YouTube Comments Are No Longer Safe For Mean People On The Internet
A former model who sued Google to reveal the identity of nasty YouTube commenters has won. Truly, the anonymous Internet is dead when you can’t even call someone a ‘whore’ in YouTube comments without being outed.
Carla Franklin, a former model and Columbia Business School grad, sued Google this summer and demanded the company reveal the identity of three YouTube commenters—”JoeBoomo8,” “jimmyJeanoo8,” and “greyspector09″—who were saying “malicious and untrue” things about her: They called her a “whore,” and posted unauthorized video clips from an independent film Franklin acted in.
Franklin’s lawyer told the Post, “If you’re going to post something about somebody, you need to stand by it.” A judge agreed, and has given Google 15 days to turn over the names, addresses and phone numbers of the commenters. Presumably, Franklin will use that information to sue for defamation.
Did Google roll over, as it did in the case of the anonymous Blogger user who was unmasked by a Manhattan Vogue model for calling her a “skank”? Unclear. (Maybe they’ll appeal the decision?) But sitting here at our bile-coated keyboard, we can’t help but think that a small, stinky star has winked out of the Internet constellation.
Suing YouTube commenters for being mean? You might as well sue a dog for barking and lifting its leg to pee. According to our back-of-the-envelope calculation, someone is called a “whore” on YouTube once every .03 seconds. We’re going to need more lawyers.