AutoAdmit’s Anthony Ciolli Loses Job Offer

Because of the message board. Wow.

It’s a good post. Like I told the WSJ reporter, Ciolli losing his job offer doesn’t make me feel any better, and it doesn’t make me feel vindicated in any way. That said, I can understand why a firm would have serious concerns about hiring him. The fact that he and his partner, Jarret Cohen, allowed all kinds of disgusting commentary to remain up on the board doesn’t speak particularly well to character and fitness issues. I think that Ciolli made a series of very, very poor choices when he was running AutoAdmit. I do feel genuinely bad for him, though, to have lost his job right before graduation. Any way you slice it, that sucks.

But what’s disappointing is that Anthony seems to be shifting the blame to Jarret — claiming he had no authority over what was posted, etc etc. Frankly, that smells like bullshit to me. They co-ran the site. Even if Jarret had ultimate control, I’m sure Anthony’s opinion meant something. He wasn’t helpless. But because Jarret is self-employed and not a law student, he can take the blame without actually shouldering any of the consequences.

When it comes to internet-land, we all make choices. I’ve made a choice similar to Anthony’s — to co-run a website, and to do so under my full, real name. I’ve done that knowing that there will most certainly be consequences to that decision. There already have been. There have also been wonderful benefits, and so I’ve made the conscious choice to keep doing what I’m doing. But I’ve tried to do it as responsibly as I can, and the Feministe bloggers have collectively instituted a moderation policy that takes out any threatening comments — as well as comments that are racist, sexist, anti-Semitic, etc. I would not hesitate to delete a comment that released someone’s personal information, or that defamed them, or that harassed or threatened them. That isn’t exactly an unheard-of position when it comes to blogs and message boards — most blogs that I read, liberal or conservative, won’t stand for threats.

Anthony and Jarret decided that letting AutoAdmit turn into a free-for-all of racism, sexism and anti-Semitism was something that should be protected over individual rights to privacy or to simply be free of threats. I can’t imagine that Anthony had no idea that someone would eventually fight back — after all, they’re going after tons of law school women, many of whom aren’t exactly passive delicate flowers.

There are many things I’ve written that I no longer agree with, and many issues that I’ve changed my mind on. There are many things I’ve posted here that I wish I hadn’t. But they’re mine, and if I’m called out on them, I’ll take responsibility for writing them — I won’t blame Lauren or Zuzu or Piny for owning the site with me, or for not taking them down. It sucks to lose a job, and I really do sympathize with Anthony. But I think he’ll be a lot better off if he sucks it up, takes responsibility, apologizes and moves on. I don’t think this will ruin either his life or his legal career — and I hope it doesn’t. We’ve all done dumb things and made bad decisions. This certainly won’t be easy for him — character and fitness are, at least in theory, part of what makes a good lawyer, and if I were a hiring partner at a law firm I probably would not want to hire someone who makes the kinds of poor moral and ethical choices that Anthony has made. But then, I’m pretty sure that there are hiring partners who wouldn’t want to hire someone who makes the arguably poor decision to put all of her controversial political opinions online, in a well-read and very public forum. So I can’t exactly throw stones here, even if I do think I’ve done my best to run a responsible space. I think Anthony will recover from this, even though it’s not easy. I hope he does. And while I’m not his biggest fan in the world — nor he mine — I do wish him the best.

I’ve written about AutoAdmit a grand total of, I think, three times over the past two years (and one of those posts is about two sentences long). I avoid posting about them because any time I do, they start in on me and it’s obnoxious. Not to mention uncreative — I’ve been “out” as a feminist for more than a few years now, and, as all “out” feminists know, getting called ugly and fat is part of the game. So posting under the name “Jill Filipovic’s cottage cheese thighs,” remarking on my huge jaw and acting shocked that I am a HUGE UGLY COW is not all that hurtful at this point. It’s just kind of boring, and it’s nothing I haven’t heard 500 times before. And, in my last parsing of AutoAdmit, it looks like they post something about me almost every day anyway, whether I write about them or not.

One thing that stood out to me about the Kathy Sierra online harassment issue is how many women contacted her afterwards to tell her that they had experienced similar things, but had just never talked about it — so they ignored it, or they quit blogging, or they switched to a gender-neutral or male name, or they left whatever chat rooms or message boards they had frequented before. As this WaPo article points out, writing under a female name garners all kinds of harassment online that male names don’t get. There are complex reasons for that, but a big one is the fact that women’s public participation has long been associated with sexual availability — something I wrote about here, for the Blogging and Feminism issue of The Scholar and Feminist Online (edited by Feministing’s Jessica Valenti, and a site you should most definitely check out). Harassment, online or in “real life,” is something that women are told we just have to deal with. We should have thicker skin. We should realize that if we talk or move through public space, we’ll be put in our place through sexual and sometimes threatening comments. And so a lot of us do just shut up, and do grow thicker skin — I know I no longer feel a damn thing other than irritation when I read the shit that the AutoAdmit guys write about me. A year and a half ago I was so stunned and hurt by it that it made me cry; now it just makes me roll my eyes. And while that makes online life much easier for me to stomach, there’s something that strikes me as really sad about that kind of hardening, even if it is a necessity.

So I’m writing about this now not because I want “poor Jill” comments (reserve the pity for all the private female law students who aren’t public bloggers, who did nothing more than go to class with these assholes, and who had their information posted and who had disgusting and threatening comments made about them on AutoAdmit — I do), but because, as I said in the (Web)sites of Resistance post, it’s time we started naming this and pointing out how silencing it is. Even big progressive bloggers like Kos can write this off as no big deal, and something that happens to everyone — but that isn’t exactly the truth. It happens to women far more, and in a very particular way. And for the most part, we have a choice between either sucking it up or totally giving up. That isn’t good enough. If we point to it and call it out, at the very least we can establish that this is a very real problem, and that it is purposeful and systematic intimidation of public women. At the very least, we can stand in some sort of solidarity with other women who experience this, in “real life” or online.

I’m sure someone is reading this and thinking I’m a whiner, or I’m thin-skinned. I know lots of people don’t read the AutoAdmit board, so you don’t know the kind of shit that goes on there — threads with titles like (trigger warning: sexual assault, violence, racism, the Holocaust, pretty much anything you can be triggered by) “PSA: The Holocaust was the Jewish Equivalent of Woodstock,” “How many dozen jews didn’t deserve to die in the holocaust?,” “last night I dreamt about fucking Holocaust victims,” “POST HERE IF YOU HATE SPICKS MORE THAN YOU HATE NIGGERS!!!!!!!!!,” “Asians have upended blacks as America’s worst niggers,” “ITT we think up innovative ways to rape without consequences,” “Hey blacks, enough with the murder and rape of whites,” and “Next time, we rape the white girls before we kill them.” And that isn’t even the tip of the iceberg.

Am I a thin-skinned whiner for thinking those posts are beyond the pale? How about if several people wrote the following things about you, or your sister, wife, daughter or friend:

“I want to brutally rape that Jill slut”
“I’m 98% sure that she should be raped (if only in Internet Land)”
“Official Jill Filipovic RAPE Thread”
“I have it on good authority that Jill F has rape fantasies”
“what a useless guttertrash whore. i hope someone uses my pink, fleshy-textured cylindrical body to violate her” (from someone posting under the name “fleshlight”)
“for minimising this tragedy, she deserves a brutal raping”
“She’s a normal-sized girl that I’d bang violently,” “maybe you’d have to kill her afterwards” (in a thread titled “Be honest, everyone here would FUCK THE SHIT out of Jill Feministe”)
“that nose ring is fucking money, rape her immediately”
“Legal liability from posting pic showing Jill fucking?” (talking about photoshopping my head onto a pornstar’s body)
“she would be a good hate fuck”
“[Duke rape accuser] or ‘Jill’: who has more semen drip of their abortion scarred, fat asses?”

Fuck that. I’m tired of reading this shit about myself and pretending that it isn’t happening, because if I say something it might set these guys off even more. They’re posting these things regardless of whether or not I write about them.

I know there are women everywhere who are doing exactly what I’m doing — ignoring it and hoping it will go away. It’s not going to go away. These guys are assholes, and they don’t deserve to be enabled by silence.

I’m sorry that Anthony lost his job. I don’t blame him for the comments that so many other people made. And if AutoAdmit posters are outraged that Ciolli’s firm rescinded his offer, they have no one to blame but themselves — although I’m sure they’ll try to push the blame on the people they attacked, the uppity bitches who complained, and the reporters who had the audacity to write about it.

I think all of us who run online spaces need to do so in a responsible way, and we need to own our choices when it comes to these issues. Want to run a total free-for-all message board? Have at it, but don’t expect other people to think that you’re an ethical or decent person who they would want to work with. And I’d like to see more of us standing up against harassment and threats — even against the sexualized harassment and the threats of sexual violence that are usually leveled at women. The threats that are systematically silencing and rarely taken seriously by the Big Boys in the real world or in the blogosphere are exactly the ones we need to come out about. And I’d like to see us strategize ways to deal with threats and harassment — ways that are more effective than just getting someone fired.

