Make Fun Of A Professor, Lose Your Computer

from the interesting-law dept

A student at the University of Northern Colorado created a silly little online newsletter about things happening at the university, where he made fun of a certain professor in a very over-the-top and satirical manner. The apparently thin-skinned professor complained to the police, who have charged the student with libel, and taken away his computer. This seems to be going way too far. First, the piece is obvious satire (he has a morphed picture of the professor making him look like he's a member of the band KISS and calling him a former roadie). Even if, in some weird part of the world, such obvious satire was considered libel, there's no reason to take this guy's computer away. More importantly, though, this is yet another example of what happens when you complain about something appearing on the internet that you don't want people to see. Until today, this random picture and story of the professor was only appearing on some lightly visited Geocities page and getting no attention. Today, the picture is in USA Today. You can try to legally force people to take something off the internet, but be warned that it's only likely to give it much more attention.

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  • identicon
    PhuzzyLogic, 9 Jan 2004 @ 12:53pm

    Oh that is too funny

    First, it is funny that this has even gottne this far.

    Now the web page of his news letter seems to have been blocked. According to "Yahoo":

    "The web site you are trying to access has exceeded its allocated data transfer. Visit our help area for more information."

    I wonder if there is more to this than it reads from the papers.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      Mike (profile), 9 Jan 2004 @ 12:55pm

      Re: Oh that is too funny

      My guess is that the blocking is due to all the trafffic that went to the site due to the news stories. Yahoo only allows a limited amount of traffic, and being part of a national news story is likely to eat up that traffic pretty quickly

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 9 Jan 2004 @ 1:16pm

    hehe

    Maybe the guys at USAToday should go hide their computers before they get taken away.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    LittleW0lf, 11 Jan 2004 @ 10:14am

    Stupid...!!!

    I wonder how long it takes before someone tries this against theonion.com or the other satire websites out there? Seems like what they are doing and what this guy was doing are similar.

    Boy, I am happy I grew up "pre-internet" (not before the internet, but before 1992, when most people had no clue as to what the internet was.) In high school, I spent a good deal of my time coming up with a satirical comic book called "Tales of Infinities Bar & Grill" (which incidently was the name of my BBS.)

    The comic was about myself and my friends, and had cameos of all my teachers, as well as a large number of teachers and staff at the school. The teachers I didn't like didn't fare too well in the comic, but there was one particular person that died some horibly tragic way (that could not possibly happen in real life) each particular time I did a comic book (it got to be like Kenny on South Park....) Most of my teachers and quite a few of my fellow students knew about the comics, and a great deal of laughter occurred whenever I brought them in. I was an honors student, a member of the school newspaper, and pretty well known by everyone at the school (not popular, but known.) I never had any intention of doing harm to anyone, and the comics were both a way for me to release stress and have fun, but also a way for me to fit in with others. Everything was done in fun, and no feelings were hurt; some of those who I "picked-on" actually asked me to do so. And if anyone had asked me not to do the comics, I would have stopped.

    Had I done this in school now-a-days, I'd probably have been expelled by now, arrested several times for assault, and had everyone at the school unnecessarily worried that I would return in the future with a weapon. It doesn't even look, if I understand the article, that the teacher even asked the student to take down the article about him, and instead immediately complained to the police. Since when is this the proper way of handling the situation? Have we, as a society, decided that the only way to solve conflicts is to turn the other guy over to the authorities? I am sure this student had an email address, and I am sure a quick email to him would have prompted a removal of the story...

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Matt, 12 Jan 2004 @ 5:50am

    pedantry

    looks like USA today need a new editor...


    "Named in the suit are the city of Greeley, the police department, Warren, District Attorney A.M. Dominguez and an unnamed assistant district attorney."

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]


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