Another Woman Asks Google To Name People Who Were Mean To Her Online

from the the-anti-jerk-rule? dept

You may remember last year when model Liskula Cohen went to court to get Google to hand over the name of a blogger who was mean to her, calling her a skank. Of course, in doing so, it brought a lot more attention to the blog which almost no one had read before. In fact, it seems clear that a hell of a lot more people now associate "Liskula Cohen" with "skank" due to her legal actions, than the blog. Eventually a court said Google should unmask the anonymous blogger -- which it did. The outed blogger, Rosemary Port, then claimed she was going to sue Google for $15 million for exposing her identity -- though I haven't heard whether or not any lawsuit was ever actually filed. Almost every legal expert noted that the case had almost no chance of succeeding. Still, it did raise some questions about how far Google should go to protect anonymous users of its site. The company's terms of service do make it clear that they can and will reveal people if necessary, but that doesn't mean it shouldn't fight for its users in many cases.

Either way, it looks like we're getting something of a repeat -- as another woman, this time a former model and actress, and now a consultant named Carla Franklin -- has gone to court to get Google to hand over the names of some YouTube users who posted some videos of her, and referred to her as a "whore." She's claiming that the comments hurt her job prospects -- though, one might imagine that going to court over someone being a jerk to you online might also hurt your job prospects.

Obviously, it's no fun to have people say mean things about you online. But, in weighing the pros and cons, at some point you have to wonder if just ignoring it makes a lot more sense than ramping up the legal response -- which is only guaranteed to get the whole situation a lot more attention (and cost a lot more money). Perhaps Ms. Franklin should take the advice that she was giving in one of the videos that she's upset was uploaded. According to various news reports (the video itself has now been taken down), in the video she advised people "Don't take things so seriously." Sometimes, that's good advice.

Filed Under: anonymity, carla franklin, jerks, privacy
Companies: google


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  1. icon
    Free Capitalist (profile), 19 Aug 2010 @ 12:12pm

    Re: Nonsense

    It's understandable to request information when minors are at risk

    Sorry I don't see how is this relevant to the situation discussed in the article? Exactly what "risk" is even present here?

    Name calling and bullying have been around for-ever, and we already have laws to deal with them when they cross the line into assault and libel. Why should we write new, more draconian laws that remove Constitutional protections specifically for the Internet just "for the children"?

    Why should we permit, by accusation, an activity that requires a court order in the real world? (revealing an anonymous "source")

    Is the Internet to be relegated as our testbed for tyranny?

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