Apr. 1st, 2008

jackofallgeeks: (Default)
How dumb is this? Girl gets a MySpace page. Girl lies about her age. Girl
communicates with an older man. Girl agrees to meet older man. Older man
assaults girl. Girl sues MySpace.

It Happened.
The judge dismissed the case, but the girl (or probably her mom and lawyer)
is appealing
the case, saying MySpace must be responsible for not protecting the
girl. (The judge notes that it seems an obvious attempt for the mother to
blame a company for her own failure to protect her daughter.)

"The Internet is a Dangerous Place." I hear it a lot. And I know enough
about computers and information and software to know a lot more about the
ways the internet CAN be dangerous. But you can't be assaulted online. You
can't be mugged online. At worst you can be injured emotionally, and while
emotional injury can be non-trivial, the Internet isn't "dangerous" the ways
or to the extent that people want to claim. It might have allowed this girl
(who, I'll repeat, lied about her age) to find the man who ended up
assaulting her, but she still had to leave her computer and meet him in
person
.

It's interesting (and similarly distressing) that the man who assaulted the
girl (and was indicted, though it's unclear if anything more happened) is also thinking
of blaming MySpace
. I'm not sure what kind of a case you can make there
("MySpace made me do it!") though I wouldn't be surprised if they tried to
claim that MySpace was at fault for letting the girl lie about her age...

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jackofallgeeks: (Default)
John Noble

August 2012

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