[Background on AutoAdmit for the newbies: The first time I wrote about AutoAdmit is here. I ignored them for another year, and then wrote about them again here after a WaPo article detailed the harassment they were leveling at female law students. The story, basically, is that there’s this law school message board where tons of anonymous commenters leave messages. Some are about law school. Many are about seeing just how racist, sexist, etc commenters can be. About a year and a half ago they somehow got started on me, and have been writing about me every since — along with lots of other female law students. They’re assholes, and they recently got the FBI called on them when someone on the board made a threat to shoot up Hastings right after the Virginia Tech shooting. Pretty brilliant. Anthony Ciolli was one of the owners of the site, along with a man named Jarret Cohen. Ciolli resigned a couple of months ago after the WaPo article, but is still a presence on the board. He’s the one who just got his firm offer rescinded.]


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About Jill

Jill began blogging for Feministe in 2005. She has since written as a weekly columnist for the Guardian newspaper and in April 2014 she was appointed as senior political writer for Cosmopolitan magazine.
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298 Responses to AutoAdmit’s Anthony Ciolli Loses Job Offer

  1. Pingback: Feministe » Hi, I’m Jill, and scummy law school sleazebags have gone after me, too.

  2. La Fille Torpille says:

    I think that this has been pointed out before, but even 4chan is more responsible about content posted.

    I can’t wait until the whole AA gang yells “FREE SPEECH FREE SPEECH YOU HATE FREE SPEECH”… When people say abusive things, or tolerate abusive things, there are consequences. It’s not humor; AA aren’t comedians.

    Good luck Jill, and good luck Anthony. I hope the Internet learned something.

  3. Ugly in Pink says:

    That was very polite, professional, and noble of you Jill. Kudos.

    However, I’d just like to say that I’m very glad Anthony lost his job, and I hope he is reduced to running desperate tv ads of him in a cheap suit with a large wall of law-ish books behind him asking frantically if YOU have been injured in an accident. He deserves it, and I hope he suffers for it for a long, long time.

  4. Wow, Jill, you were very generous to Anthony in this post. I have to say that I think he got just what he deserves, and I hope he’ll take responsibility for his actions in the future.

  5. anon says:

    Your cottage cheese thighs and huge jaw? I’ve only seen you in pictures, but I thought you looked like a super model. Kathy Irelandish. Not that it matters.

  6. zuzu says:

    You *are* generous.

    Me, I’m over here cackling like Nelson.

    I suspect this guy will be radioactive for a while. But it’s a good lesson for him about responsibility. Not to mention vicarious liability.

  7. Kate Harding says:

    This is a wonderful post, Jill.

    And frankly, I’m not at all sorry that Anthony lost his job. Like you, I hope he takes responsibility, moves on, and finds another job–I’m not quite petty enough to wish a lifetime of unemployment on him. But I think losing this one is exactly the kind of real-world consequence more people need to experience as a result of their internet behavior.

  8. Em says:

    Does someone want to give me a quick primer on why if you aren’t TTT you suck at law and life? The Law Blog comments about DeWitt’s school made no sense–he’s partner in a big firm that these (presumably TTT) students were applying to. Obviously he’s done all right for himself.

  9. Loyola 2L says:

    Feministes,
    You guys seem like really nice bloggers and I’m glad to add to my internet favorites. Not to spam with irrelevant stuff, but if you ever attain a position with hiring authority, please give tier 2 applicants a fair chance. Turning someone down because they went to a tier 2 isn’t really much different than turning down because they’re women.
    Good luck and continue to express yourselves!
    Loyola 2L

  10. Em says:

    And Jill, really….super utterly professional. Don’t know if I could have done it.

  11. Ugly in Pink says:

    Em – It’s bullshit, but they have to feel superior to someone at all times or life loses its meaning. In reality you can get a good education just about anywhere.

  12. raging red says:

    After reading some of the comments to the WSJ Law Blog post, I’m amazed by how many future lawyers do not understand the 1st Amendment. Also, the people in those comments who are characterizing this as being about “political correctness” should come over here and read that list of vile threats and insults that were hurled at Jill. (Oh, and Ann “too pretty to go outside?” Althouse should read it too.)

  13. Em says:

    Thank you, UiP. I kinda figured it was just snobbery, but it’s so over the the top it’s almost a parody of itself.

  14. Jill says:

    Does someone want to give me a quick primer on why if you aren’t TTT you suck at law and life? The Law Blog comments about DeWitt’s school made no sense–he’s partner in a big firm that these (presumably TTT) students were applying to. Obviously he’s done all right for himself.

    I could be totally wrong, but as I understand it, TTT is bad — it means “third tier,” and for law students obsessed with prestige, third tier is bad. T14 — top 14 — is good. They use TTT as a way to insult anyone who they dislike, because for them, lacking “prestige” is the worst possible insult.

    It is elitist horseshit. And, as others have said, you can get a very good education just about anywhere. You can also go to a top school, dick away your time and learn nothing. A good friend of mine went to Fordham Law (an excellent school, but not a “T14”) and then transferred to Columbia (a top 5), and says he sees no difference in the intelligence of the students or the difficulty of the work. The major difference is that Columbia has more resources, and it’s much easier to get a job or clerkship.

  15. zuzu says:

    Em – It’s bullshit, but they have to feel superior to someone at all times or life loses its meaning. In reality you can get a good education just about anywhere.

    They had a thread about me, too, in which they called me “TTT” because I ran the hell away from their beloved BIGLAW and went into contracting. Lots of other nice stuff, too, mostly relating to calling me a fat whore, but that one made me laugh, seeing as how I went to a top-tier school. Not everyone has the same priorities as you, boys.

  16. Ugly in Pink says:

    It’s pretty insane. There is a disturbing proportion of law students who seem to have enormous chips on their shoulders. My professors even complain to our classes (I’m in evening division, so it’s all older, working stiffs) how entitled and obnoxious the day kids are. I dunno what insecurities specifically they’re covering for, but man they must be massive. I’m just spouting generalizations here, but I can’t help but think it’s much harder to get a basic maturity if you’ve never had to work for a living. Of course, these kids generally have rich parents, too, so there’s that. Fulltime law students at the top schools are among the most sheltered people I’ve ever met. But i’m rambling. Back to studying.

  17. Em says:

    Oh, I thought it meant Ten Top Tier or something. Thanks for clearing that up.

  18. Michelle says:

    I think that this has been pointed out before, but even 4chan is more responsible about content posted.

    Ha! I was just going to say something about them. And they were shutdown by the FBI.

  19. zuzu says:

    I think it’s actually “third-tier trash.”

  20. Morningstar says:

    I hate sounding like such a newbie-

    But can someone please give me the cliff notes version of this? I just need some sort of reference point for these insults.

    It sounds nuts.

  21. BabyPop says:

    I’d skimmed your AutoAdmit posts before, and, not being a law student, couldn’t really wrap my head around the magnitude of just how nasty and competitive it is. I think this post is wonderful, and the comments in the WSJ article are very telling. How sad. So many message boards I previously enjoyed reading have turned into only marginally better than the one you describe above. How is it that the mean-spirited a-holes always have the loudest mouths?

  22. Red Stapler says:

    Jill/Zuzu:

    My father went to Brooklyn Law School at night, and is one of the finest lawyers out there.

    Judging by where a person went to school is a load of horseshit.

  23. Morningstar says:

    I hate sounding like such a newbie-

    But can someone please give me the cliff notes version of this? I just need some sort of reference point for these insults.

    It sounds nuts.

    Quit being so lazy Morningstar.

    The link was in the WSJ article.

  24. Jill says:

    My father went to Brooklyn Law School at night, and is one of the finest lawyers out there.

    I hear ya. My dad went to Chicago-Kent College of Law, and I think he’s a pretty solid lawyer, too. What “tier” school you attend has very, very little to do with how smart you are, or how hard-working, or how fine of an attorney you’ll be.

  25. Ugly in Pink says:

    I passed up Columbia for Suffolk (3rd tier) evening division. I get to keep working, and i’m going to graduate with zero debt.

  26. zuzu says:

    Some of the best lawyers I know went to second- or third-tier schools and got their training in smaller firms or government.

  27. M. says:

    Are you kidding? We should be figuring out how to get these guys systematically fired. It’s the only thing that will make them listen.

  28. Jill says:

    Are you kidding? We should be figuring out how to get these guys systematically fired. It’s the only thing that will make them listen.

    Well, but it doesn’t really solve the problem. The AutoAdmit board is still up, and as foul as ever. I’m not trying to say that Anthony is a victim — like I said, I wouldn’t have hired him, either, and I think the firm made the right decision. But there has to be something else.

  29. kali says:

    Why do you hope his law career recovers? I’m not talking vengeance here, I just think that purely pragmatically, the less power in life someone like that has, the better for everyone who ever has to deal with him.

    I have moral issues with hoping that a privileged asshole who had to face the consequences of his assholishness can continue to live in the manner to which he’s accustomed. But I might have misunderstood you, maybe you’re just saying you don’t wish him destitute?

    Anyway, I feel churlish for even slightly criticising your post, because I deeply admire you for your class in how you’ve dealt with these assholes. And I like that you’ve highlighted the kind of things they say. Apart from anything else, these guys are a fantastic advert for feminism. They need to be dragged out from under their Internet rocks and into the light more often. We can’t put bells around their necks but it is at least possible to warn women that men like this are out there.

  30. Morningstar says:

    How about if several people wrote the following things about you, or your sister, wife, daughter or friend:

    I’d beat the living crap out of them.

