’ll ever join those ED jerks against you. If you’re not careful on how you behave, you’ll pay the price for it.

anonymous says:

ED

If you think it’s funny about ED winning due to people bitching and moaning about it, then be prepared to jump on the trolls-having-their-asses-kicked bandwagon.

I remember this one male troll who went so far in flamin’ other people online that many those folks got back at him until he couldn’t take it anymore. And so, he quit.

If you don’t want those same things happening to you, then you better watch yourself.

ilovecrows (profile) says:

Take it for what it is!

Encyclopædia Dramatica is a satirical website, consisting of a wiki and forum. It lampoons both encyclopedia topics and current events, especially those related or relevant to contemporary Internet culture. It often serves as a repository of information and a means of discussion for the internet subculture known as Anonymous.

The not safe for work site celebrates a subversive “trolling culture”, and documents Internet memes, culture, and events, such as mass organized pranks, trolling events, “raids”, large scale failures of Internet security, and criticism of Internet communities which are accused of self-censorship in order to garner prestige or positive coverage from traditional and established media outlets.

ED is a site where almost every article is biased, offensive, unsourced, and without the faintest trace of political correctness. A search through its archives will reveal animated images of people committing suicide, articles glorifying extreme racism and sexism, and a seemingly endless supply of twisted, shocking views on just about every major human tragedy in history.

Take it for what it is, or don’t read it!

guest says:

Re:

how full of shit you are, you hypocritical troll. are you deluded? it’s ironic that you bitched about a guy who you called a troll and a wanker when those two words describe you. if i didn’t know any better, i’d say that you’ve been corrupted by that satirical website. do you really think that you’re any better than the people who you hate? if so, you’re really a self-righteous cunt, especially for claiming that that crap is funny.

so do me a favor and go fuck yourself to death.

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