Tuesday, October 19, 2010

You Might Want To Curb Your Speech

I wrote a post about cyberbullying the week before last. And then, racist comments I read on YouTube and several sports sites incensed me even more. I noticed that all of these folks used some kind of clever moniker that served to hide their real identity. I mused to myself that some of these racist writers probably work with and live right next door to Blacks, Hispanics, and even Arab people who they were taunting.

I thought about how someone once said that the internet creates "brave" people out of cowards. I wondered if these people would make such ignorant or hateful remarks if their real identity was suddenly put out there? No doubt, some would... but most would not. A landmark case that I read about recently has forced Google, to reveal the identity of three cyberbullies.

Carla Franklin, a former model who also has biology and psychology degrees from Duke, caused quite a stir this summer when she went after those she called cyberbullies: "JoeBloom08," "JimmyJean008," and "greyspector09". She said they posted "malicious and untrue" statements about her (like calling her a "whore") under what sounds like unauthorized promotional clips from Columbia, featuring a trip to Africa and Franklin addressing incoming MBA students, according to the New York Daily News.

It turns out that Franklin had reason to take the extreme measure of suing Google in Manhattan Supreme Court: She'd been the object of some real life stalking that carried over online. This is part of the statement she released on FreeSpeechv3.org:

"I have been dealing with ongoing obsessive and harassing behavior since 2006. Despite ignoring phone calls, emails, changing my number, trying to be nice, and hoping that the obsessive behavior would stop, the behavior continued over a four-year period. Last year, things escalated online. An anonymous YouTube account was created to make a channel or "shrine" dedicated to me, using video clips of me talking to a friend. The personal information that was included and the obsessive, "shrine-like" nature of this YouTube channel scared me."

Carla Franklin follows in the high heels of another model named Liskula Cohen, who last year was able to lobby successfully for Google to expose the trash talkers who had the audacity to call her a "skank" and an "old hag."

Such language is not civil and very hateful. Even though everyone has a right to free speech, I feel that we the public, who maybe offended by such speech, have the right to know who you are when you exercise your right to be ignorant.

I'm sure the offensive jerks will holler foul when they get ensnared, but if they know like I know, they might want to curb their speech.


2cute4u said...

'The internet makes brave people out of cowards'
This is so true..
I enjoyed reading Keith.

bayoucreole said...

I agree. It does make brave people out of cowards. They should be outed.

Collin said...

This cannot succeed in reality, that is exactly what I suppose.
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