  31. Jill says:

    To clarify further, M, I think that Ciolli should have had his job offer rescinded. I think that people who allow this kind of stuff on their site deserve to be called out, and deserve to lose job offers. I think there has to be a line, but Ciolli no doubt crossed it. I’m just hoping there’s something to be done that will be effective for people who post anonymously, or people like Cohen who are self-employed. Firing (or not hiring) doesn’t solve the problem, even if it is appropriate here.

  32. shawn says:

    way to go kali! speak truth to power!

    *vomits*

    “yada yada, privileged asshole, yada yada”

    the Schaedenfreude on this forum is awesome.

  33. Evil XOXO Guy says:

    Jill, you say that you take responsibility for the things you write. That is great and as it should be.

    The thing is, you, Feministe commenters, and others appear to hold Ciolli responsible for things *other* people write.

    The underlying assumption is that it is simply *wrong* to facilitate an unmoderated discussion board. Do you really believe that? Do you really believe that someone deserves to be punished for saying “here is a place for people to talk, and they may all be idiots, but I’m going to let you guys figure out who the idiots are and not impose my judgment on the speakers?”

    It seems like that would make all internet service providers liable for all the terrible content online (indeed, this is why Congress saw fit to immunize passive service providers from defamation liability).

  34. Ugly in Pink says:

    Schaedenfreude feels like a warm hug from a fluffy kitty.

  35. Jill says:

    Why do you hope his law career recovers? I’m not talking vengeance here, I just think that purely pragmatically, the less power in life someone like that has, the better for everyone who ever has to deal with him.

    I guess I’m hoping that he’ll take this and learn from it. I hope he’ll re-consider his earlier decisions, and that he’ll change. I do think that most people have the capacity to change for the better, and I see no reason why Anthony wouldn’t be one of those people. I hope his law career recovers because I hope he does something positive to make it recover, not because I want to see someone who lacks morals in a position of power.

    I have moral issues with hoping that a privileged asshole who had to face the consequences of his assholishness can continue to live in the manner to which he’s accustomed. But I might have misunderstood you, maybe you’re just saying you don’t wish him destitute?

    Well, I think that he is facing the consequences. He is an asshole, and he just lost a job. He may — and should — have some difficulty getting another one. But I hope he takes responsibility for his actions, tries to rectify the situation as best he can, and learns from it. I hope it makes him a more sympathetic person — or at least a more careful one. I have no desire to see him maintain his privilege, or to see him continue to be an asshole, but I don’t want to see a career that he’s worked very hard for completely ruined. I want to see him recover, because I hope that career recovery will be a sign that he’s learned something and has become a more responsible person.

  36. ginmar says:

    You’re a better person than I am, Jill, because damn, I’m glad the little fucker got booted. The idea of him working with women and other people is seriously creepy.

  37. logic says:

    “There are many things I’ve written that I no longer agree with, and many issues that I’ve changed my mind on. There are many things I’ve posted here that I wish I hadn’t. But they’re mine, and if I’m called out on them, I’ll take responsibility for writing them — I won’t blame Lauren or Zuzu or Piny for owning the site with me, or for not taking them down.”

    Your analogy here is awful. Ciolli is gettin railroaded for things that OTHER PEOPLE WROTE, not that he wrote. It would be like an employer holding you accountable for an anonymous comment made on one of your co-bloggers posts that you didn’t have the authority to delete.

  38. shawn says:

    right, cause its so creepy to have a guy who operates a internet message board and lets people post whatever they want on it, work around women.

    I hope no one who owns a wall and doesn’t clean off the offensive graffiti is allowed to work around women either!

  39. zuzu says:

    The underlying assumption is that it is simply *wrong* to facilitate an unmoderated discussion board.

    AutoAdmit isn’t unmoderated. They’ve stated over and over that they do remove some content at some people’s requests. What they choose to leave up, even after requests to take it down, reflects poorly on their judgment. Edwards Angell made the decision that they’d rather not have someone with that kind of poor judgment working for them. People have had job offers rescinded for far less.

  40. Jill says:

    Jill, you say that you take responsibility for the things you write. That is great and as it should be.

    The thing is, you, Feministe commenters, and others appear to hold Ciolli responsible for things *other* people write.

    The underlying assumption is that it is simply *wrong* to facilitate an unmoderated discussion board. Do you really believe that? Do you really believe that someone deserves to be punished for saying “here is a place for people to talk, and they may all be idiots, but I’m going to let you guys figure out who the idiots are and not impose my judgment on the speakers?”

    I think when people run blogs, message boards, etc they need to establish a very base line of what’s acceptable and what isn’t. Do I think it’s “wrong” to facilitate unmoderated message boards? No, not in theory, but in practice I do think that moderation becomes an ethical necessity. When threats are being leveled and personal information posted, the moderator of the board has a responsibility to step in. I do think that a failure to step in is a serious issue.

    And I’m also pretty sure that Anthony posted several unsavory comments himself. So moderation aside, someone with more time than I have could most certainly unearth things he’s written himself.

    It seems like that would make all internet service providers liable for all the terrible content online (indeed, this is why Congress saw fit to immunize passive service providers from defamation liability).

    I’m not talking about legal liability. And I think we can all see the difference between the personal moderator of a single message board and a service provider which simply offers space to post on. Ostensibly, Anthony and Jarret pay to maintain AutoAdmit, just as I pay to maintain Feministe. Should they be held legally liable for the content others post? As a general rule, no. But can employers most certainly take their participation on the board into account when deciding whether or not to hire them? Absolutely.

  41. FashionablyEvil says:

    yeah, the schadenfreude is kind of overwhelming. In the gleeful, wide-eyed, clap your hands, and smirk kind of way.

    I would have been hard pressed to be as charitable as you were, Jill, but kudos for doing so.

  42. shawn says:

    Your analogy here is awful. Ciolli is gettin railroaded for things that OTHER PEOPLE WROTE, not that he wrote. It would be like an employer holding you accountable for an anonymous comment made on one of your co-bloggers posts that you didn’t have the authority to delete.

    Exactly, it’s like Jill getting fired or expelled because the sycophants on this forum like ginmar post offensive things about Ciolli, post where he works, and suggest people should get back at him – and Jill allows the comments to remain.

  43. kali says:

    Thanks for the thoughtful response, Jill. I guess I just have less faith in some people’s ability to change for the better than you do. But I do hope you’re right. And I gotta say, I never thought that anything about this sordid little incident could give me warm fuzzies, but your attitude is! I’m grinning broadly at the screen here.

  44. Evil XOXO Guy says:

    Zuzu,

    It is true that posts have been deleted from the XOXO board. My (imperfect) understanding is that they generally only remove posts with “outing” personal information in them.

    Is your argument that if you remove *anything* you have remove *everything* that doesn’t reflect your own personal values?

    “People have had job offers rescinded for far less.”

    Of course. Surely you’re not suggesting that this is relevant to (a) whether Ciolli did anything wrong, or (b) whether people *should* have job offers rescinded for X, Y, or Z.

  45. Ugly in Pink says:

    Basically they ignored and in some cases outright refused to take down defamatory and borderline criminal threats against specific law school classmates, while complying with requests to take down otherwise unobjectionable material that criticized longtime posters (often the ones making the threats.)

    Morality aside it shows immensely poor legal judgment.

  46. micheyd says:

    Okay, it’s one thing to let *an* anonymous comment through which is vile, but doing it on a regular basis? Let’s not pretend like one comment that slips through your blog is ever going to lose you a job offer. It was the repeated refusal to take down the vile material about Jill and others which shows bad behavior on his part.

  47. A says:

    Speaking as a perhaps unusual combination of xoxo reader and ardent feminist, I think that this:

    “Apart from anything else, these guys are a fantastic advert for feminism. They need to be dragged out from under their Internet rocks and into the light more often. We can’t put bells around their necks but it is at least possible to warn women that men like this are out there. ”

    is accurate. Which is why I do think there is merit behind the xoxo/free speech argument, even if I think they take it too far in not deleting posts w/ personal information.

    I don’t feel sorry for Ciolli exactly, because he must have known that being associated with such a website could be detrimental to his career prospects. On the other hand, I don’t think that his being a moderator of a board where some psychotics happen to post means that we should attribute their flaws to him.

  48. Hugo says:

    I hope he’ll re-consider his earlier decisions, and that he’ll change. I do think that most people have the capacity to change for the better, and I see no reason why Anthony wouldn’t be one of those people. I hope his law career recovers because I hope he does something positive to make it recover, not because I want to see someone who lacks morals in a position of power….

    I want to see him recover, because I hope that career recovery will be a sign that he’s learned something and has become a more responsible person.

    A thousand amens to that sentiment, Jill. He was rightly fired, and I hope that he does go through a genuine, sincere period of soul-searching of how and why this happened to him. People do change, and though narratives of sudden transformation make people suspicious, they happen all the time — I ought to know.

    For a year and a half, you’ve handled this extraordinarily well. Nicely done.

  49. Evil XOXO Guy says:

    Ugly in Pink,

    “Morality aside it shows immensely poor legal judgment.”

    Actually, Cohen & Ciolli appear pretty savvy regarding they’re potential liability as a legal matter.

    Micheyd,

    “Okay, it’s one thing to let *an* anonymous comment through which is vile, but doing it on a regular basis? Let’s not pretend like one comment that slips through your blog is ever going to lose you a job offer. It was the repeated refusal to take down the vile material about Jill and others which shows bad behavior on his part.”

