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MySpace postings are free speech

myspace posts

   
12:07 pm on Apr 10, 2007 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member



A judge violated a juvenile's free-speech rights when he placed her on probation for posting an expletive-laden entry on MySpace criticizing a school principal, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled.

[news.yahoo.com ]

So the only recourse is to sue the poster for libel.

2:15 pm on Apr 10, 2007 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Administrator rogerd is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



I would think that school rules, which sometimes regulate behavior even when off school property, might be more effective in pursuing this sort of thing vs. the juvenile legal system.

It is odd that the court didn't find the student impersonating the principal online to be problematic.

One other clarification is that posts on a site like MySpace don't have some sort of "free speech immunity" - if MySpace determines that a post violates their terms of service, they can delete it. I always get a chuckle when a member at one of my forums complains that I have violated his/her right of free speech after I have edited or removed a TOS-violating post.

2:55 pm on Apr 10, 2007 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



> It is odd that the court didn't find the
> student impersonating the principal online
> to be problematic.

Not problematic at all, as there was no impersonation by that student. From the article:

A.B., who did not create the page, made derogatory postings on it concerning the school's policy on body piercings.

3:56 pm on Apr 10, 2007 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Administrator rogerd is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



Hmmm, I didn't interpret the article correctly on first reading. Apparently, there's a third party involved in making the page "purportedly created by [the principal]". I wonder if that person was prosecuted in some manner.
 

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