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?

Filed Under: blame, safe harbors, sexual assault
Companies: myspace, news corp


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  1. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 1 Apr 2008 @ 7:43am

    Hmm, I was preparing to voice the question of why haven't people figured out that social networks can be very dangerous things. However, in light of the ridiculous claims in this lawsuit, I can pretty much state that people instead need to START TAKING RESPONSIBILITY FOR YOUR OWN ACTIONS, YOU MORONS!!! The responsibility of raising a child properly falls solely on the parents or legal guardians. It does NOT fall on the shoulders of our schools, the government, counselors, and definitely not on any part of the entertainment industry, which I believe social networking sites are a part of. This case needs to be thrown out, at the very least, or else I will believe that there is no sanity left anywhere in our justice system.

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