    No one is pretending anything. We’re talking about a policy, not individual “mistakes.”

  50. Hector B. says:

    Maybe Ciolli will end up teaching law, like former terrorist Bernadine Dohrn, or former racist Kiwi Camara.

  51. Jill says:

    Exactly, it’s like Jill getting fired or expelled because the sycophants on this forum like ginmar post offensive things about Ciolli, post where he works, and suggest people should get back at him – and Jill allows the comments to remain.

    As others have said, it’s one thing to let a few comments slip by. Admittedly, I do not read every comment posted on this site. It’s another to run a site which has thousands of threads about raping people (and naming names), anti-Semitism, and all the other stuff that AutoAdmit thrives on. You can’t seriously compare the two.

    Oh, and if Ginmar or anyone else posted a series of threats to Anthony or anyone else, I’d delete it as soon as I saw it.

  52. zuzu says:

    It is true that posts have been deleted from the XOXO board. My (imperfect) understanding is that they generally only remove posts with “outing” personal information in them.

    Is your argument that if you remove *anything* you have remove *everything* that doesn’t reflect your own personal values?

    If they remove posts with personal information about commenters, then they should remove posts with personal information about *anybody* in them. If you’re going to have some kind of moderation policy, you need to apply it fairly.

    Again, EA made a *business* decision. They look at this board, they read Ciolli’s justifications for his inaction/selective action, and they decide they don’t want this guy representing their firm. Employment at will means you can be fired for *any* reason (or, in this case, not hired). If they think he’s a sexual-harassment suit waiting to happen, they’re going to do the prudent thing and not take on the liability.

    Also: I’m sure they don’t want their resources being used to post to or maintain a site like that. Sure, he’s “resigned” his position, but he undoubtedly still posts there.

  53. logic says:

    “And I’m also pretty sure that Anthony posted several unsavory comments himself. So moderation aside, someone with more time than I have could most certainly unearth things he’s written himself.”

    Link? Anyone? Because as far as I know, he hasn’t posted anything anywhere near the caliber of the posts in question (and hell, he’s probably posted less controversial things than you have Jill).

    How would you feel if you found out that he had gone out, found out what place you were planning on working at, and then complained to them about the defamatory and threatening comments that YOU allowed to remain on your supposedly moderated blog?

  54. Jill says:

    How would you feel if you found out that he had gone out, found out what place you were planning on working at, and then complained to them about the defamatory and threatening comments that YOU allowed to remain on your supposedly moderated blog?

    Like I said in the post, it would suck. But if I ran the kind of message board that Ciolli did, I wouldn’t be surprised. If you can find anywhere near the type and volume of defamatory and threatening quotes on Feministe that you can find on AutoAdmit, I’ll give Anthony my summer job. Fact is, there are thousands and thousands of disgusting, racist, sexist, homophobic, threatening and defamatory comments and threads on AutoAdmit. It is not just comparable to any blog where a few irresponsible comments slip through.

  55. SarahMC says:

    When did someone on Feministe talk about raping and/or murdering specific people?

  56. micheyd says:

    No one is pretending anything. We’re talking about a policy, not individual “mistakes.”

    Well…yes, that’s the point. He was inconsistent with regards to threatening info &/or personal information.

  57. Tom says:

    I think it’s a mistake to waste any pity on him whatsoever. He facilitated of this type of behavior and clearly has not learned anything. Why else would he try to fob off responsibiliy on the other moderator?

    Fuck him. The more often that people like him are not tolerated, the faster the rest of the cretins will sink.

  58. Evil XOXO Guy says:

    Zuzu,

    I don’t think anyone has posted anything here implying that the firm had not *right* to rescind an offer of employment to Ciolli.

    I, and the other apparent XOXOers posting here today, are saying that what Ciolli didn’t *deserve* to be punished and didn’t do anything wrong. An employer can fire you because they don’t like your socks, or if they think your socks will hurt their business. That doesn’t mean wearing your socks is wrong.

    To Jill and otherw making the “you can’t compare one post to lots of posts” argument, I fail to see the relevance. Ciolli and Cohen have made no secret that they don’t impose their value judgments on the posts on their board, and that they don’t endorse the content of the posts on their board en masse.

  59. Jill says:

    Oh, and just to counter a comment made on AutoAdmit about this post, I didn’t start writing it until after I read the WSJ article. But since I spoke to the reporter yesterday, I knew what I wanted to say, so it was written very quickly. And, as my co-bloggers can attest to, I write quickly and I write a lot. So again, there’s no big conspiracy with me having this post written before the WSJ post went up, just as there was no big Jill/Feministe conspiracy to get Anthony’s offer rescinded.

  60. Evil XOXO Guy says:

    “Well…yes, that’s the point. He was inconsistent with regards to threatening info &/or personal information.”

    Wait, people are calling him a bastard and wishing evil upon him because he was inconsistent? I find that hard to believe.

    I find it much easier to believe that people are attributing the vile content of *other people’s posts* to Ciolli, despite his statements that he doesn’t endorse such content.

  61. zuzu says:

    Yes, why don’t we read the WSJ post for the timeline:

    The Law Blog reviewed correspondence between Ciolli and the firm, and here’s how it went down:

    On April 11, just over a month after the WaPo story ran, DeWitt sent a letter to Ciolli stating that the firm had recently learned of the controversy involving AutoAdmit, in particular its “off-topic” message board, and that “the information we now have raises serious concerns about your joining our firm.”
    (snip)

    Ciolli, in a letter dated April 16, recounted the history of AutoAdmit and his joining as education director to “develop educational content and publications” for the site, including a working paper on which law schools place the most graduates at elite law firms, well after the site was founded in 2004. He played down his ability to control content on the site. “While I was free to give input and act in an advisory manner–which I often did, with mixed results–Mr. [Jarret] Cohen always had final say over all rules and policies related to the message board,” and that Cohen “rarely granted” his requests to remove offensive material.

    (snip)

    In a letter dated April 20, DeWitt responded that “none of the information you provided resolves the concerns I expressed in my letter regarding your past affiliation with the site,” and that the firm “terminates the employment offered you” on August 16, 2006.

    Jill, have you borrowed Amanda’s Wayback Machine? Because it’s just amazing! By talking to a reporter from the WSJ on May 2, you got Ciolli fired on April 20!

  62. Jill says:

    I find it much easier to believe that people are attributing the vile content of *other people’s posts* to Ciolli, despite his statements that he doesn’t endorse such content.

    It’s not his inconsistency that I have a primary problem with. I have a problem with the fact that he provides a forum for the kinds of disgusting comments that go up on AutoAdmit, and then throws up his hands and says “I didn’t say it and I don’t endorse it!” when someone calls him out on it. “I don’t endorse it” doesn’t cut it when you’re providing the space for it to happen, and not doing a damn thing to stop it.

  63. Evil XOXO Guy says:

    Jill,

    “It’s not his inconsistency that I have a primary problem with. I have a problem with the fact that he provides a forum for the kinds of disgusting comments that go up on AutoAdmit, and then throws up his hands and says “I didn’t say it and I don’t endorse it!” when someone calls him out on it. “I don’t endorse it” doesn’t cut it when you’re providing the space for it to happen, and not doing a damn thing to stop it. ”

    I guess this answers my original question to you. I find this a meritless critique, but I suppose reasonable minds can differ.

    How do you feel about internet service providers? They, too, have the power to stop anything “bad” from being posted. Just as deserving of punishment as Cohen and Ciolli?

  64. Thomas says:

    Hey Incompetent XOXO Defender: “they’re” is a contraction of “they are.” It is not the same word as “their.” “Their” is a possessive pronoun, and would be appropriate in the context where you used “they’re.” “They are” is not appropriate in that context.

    I learned the difference between “their” and “they’re” in elementary school. I had not forgotten it by the time I attended a top-ten law school, nor in my decade in the practice of law.

    If I were you, I would stop defending the aiders and abetters of stalkers and bigots, and go proofread your resume. If you have secured a job and not lost it for bad behavior, you may want to bone up on grammar before beginning work, as this sort of mistake in a draft brief will contribute to an impression of you as either sloppy or dim.

  65. Ugly in Pink says:

    He’s a bastard because he refused to remove abusive and threatening material from the site upon request, even though he readily removed other material.

    I’m sure you “find it easier to believe” that which you want to be true, but saying it over and over again won’t actually change anything.

  66. Sarah says:

    Wait, people are calling him a bastard and wishing evil upon him because he was inconsistent? I find that hard to believe.

    Oh god. Exaggerate much? Who’s wishing “evil” on him? Calling him a bastard for how he acts is a tiny bit different from posting someone’s personal information and calling for her to be raped.

  67. Jill says:

    (I’m getting in the shower now, so if your comments are stuck in moderation for a while, don’t flip — we aren’t censoring you, I’m just not checking the queue every 30 seconds like I’ve been doing all day, and will probably continue to do all evening as I work on final papers).

  68. Evil XOXO Guy says:

    Thomas,

    Wow. You would fit right in over there.

  69. La Fille Torpille says:

    People asked him to remove the posts that had personal information about non-posters. AutoAdmit did not do so. Am I correct? If I am, then there is no way there is any free speech issue.

