Encyclopedia Dramatica Owner May Face Charges Down Under... Despite Not Being In Australia
from the jurisdictional-issues dept
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).