Tuesday, March 03, 2009

Cyber Harassment and the Law

On Point: Cyber Harassment and the Law

Cyber bullies verbally savaged two Yale law students. The women fought back. Their case may change the rules on what you can say online.

Cyber-bullying is too mild a term for some of what goes on in the rougher corners of the Internet.

When anonymous online attackers went after two young women at Yale Law School, it had the feel of a gang beating. Maybe worse. Brutal. Obscene. Relentless. And done, it seemed, for fun.

Now the women have pushed back in the courts. Defendants say it’s not their attacks but free speech that’s really under fire. The case may change what you can and cannot say online.

From National Public Radio — On Point: Mob psychology, harassment on the web, and how one case may change the rules.

Have you seen it? Bullying? Harassment? A mob attack online? Can it, does it, go too far? What about free speech?

Tom Ashbrook hosts an hour-long discussion on National Public Radio with his guests:
  • David Margolick, contributing editor at Portfolio magazine. His article “Slimed Online,” about the case of the two Yale law students, appears in the March issue.
  • Danielle Citron, professor of law at the University of Maryland. She has written extensively on cyber harassment and the law.
  • Anthony Ciolli, University of Pennsylviania Law School graduate and former administrator of the online forum AutoAdmit.
  • Marc Randazza, attorney who represented Anthony Ciolli. He has commented on the case on his blog.
The program aired live this morning on NPR. The audio archive is now available.