  70. Ugly in Pink says:

    Well gosh that’s different. See, we women should be used to graphic rape threats by now, right? No big deal. Not like piercing the thin, lily-white skin of a wealthy grad student by calling him an idiot and possessing poor judgment. That’s just beyond the pale. Fetch forth the fainting couch!

  71. Sarah says:

    Photos of Anthony & his defenders should appear under the word “entitled” in the dictionary. They’re entitled to harass, abuse and silence women they disagree with. They’re entitled to do so without criticism. And they’re entitled to get stellar jobs despite it all.

  72. Evil XOXO Guy says:

    Sarah,

    “Oh god. Exaggerate much? Who’s wishing “evil” on him?”

    Fine, “ill will” or “misfortune” is my point. I’m not exactly spending hours crafting my posts here.

    “Calling him a bastard for how he acts is a tiny bit different from posting someone’s personal information and calling for her to be raped.”

    This appears to prove my point re: attributing other people’s posts to Ciolli. (i.e. it’s not just “what I would like to believe” but appears to be the truth).

  73. zuzu says:

    Hey, Evil XOXO Guy?

    The formatting buttons are there for a reason. And they’re easy to use. So use them.

  74. shawn says:

    uh oh… privilege and entitlement again…

    you people need to stop waving your class war banner around issues that have nothing to do with it.

  75. Ugly in Pink says:

    Your nitpicking skills may serve you well should you ever decide to join a tribe of gorillas, but they’re no good here. Pretending Sarah meant Ciolli posted those things himself in the context of everything else that’s been written here is just pathetic. Keep digging, dude.

  76. Tom says:

    How do you feel about internet service providers? They, too, have the power to stop anything “bad” from being posted. Just as deserving of punishment as Cohen and Ciolli?

    Is that a joke? He was a moderator. It’s in the fucking job description to delete threads like:

    “PSA: The Holocaust was the Jewish Equivalent of Woodstock,” “How many dozen jews didn’t deserve to die in the holocaust?”
    “last night I dreamt about fucking Holocaust victims,” “POST HERE IF YOU HATE SPICKS MORE THAN YOU HATE NIGGERS!!!!!!!!!”
    “Asians have upended blacks as America’s worst niggers”
    “ITT we think up innovative ways to rape without consequences”
    “Hey blacks, enough with the murder and rape of whites”
    “Next time, we rape the white girls before we kill them”

    You can find a better class of moderator on Myspace.

  77. Ugly in Pink says:

    Hey shawn – of course, you’re the one who decides what has to do with class, right? We should be sure to clear these things with you first next time.

    How…entitled of you.

  78. Thomas says:

    Impertinent XOXO Clown, I am not ashamed to mock sloppiness or stupidity, and I have achieved many of my career goals as a lawyer already. You appear unashamed of your own stupidity or sloppiness. How have you done for yourself in the practice of law?

  79. Sarah says:

    “Entitled” has nothing to do with class. Need a primer?

  80. Evil XOXO Guy says:

    Ugly in Pink,

    “Your nitpicking skills may serve you well should you ever decide to join a tribe of gorillas, but they’re no good here. Pretending Sarah meant Ciolli posted those things himself in the context of everything else that’s been written here is just pathetic. Keep digging, dude.”

    I assume that was direct to me. It seemed to be the clear intent of her post to imply that Ciolli did those things. I have seen other comments here doing the same. Indeed, Jill’s blog today analogizes between her taking responsibility for her writings and Ciolli taking responsibility for others’ writings.

    I’m just trying to have a civil debate about the *actual* actions that Ciolli has performed, as opposed to the vile actions of others.

  81. Thomas says:

    Zuzu, the guy can’t operate a pronoun. You expect him to use formatting tags?

  82. Ugly in Pink says:

    Nah, entitlement can be a function of class, race, gender. I think here we have the trifecta actually.

  83. Evil XOXO Guy says:

    Sarah,

    ““Entitled” has nothing to do with class.”

    Yes, it does. The term itself refers to one with title (i.e. title to land or aristocratic title).

  84. zuzu says:

    Zuzu, the guy can’t operate a pronoun. You expect him to use formatting tags?

    Well, I’m not letting his comments out of moderation until he does.

  85. Evil XOXO Guy says:

    Thomas,

    If you’ve got something substantive to say, please say it. I made a typo. The horror. Your (see, I got it right!) focus on this makes you look petty.

    Indeed, it’s the type of trash I’ve become used to over at xoxo.

  86. Evil XOXO Guy says:

    Thomas,

    I readily admit sloppiness in my online postings. I’m not sure how our respective career successes got dragged into this, but I’m doing pretty well.

    I will likely ignore your posts from now on, to the extent they deal with typos.

  87. La Fille Torpille says:

    The racist & sexist comments of AA I don’t believe the moderators were obligated to remove.

    However, attacks/threats on specific people, alongside posting their pictures and personal information, is a whole different issue.

    If I saw a post saying “WOMEN ARE WHORES!!!” I wouldn’t be worried, and if I saw “[my name] IS A WHORE!” it wouldn’t bother me either. “[my name] NEEDS TO BE RAPED!!” with my picture, phone number, address, whatever, and then comments about “hatefuck”ing or raping or whatever… yeah, that’s kind of different.

    Removing those posts would not have violated the board’s purpose. Not even close. Ciolli isn’t some First Amendment martyr.

  88. Evil XOXO Guy says:

    The whole point of my questions here today is that it is *not* the job of an XOXO “moderator” to delete posts. Does *that* make the XOXO administrators morally corrupt? It seems to place them in the same boat as ISPs.

  89. SarahMC says:

    And, La Fille Torpille, since the government wasn’t threatening to censor AA, it’s not even a First Amendment issue.

    You’d think these smarty pants law studs would know that.

  90. Frumious B says:

    abortion scarred, fat asses

    Should I be happy that they are not becoming doctors or weep that they might one day effect anti-choice legislation?

  91. shawn says:

    No one says its a first amendment issue, but it is a freedom of speech issue.

    maybe some people feel internet message boards should be open forums with absolute freedom of speech, to the extent it does not threaten the forum itself (spamming outting members).

    Rational people can disagree whether its “right” to operate a private chat board with the same freedom of speech policy as the government, but it doesn’t make someone an asshole or evil.

  92. JackGoff says:

    No one says its a first amendment issue, but it is a freedom of speech issue.

    Threatening to rape people is a freedom of speech issue? Huh.

  93. La Fille Torpille says:

    The whole point of my questions here today is that it is *not* the job of an XOXO “moderator” to delete posts. Does *that* make the XOXO administrators morally corrupt? It seems to place them in the same boat as ISPs.

    Ciolli ostensibly deleted posts that had contact information about posters, and deleted posts that criticized him. So he did moderate.

    Is it not illegal to threaten to rape someone? If it is, then the XOXO mods did not delete illegal content.

    And, La Fille Torpille, since the government wasn’t threatening to censor AA, it’s not even a First Amendment issue.

    A little off topic here, but I think it’ so adorable when people slap the First Amendment onto everything, especially when they’re completely unaware that the First Amendment doesn’t cover all speech. [It’s still illegal to scream “FIRE!” in a movie theater if there is no fire. Libel is lawsuit-able.]

  94. La Fille Torpille says:

    Rational people can disagree whether its “right” to operate a private chat board with the same freedom of speech policy as the government, but it doesn’t make someone an asshole or evil.

    Last I checked, the government does not, actually, think that all speech is protected. Threats of violence certainly aren’t legal. So, uh, no.

  95. shawn says:

    I think you’ll find very few “I am going to rape XYZ at 5 pm on Sunday” threats that would get someone arrested were they to say it in public.

    Almost everything posted on xoxo would be protected by the first amendment were it a government issue, and there is a debatable value to having an internet forum with the same freedom of expression.

  96. JackGoff says:

    You have to wonder who taught these pricks ethics.

  97. La Fille Torpille says:

    Rational people can disagree whether its “right” to operate a private chat board with the same freedom of speech policy as the government, but it doesn’t make someone an asshole or evil.

    Last I checked, the government does not, actually, think that all speech is protected under the first amendment. Threats of violence certainly aren’t legal. So, uh, no.

  98. SarahMC says:

    I’ve taken ONE law class in my whole life (First Amendment in the Fourth Estate, while getting my undergrad in communications), and I know more than these future lawyers crying “Free Speech!”

    The First Amendment doesn’t protect ALL speech. You can’t say anything you want; you just can’t. There are a number of restrictions.

    This bugs the hell out of me when I hear people defend Imus’ “freedom of speech” as well. He’s STILL protected from government interference with his speech! His EMPLOYER canned him. His listeners are allowed to complain and boycott. Please people, read up on what “freedom of speech” actually means.

  99. shawn says:

    you people have a very broad interpretation of the type of serious threat that is not protected speech. However nasty comments are, you have to look at both the message and the context in which it is conveyed.

  100. shawn says:

    people like SarahMC are so quick to show off what they learned in one semester.

    yes we all understand its not protected speech – however there is at least an argument that there is value for a private person to protect speech on the internet the same way the government protects it outside.

  101. JackGoff says:

    Your ethics professor failed, shawn.

  102. SarahMC says:

    One more time, shawn:

    Neither your nor Anthony’s first amendment rights have been violated.

  103. Ugly in Pink says:

    Could most of those posts actually be a basis for a criminal charge? No, probably not. Does that mean it’s “protected speech” and immune from, say TORT LAW?

