Thursday, August 20, 2009

The fine line between self-expression and cyberbullying

Model Liskula Cohen won a court case against Google to reveal the identity of an anonymous blogger who maligned her* on the Skanks of NYC blog. Apparently Google initially refused but the Manhattan supreme court ruled that Google, who owned the blog, needed to provide the information. Perhaps I do not understand the gravity of the situation, but I am disappointed that one person's offended vanity sets such a precedence for revealing (conditionally) private information**. It is a slippery slope when people start being punished for saying "mean" things.

* They called her a "skank" and labelled photos of her with similarly derogatory words.
** While I understand cyberbullying to be a serious issue, it seems like Google's lawyers could have made a convincing case that this level of bullying does not pose a physical threat. Perhaps the issue is that people don't know what to do about cyberbullying? It does not seem like the court would have been so harsh had this whole thing happened in print media.

1 comment:

Technology said...

That's setting a scary precedent for all bloggers.