Several female law students were the subject of derogatory comments on AutoAdmit.com, a message board about law school admissions. When one of the women asked the website administrator to remove certain comments, the administrator discussed her request in an online post, prompting further attacks. An undergraduate student’s rape was revealed on a gossip site, JuicyCampus.com, where posters engaged in a cruel session of “blame the victim.” Another student on that site was falsely identified, by name, as being a stalker, bi-polar, and suicidal. When officials at her university asked JuicyCampus.com to remove the most egregious posts, the company refused.
These recent examples have brought the vexing problem of cyber-harassment to the public’s attention. Under § 230 of Title 47 of the U.S. Code,4 websites are not liable as publishers for the content on their sites so long as they are not involved in the creation of the objectionable content. Accordingly, much of the relevant scholarship has focused on repealing §230 or imposing liability upon posters.
Nancy Kim, Imposing Tort Liability on Websites for Cyber Harassment, 118 YALE L. J. POCKET PART 115 (2008).