    Noooooo.

  104. shawn says:

    jesus christ sarahmc, you just dont get it.

  105. La Fille Torpille says:

    you people have a very broad interpretation of the type of serious threat that is not protected speech. However nasty comments are, you have to look at both the message and the context in which it is conveyed.

    NO YOU

    The context is anonymous possibly-classmates posting about wanting to rape someone, etc. I think that’s reason enough to be alarmed, especially when you’re raised not to walk or drive alone anywhere.

  106. SarahMC says:

    Excuse me? What – are you jealous that you weren’t able to retain the same information, shawn?

    there is at least an argument that there is value for a private person to protect speech on the internet the same way the government protects it outside.

    That argument may very well exist. But even if it had merit, it wouldn’t exempt said private person from critique or ridicule, and it certainly wouldn’t mean that prospective employers had to approve.

  107. Ugly in Pink says:

    Well, shawn, you’re not saying anything that makes a great deal of sense. Are you saying Anthony should be protected from criticism for his actions?

  108. JackGoff says:

    Discussing rape as a hypothetically valid course of action in any context is ethically bankrupt, and a threat.

  109. Evil XOXO Guy says:

    It appears as though we’ve narrowed the issue to whether failing to delete posts that could rationally be perceived as threats is immoral/illegal.

    This raises a tough judgment call as to whether anything on XOXO can be rationally perceived as, well, true. It’s a forum filled with hyperbole, lies, and “schtick.”

    Much of it vile? Certainly. But Ciolli generally attempted to shut down actions (even those taking place outside of XOXO) that threatened real world consequences other than revulsion. Of course, he wasn’t perfect in that regard.

  110. Evil XOXO Guy says:

    “Discussing rape as a hypothetically valid course of action in any context is ethically bankrupt, and a threat.”

    Gotta disagree with you there, Mr. Goff. To be clear, I would never, in any context advocate rape, and anyone who does is an asshole (can I say that here?). That does not mean it is unethical or immoral to *discuss* such an issue as a hypothetical.

    As for the “threat” business, I fail to see how discussions constitute threats per se.

  111. La Fille Torpille says:

    Discussing rape as a hypothetically valid course of action in any context is ethically bankrupt, and a threat.

    Exactly!! I don’t think anyone is arguing that AA should have bothered to clean up the random racist/sexist/everythingist attention-whore posts (I’m certainly not) since that’s not their policy, but threats against specific people are not protected free speech and the owners of AutoAdmit were wrong for not deleting it.

  112. SarahMC says:

    Well, anyone who’s “schtick” includes fantasizing about raping and murdering women (or anyone) *har har har* is morally suspect, if you ask me.

  113. Evil XOXO Guy says:

    “Well, anyone who’s “schtick” includes fantasizing about raping and murdering women (or anyone) *har har har* is morally suspect, if you ask me.”

    Sarah, I think this may be the first thing you’ve posted that I agree with. However, I have no reason to believe that Ciolli or Cohen ever posted such trash (nor have I myself). However, many people hear XOXO shift into guilt-by-association mode.

  114. M. says:

    Actually, Cohen & Ciolli appear pretty savvy regarding they’re potential liability as a legal matter.

    Seriously? Their handling of the matter demonstrates that they don’t understand the difference between a publisher and a distributor. It doesn’t matter very much for the purposes of sec. 203, but it a) demonstrates their hypocrisy and b) strongly suggests that they left racist and misogynist posts up because they agree with it.

    maybe some people feel internet message boards should be open forums with absolute freedom of speech, to the extent it does not threaten the forum itself (spamming outting members).

    So harming everyone else outside the forum is ok, but giving your friends a taste of their own medicine isn’t? If it’s good for the goose, shouldn’t it be good for the gander?

  115. SarahMC says:

    You wouldn’t feel threatened, Evil XOXO Guy, if a group of people you knew disliked you were “discussing” (what a euphemism) raping you? And they knew where you lived, where you hung out?

    Maybe it’s ’cause you’re a guy, and such a thing is very unlikely to happen to you in any circumstance, so you wouldn’t be too alarmed. Understand that for women, the threat of rape is always hanging over our heads anyway.

  116. La Fille Torpille says:

    This raises a tough judgment call as to whether anything on XOXO can be rationally perceived as, well, true. It’s a forum filled with hyperbole, lies, and “schtick.”

    Even if it is in a context that is less than serious, it is scary, especially when it’s your picture and your contact information. I hate to say, “You’re not a woman, you wouldn’t understand,” but when you’re taught from the age of four not to talk to strangers or go anywhere alone or get drunk or wear skirts or be home alone or you’ll get raped and beaten and dismembered…
    you tend to take rape seriously.

    For example, schools now take any students’ mention of violence or bombs incredibly seriously, no matter what the context. Better safe than sorry.

    The FBI shut down 4chan when people posted a white supremacist’s name, address, phone number, SSN, car description, family tree, household income. Even white supremacists are protected from threats.

  117. Evil XOXO Guy says:

    “Seriously? Their handling of the matter demonstrates that they don’t understand the difference between a publisher and a distributor. It doesn’t matter very much for the purposes of sec. 203, but it a) demonstrates their hypocrisy and b) strongly suggests that they left racist and misogynist posts up because they agree with it.”

    If you admit that they are protected under section 230 (I assume that’s what you meant), then how do their actions indicate lack of legal knowledge?

    I fail to see how you come to the hypocrisy or “they agree with it” conclusions.

  118. JackGoff says:

    I fail to see how discussions constitute threats per se.

    Which is why people were referencing male entitlement earlier. For women, people discussing rape in the manner of AA is not some abstract, run-of-the-mill discussion. Rape is not merely some figment that they don’t have to deal with on a daily basis the way it is for men.

    But either way, it’s disingenuous to act as if the posters who wrote those things weren’t attempting to make Jill afraid for her safety.

  119. ginmar says:

    Jesus Christ, Shawn, you can’t find the fucking shift key, who’s supposed to take your opinion seriously? Remind me again where I let other people threaten to rape someone—-by NAME?

  120. Evil XOXO Guy says:

    Mr. Goff,

    Ah, yes. The old “you don’t understand cause you’re not ______” argument.

    Rape is not limited to male attacker/female victim. My comments hold true for any hypothetical discussion of a heinous act (even against rich, white, male Republicans!).

  121. La Fille Torpille says:

    Rape is not limited to male attacker/female victim. My comments hold true for any hypothetical discussion of a heinous act (even against rich, white, male Republicans!).

    I argued this exactly a couple of posts ago. But how many men alter their lifestyles for fear of rape? (Aside from avoiding prison time.)

    Schools take bomb/guns threats seriously. The FBI shut down 4chan because of threats against a white supremacist. These may not necessarily be ethical issues, but damned if they aren’t causes for valid concern.

  122. JackGoff says:

    The old “you don’t understand cause you’re not ______” argument.

    Old maybe, but nonetheless valid. Lack of empathy seems to be at the core here. I find it difficult to believe you genuinely would feel okay with people discussing hate-fucking you. Then again, I don’t know you.

    When women are the victims of rape at a ratio of 8:1 (EXTREMELY conservative estimate), your argument is tired and has no teeth. It shows a severe disconnect in your existence as compared to that which women face daily.

  123. SarahMC says:

    There was no discussion of a heinous act. There was gleeful fantasizing about a heinous act, which the participants didn’t appear to find so heinous.

    And not all men fail to understand, Evil XOXO Guy. Because not all of you have a crippling case of male entitlement.

  124. Evil XOXO Guy says:

    La Fille,

    “These may not necessarily be ethical issues, but damned if they aren’t causes for valid concern.”

    Can’t argue with you there. A lot of the posters on XOXO are [insert derogatory word of choice]. It’s just that I don’t think that Ciolli or Cohen should be tarred with the same brush.

  125. zuzu says:

    Oh, yes, the old “Nobody made an appointment to rape her, so you’re just being silly for thinking that posting her name, phone number, address, class schedule, photo and saying that she needs to be raped is a threat! Tish tosh!”

    You lack imagination, dude. But something tells me you’d get it if some guy said to you, “Nice face. Shame if something happened to it.”

    And I’m telling you, nicely, once again, to USE THE FORMATTING TAGS.

  126. SarahMC says:

    To add to what JackGoff just said…

    While men and boys ARE victims of sex crimes too, the perpetrators of rape & sexual assault are almost always male, no matter who’s being victimized.

  127. Evil XOXO Guy says:

    Goff,

    “When women are the victims of rape at a ratio of 8:1 (EXTREMELY conservative estimate), your argument is tired and has no teeth. It shows a severe disconnect in your existence as compared to that which women face daily. ”

    As I said, my argument holds for all hypothetical discussions of crimes. I’m a white, male, attorney. Pick a crime a heinous act that would instill fear in the hearts of people like me (malpractice suit? sorry, couldn’t resist.), and I still don’t think that a hypothetical discussion is a “threat” per se.

    Now, if it’s the kind of “hypothetical” that is clearly intended to be a threat, that’s different.

  128. Jill says:

    XOXO guy-

    To quote someone, highlight whatever it is that you want to quote, and click the “quote” button above the comment box. It’ll automatically format it for you. It makes it easier to read than putting “” around every quote.

  129. justicewalks says:

    Now, if it’s the kind of “hypothetical” that is clearly intended to be a threat, that’s different.

