Google Told To Reveal IP Addresses Of Mean YouTube Commenters

from the anonymity-ain't-so-anonymous dept

Back in August we wrote about yet another case involving someone trying to unmask "mean" commenters online. In this case, it involved a consultant named Carla Franklin who was upset that some commenters on a YouTube video had referred to her as a "whore." As we noted at the time, there was some irony in the fact that in the video, Ms. Franklin advises people: "Don't take things so seriously." And, of course, by suing, Ms. Franklin's name has been splashed across the news, along with the fact that she doesn't like being called a whore. Now, as upsetting as it may be to be called a nasty name, chances are very few people would have ever seen these comments, and those that did would not have cared much about random anonymous internet commenters saying something immature. But, by suing, she's called a lot more attention to the whole thing.

Either way, a judge has now ordered Google to hand over the IP addresses of those who made the comments. It's unclear exactly how much Google fought this, though Google isn't always known for fighting to protect the anonymity of its users. It's unfortunate that more and more judges seem quick to demand turning over IP addresses for commenters who are obviously just making dumb comments no one's going to take seriously. But, even if the commenters are revealed, it's hard to see how Ms. Franklin is somehow better off now than if she had just not taken the whole thing so seriously.

Filed Under: carla franklin, ip addresses, mean commenters, privacy, youtube
Companies: google

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  1. icon
    Mike Masnick (profile), 18 Oct 2010 @ 11:30pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    When did I ever say that one should not weigh the pros and cons of filing a lawsuit? I never said that. That doesn't stop you from lying about it though.

    I did not lie. I made the point that one should take into account the pros and cons before filing a lawsuit, and your response was to claim that meant I was saying you should never file a lawsuit. Taking that implication to the obvious conclusion, you believe that I was wrong in suggesting one should take into account the pros and cons of a lawsuit.

    Now you're claiming that's a lie. So now I'm confused, because that means your original statement makes no sense.

    Honesty's not your strong suit. That's a problem with intellectually dishonest people such as yourself.

    You amuse me. Your childlike need to take every point I score against you and then pretend to score it against me only serves to highlight your immaturity. I would suggest that growing up might do you a world of good, but it seems unlikely to happen any time soon.

    And what exactly did the judge do wrong? It's scary to me you think the judge did anything wrong. I know you can't back that one up, bud.

    Anonymous speech is protected under the First Amendment, unless there are clear cases of defamatory speech. A comment on YouTube referring to someone as a whore, taken in context, where no one is likely to take it seriously, should not meet the standard to reveal the commenter. Judges have pointed out that online forums are more akin to random chit chat, and should not be taken seriously as statements of fact.

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