Woman sues to force exposure of YouTube bullies
Give me names, Google
A business consultant is seeking a court order forcing Google to turn over the names of YouTube commentards who called her a whore and posted unauthorized videos of her.
Carla Franklin, a former model and actress and a 2008 graduate of Columbia Business School in New York, petitioned a state court to unmask the individuals she says impugned her sexual mores in anonymous accounts on a Columbia website. Someone also posted clips on YouTube that showed her in a small-budget independent movie. According to NYDailyNews.com, YouTube users “JoeBloom08,” “JimmyJean008” and “greyspector09” posted the allegedly malicious and untrue statements and video.
At time of writing, the account for JoeBloom08 was “closed” with no explanation. Those belonging to the other two users remained accessible, but they didn't make any videos available. Pages showing the offending video weren't immediately visible, either.
Google has long stated that it will not identify users without a valid court order. That's precisely what happened to Rosemary Port, the user of Google's Blogger.com service who posted comments besmirching the hygiene and sexual habits of Vogue cover model Liskula Cohen in a now-defunct column titled “Skanks in NYC.” ®
...is that there are very few absolute truths in life, it is all a matter of opinion and large sections of the press make their living through innuendo rather than fact.
The mere fact that someone makes an unfounded allegation is frequently reported on.
For example I interview a homeless crazy man in the street and he says that Mad Dave molests hamsters. I then run a massive front page article in your local paper with the most dodgy looking picture of you I can find/take and a picture of a distressed looking hamster. I state that it has BEEN ALLEGED that you fiddle with our furry friends. I then go round and interview all your neighbours and ask them what they think about the allegation. I publish these out of context and only the bits that make you sound like a monster.
Now you could sue the crazy homeless guys, who has nothing you could take. Coming after me would be much harder however as being a professional scumbag I have a team of highly trained lawyers on retainer and I have been careful to never say anything directly myself - I just printed what other people said and reacted to the allegations. That doesn't stop all your friends and colleagues from now thinking you are a danger to their pets however.
"Don't do it and no-one will say you have done"
Uhhh.... You don't actually think that, do you?
I'm not in favor of essentially making anonymous comments illegal, but your argument is just absurd.
It's a catch 22 for her. Either she just sits back and lets people slander/libel her, or she sues and is forced to have her name sullied even more.
Wouldn't be great if we had just a bit more privacy in this society? Where people wouldn't be tried, judged and executed in the press by name before being found guilty in a court of law? Where people trying to protect their reputations didn't have to ruin it even more publicly in order to do so? I certainly wish we had a more responsible press - but that'll never happen. I'll settle for a press that is forced to keep details private under threat of severe penalties.
As a general public, we don't actually NEED to know the name/address/shoe-size/vagina depth of everyone who needs to deal with the courts. We'd have all we need to know without the names. That would be a nice bit of privacy legislation to have, yes it would.