    And, of course, you, in all your white male attorney-ness, are exactly the person to decide what is “clearly intended to be a threat.” If it wouldn’t bother you, no one else should be concerned.

  130. SarahMC says:

    As I said, my argument holds for all hypothetical discussions of crimes.

    Saying it doesn’t make it so. Check your privilege.

  131. La Fille Torpille says:

    Can’t argue with you there. A lot of the posters on XOXO are [insert derogatory word of choice]. It’s just that I don’t think that Ciolli or Cohen should be tarred with the same brush.

    But they did nothing when requested to delete the threads containing info and threads. Maybe that makes them accomplices. No doubt, it makes them responsible for ignoring, even facilitating, a very real problem–not just “offensive material.” I am not saying they should have moderated the threads that called Jill fat or whatever, but rape threats & personal info should have been deleted as such behavior may be a CRIME. By not doing so, Ciolli and Cohen displayed very poor judgment at best, and Ciolli’s firm was justified in dropping him.

    You know what they say: “Birds of a feather…”

  132. zuzu says:

    Incidentally, since when does something have to rise to the level of actionability — let alone criminality — before an employer can take a pass?

  133. preying mantis says:

    “Now, if it’s the kind of “hypothetical” that is clearly intended to be a threat, that’s different.”

    And this is determined by whom, exactly?

  134. Evil XOXO Guy says:

    And, of course, you, in all your white male attorney-ness, are exactly the person to decide what is “clearly intended to be a threat.” If it wouldn’t bother you, no one else should be concerned.

    You suggest we make a panel of Feministe readers the final arbiters?

    I do think that context has to be taken into account, and people familiar with XOXO are better able to judge what’s “serious” and what’s not. However, I also understand that some random outsider who hears that their life was threatened on some message board wouldn’t take much comfort in that.

  135. Jill says:

    Re: the threat stuff —

    If we look at the comments I posted in context, they get worse, not better. In the thread with the comments “I want to brutally rape that Jill slut” and “I’m 98% sure that she should be raped (if only in Internet Land),” a subsequent commenter says:

    yup…but she cant delete a thing here…just sayin’

    btw…whats Jills full name?

    My name isn’t a secret, but in context that was a little unnerving.

    Other threads are about seeing me around campus, sitting next to me at events, having class with me, etc. One guy recently said he saw me walking down the street and took a picture. True? Not true? I have no idea. But coupled with comments about sexual assault, plus the general vitriol toward me on that board, is pretty creepy.

  136. Ayezur says:

    Freedom of speech does not equate to freedom from response.

    Ciolli is not being imprisoned, fined, or in any way legally harassed for owning an unmoderated forum. A private individual in charge of hiring for a privately-owned law firm simply decided that the behaviors he condoned through his silence in the space he had at least partial control over did not reflect well on his character and chose not to hire him because of it. He even has the right to challenge the dismissal, if he thinks he can make a case for it.

    He exercised his right to free speech. Someone else exercised their right to respond. It’s that simple; now stop whining, you over-privileged, doubtless white and middle/upper middle class male.

    (And seriously, you bring this to an overly political, liberal blog and get touchy when people begin discussing privilege? Momma always told me your kind lived in a magical fantasy land, but I never believed her until now. Poor big baby, the big feminist meanies won’t let him frame the debate in a way that’s beneficial to him. I cry a single perfect glistening tear.

    And now for a margarita)

    ~Ayezur,
    Feeling vicious

  137. ginmar says:

    I do think that context has to be taken into account, and people familiar with XOXO are better able to judge what’s “serious” and what’s not. However, I also understand that some random outsider who hears that their life was threatened on some message board wouldn’t take much comfort in that.

    You mean, you don’t trust the word of a bunch of guys who think rape threats are incredibly amusing? Shocking, I tell you!

  138. Pingback: Heh. Indeed. at Faux Real

  139. Angel H. says:

    I’m a white, male, attorney.

    Which one of you called it? Which poster suspected he had the “trifecta of entitlement”?

  140. La Fille Torpille says:

    I think the pro-AA people are confused about something: Ciolli’s ex-firm didn’t drop him necessarily because of the simply offensive material posted on the board. It is because Ciolli and Cohen ignored threats (or even what could be reasonably considered a threat) being made against a person, the posting of contact information, and the violation of copyright law (for the pictures of the girls)–NONE of which is free speech-“marketplace of ideas” crap, ALL of which is possibly criminal, and then claimed it was covered by free speech-marketplace of ideas. It’s not entirely guilt by association, and it’s not holding them responsible for other people’s actions. It’s the shit-poor judgment exercised by Ciolli’s actions and non-actions. Not good lawyer material.

  141. Evil XOXO Guy says:

    I am not saying they should have moderated the threads that called Jill fat or whatever, but rape threats & personal info should have been deleted as such behavior may be a CRIME. By not doing so, Ciolli and Cohen displayed very poor judgment at best, and Ciolli’s firm was justified in dropping him.

    You know what they say: “Birds of a feather…”

    I’m not aware of what non-public personal info on Jill was posted on XOXO. I know Ciolli did try to shut down the “beauty pageant” site that was not affiliated with XOXO. I also don’t know if any of the vile stuff posted about Jill could be considered a legitimate “rape threat.” I haven’t read it all.

    I think Ciolli showed poor judgment if his only goal was to avoid negative consequences. By that logic, though, so has Jill.

    As for

  142. Angel H. says:

    Ayezur: ALL INTERNETS FOR YOU! :D

  143. La Fille Torpille says:

    I think Ciolli showed poor judgment if his only goal was to avoid negative consequences. By that logic, though, so has Jill.

    Negative consequences of what? What did Jill do that would invite negative consequences? I’m not really arguing here, I just don’t really know what you’re talking about.

  144. Evil XOXO Guy says:

    LaFille–

    I think the pro-AA people are confused about something: Ciolli’s ex-firm didn’t drop him necessarily because of the simply offensive material posted on the board. It is because Ciolli and Cohen ignored threats (or even what could be reasonably considered a threat) being made against a person, the posting of contact information, and the violation of copyright law (for the pictures of the girls)–NONE of which is free speech-”marketplace of ideas” crap, ALL of which is possibly criminal, and then claimed it was covered by free speech-marketplace of ideas. It’s not entirely guilt by association, and it’s not holding them responsible for other people’s actions. It’s the shit-poor judgment exercised by Ciolli’s actions and non-actions. Not good lawyer material.

    First, you’re assuming a lot about the law firm. We don’t really know the deal there.

    Second, regarding copyright, you are just wrong.

    Third, regarding the contact info/threats, I think this is your most valid point, though I’m hesitant to label anything on XOXO a “threat” without looking at it.

    At any rate, I guess this needs repeating, no one is saying that the law firm has no reason to do this. Law firms have every reason to avoid controversy. For that reason, a law firm may be justified in rescinding an offer to Feministe bloggers if they think their client’s don’t like feminists. Although, it’s a little hypocritical for this law firm, which employs a person who is accused of vehicular manslaughter, to ding Ciolli, who is accused of no crime.

    That doesn’t make blogging on Feministe wrong.

  145. Evil XOXO Guy says:

    “Which one of you called it? Which poster suspected he had the “trifecta of entitlement”? “

    Angela,

    Does it make you feel strong/better to dismiss people or make fun of people because of their race and gender?

  146. Evil XOXO Guy says:

    LaFille,

    By commenting negatively on XOXO, Jill invited negative postings about her on XOXO. However, this only shows poor judgment if her sole intent was to avoid such things. Similarly, by affiliating himself with XOXO, Ciolli invited professional rejection. But this only shows poor judgment if he viewed “not stirring the pot” as a paramount goal.

    I mean, firms have attorneys that represent accused murderers, terrorists, etc. I don’t think it’s unreasonable for someone to think that running a discussion board would be too much (though perhaps a bit naive).

  147. zuzu says:

    Um, dude, you are aware that being accused of a crime is not the same thing as being convicted of it? And that there’s a difference between firing someone and rescinding an offer?

  148. Jill says:

    By commenting negatively on XOXO, Jill invited negative postings about her on XOXO. However, this only shows poor judgment if her sole intent was to avoid such things.

    Except not really. As I said in the post, they write about me whether I post on them or not. They were writing about me long before I knew their board even existed. There are dozens of posts from the past two months that have nothing to do with anything I’ve written about them. As far as I can tell from reading the message board, there is very little correlation between my writing about them and them responding. I’m “inviting” their attention simply by existing.

  149. La Fille Torpille says:

    First, you’re assuming a lot about the law firm. We don’t really know the deal there.

    I’m assuming this because his firm didn’t bother to fire him until this controversy.

    Second, regarding copyright, you are just wrong.

    Pictures are copyrighted upon creation, am I not correct?

    Third, regarding the contact info/threats, I think this is your most valid point, though I’m hesitant to label anything on XOXO a “threat” without looking at it.

    Jill’s quoted examples. It’s not as good as the original thread, but still valid.

    That doesn’t make blogging on Feministe wrong.

    No, it doesn’t, but that doesn’t change the fact that his actions by not removing the objectionable content are irresponsible and harmful–in your words, wrong. I don’t think I argued that because he got fired, he was wrong. He’s wrong without being fired.

  150. La Fille Torpille says:

    But this only shows poor judgment if he viewed “not stirring the pot” as a paramount goal.

    It was poor judgment because leaving that content up was unethical. Maybe criminal. Certainly irresponsible and callous.

  151. M. says:

    If you admit that they are protected under section 230 (I assume that’s what you meant), then how do their actions indicate lack of legal knowledge?

    Because the distinction between an interactive computer service and an information content provider is still unsettled law. By choosing to a) produce and distribute admissions studies and b) moderate some posts with identifying information, they may have made themselves information content providers for the purposes of the Communications Decency Act — not an interactive computer service. Consequently, they may not be subject to the blanket immunity provided by sec. 230. (Although the CDA purports to do away with the traditional common law publisher/distributor distinction, I think it just translates the debate into modern technological terms.)

    A shrewd law student would have avoided the ISC/ISP debate entirely. How? She would not have published any studies on the site. More importantly, she would not have moderated anything.

    This is also where you see Ciolli’s hypocrisy: if he truly were a “Free Speech Warrior,” he wouldn’t have deleted the posts outing (and presumably attacking) his friends. Moreover, when you have a history of deleting things you disagree with, you implicitly approve of the things you leave up.

  152. Evil XOXO Guy says:

    Um, dude, you are aware that being accused of a crime is not the same thing as being convicted of it? And that there’s a difference between firing someone and rescinding an offer?

    I’m not saying that people shouldn’t rep defendants. I’m saying Ciolli hasn’t even been accussed of anything criminal (and another attorney at that firm has), but they’re dropping him.

    Also, of course there’s a difference between rescinding and offer and firing, but I don’t think it’s a moral difference.

  153. Angel H. says:

    Angela,

    Does it make you feel strong/better to dismiss people or make fun of people because of their race and gender?

    Only when it’s clueless white guys who have no concept of male privilege and act extremely arrogant, yet they’re too stupid to spell my name correctly.

  154. justicewalks says:

    You suggest we make a panel of Feministe readers the final arbiters?

    Because that would just be crazy, right, as opposed to the perfectly rational assessment of the situation you’ve made? I don’t suggest that we make anyone the authoritatve arbiter of anything, though. Everyone is entitled to her own opinion. I, for one, think EA did a rather good job in their assessment of Ciolli’s character.

    For that reason, a law firm may be justified in rescinding an offer to Feministe bloggers if they think their client’s don’t like feminists.

    Yes, they would. Was that supposed to be some big “gottcha”? The feminist in question would likely be just as happy not to work in a misogynist environment as the firm would be not to have a female representative of the non-doormat variety. I’m actually curious, having written that, why Mr. Ciolli isn’t absolutely thrilled at having been denied the opportunity to work in some horribly stifling anti-stalking/rape environment when he is clearly more at home with bigots and brutes.

  155. Evil XOXO Guy says:

    M,

    I think any interpretation of the CDA that makes Cohen or Ciolli liable for the posts of others is *very* unlikely, and there is no precedent that I know of for someone becoming liable through moderation post-CDA (a la Prodigy). Shrewd doesn’t mean refraining from any action that carries a slight risk.

    As for the hypocrisy, I don’t think a policy of deleting a certain type of post that threatens the vitality of the forum itself is hypocrisy, nor do I think you have to be all or nothing to be a free speech advocate.

    I don’t really know if Ciolli or Cohen actually treated posts differently based on favoritism, though I’ve heard the accusation.

  156. Evil XOXO Guy says:

    Angel,

    Have fun with your prejudice. You do any cause you speak for a great disservice.

  157. ginmar says:

    By commenting negatively on XOXO, Jill invited negative postings about her on XOXO. However, this only shows poor judgment if her sole intent was to avoid such things.

    Shorter asshole: she asked for it. Anthony did not. Double standard, anyone?

  158. W. Kiernan says:

    Evil XOXO guy: The whole point of my questions here today is that it is *not* the job of an XOXO “moderator” to delete posts. Does *that* make the XOXO administrators morally corrupt? It seems to place them in the same boat as ISPs.

    Right, a webmaster clearly has zero responsibility for the content he hosts. So I can just set me up a web site and invite the public to pseudonomously post copyrighted books and music and movies, child pornography, kitchen-sink recipes for nerve gas and anthrax, assorted libels, criminal threats and detailed conspiracies to assassinate the President, and when seventeen different police agencies swoop down on my house and kick the door in I can just turn the palms of my hands skyward and ask them “But am I my brother’s keeper?” and it’ll be cool? Yeah right!

    Anyway, that’s beside the point. For crying out loud XOXO guy, is your head filled with concrete? Are you a man or a robot? I’m asking you man to man. Imagine it was your girlfriend or your mother or your sister or your daughter who was on the receiving end of, not just one or two comments but a goddam siege of

    I want to brutally rape that [XOXO guy’s sister] slut

    and

    Official [XOXO’s Mom] RAPE Thread

    and

    for minimising this tragedy, [XOXO guy’s girlfriend] deserves a brutal raping

    and

    [XOXO guy’s daughter] is a normal-sized girl that I’d bang violently… maybe you’d have to kill her afterwards…

    and on top of all that these same psycho perverts were bragging about how they’d stalked the woman in question out in the real world. And suppose you asked the mouth-breather who was hosting all this bile on the web site for which he’s personally, consciously responsible to get rid of that vicious and legally actionable bullshit that he’s paying to host. And suppose he replied, “hey, freespeech freespeech freespeech, tough shit if your mother/sister/daughter/girlfriend doesn’t like it!”

    Now are you gonna look me in the eye and tell me that in this case you’d be all “oh my, free speech is of such paramount importance, so what the Hell, I’ll just let it slide?” Or would you do what you could, maybe even narc his ass out to his massa at work, to fuck the guy around and get him shut down? I think that stopping at just getting the jerk canned would be a sign of exceptional restraint in the face of intolerable provocation. Stupid bitch got exactly what he deserved. Fuck him.

  159. Evil XOXO Guy says:

    Ginmar,

    Shorter asshole: she asked for it. Anthony did not. Double standard, anyone?

    You apparently need to re-read what I said (hint: neither showed poor judgment when applying the same standard).

  160. ellenbrenna says:

    Copyright belongs to the creator of the work unless they explicitly give it to someone else. The internet is thick with copyright violations but that does not make it right and it certainly does not render it all legal. The above posters are correct to assert that if the owners of the photos did not give permission for their photos to be posted (or indicate that their photos are under a Creative Commons or similar license at their point of origin) then anyone continuing to post the photos are violating the creator’s copyright.

    Don’t you guys take classes in this stuff?

  161. Evil XOXO Guy says:

    W Kieman,

    If you “invite” stuff, it’s not the same as just setting up a forum, is it? Why does the internet make people responsible for others’ actions all of a sudden?

    Why have you not addressed how he is different than an ISP (or has anyone else)?

    In the situation you described, I would probably be pissed off and would ask the guy to out the posters of the vile material and confront them. I doubt Ciolli would have done that, but I bet he would have been more receptive to a request that didn’t accuse him of being responsible for the material.

  162. Evil XOXO Guy says:

    ellenbrenna,

    linking to a photo hosted on another website’s server is not copyright infringement, and I am pretty certain no photo was ever posted on XOXO (if there is a way to post photos, as opposed to links, on XOXO, it’s news to me).

    The copyright aspect is just another example of people blaming Ciolli for the actions of others. An xoxo poster set up a website hosting photos. Ciolli and Cohen eventually convinced him to shut it down. Yet they are still getting blamed for supposed copyright infringement.

  163. Mnemosyne says:

    I’m not aware of what non-public personal info on Jill was posted on XOXO. I know Ciolli did try to shut down the “beauty pageant” site that was not affiliated with XOXO. I also don’t know if any of the vile stuff posted about Jill could be considered a legitimate “rape threat.” I haven’t read it all.

    So, let me see — you don’t actually have the facts, but you “know” that Jill is wrong and Ciolli is right.

    Fascinating.

    Why have you not addressed how he is different than an ISP (or has anyone else)?

    Several people have addressed this point, and you have ignored them.

  164. Evil XOXO Guy says:

    Mnemosyne,

    you don’t actually have the facts, but you “know” that Jill is wrong and Ciolli is right.

    Uh, where did I say that? I’ve said that Jill and others on this blog have either stated or implied that Ciolli is responsible for content posted by others, and that I don’t believe he is responsible for such content.

    Regarding the ISP point, I don’t regard “yeah right” or other sarcastic remarks as “adressing” the point.

    One person has said something substantive about the law regarding liability of ISPs and how that applies to Ciolli. However, I’m not aware of any case law supporting that person’s views. On a moral level, no one has addressed the issue except for “yeah right” type posts. If you can’t show how I’m being unfair in this assessment, please do.

  165. Lauren says:

    Angela,

    Does it make you feel strong/better to dismiss people or make fun of people because of their race and gender?

    Shit, that’s easily a third of XO right there. Watch where you’re swinging that bat.

    I’ve said that Jill and others on this blog have either stated or implied that Ciolli is responsible for content posted by others, and that I don’t believe he is responsible for such content.

    Ciolli is responsible in part for the content of the boards he facilitates as a moderator. What he deletes is just as telling as what he keeps. He’s been transparent about his moderation policy — protect the people he likes, deny the people he doesn’t.

    In any case, this part of the article is what jumps out at me after seeing Ciolli/Cohen et al avoid their roles in facilitating offensive and threatening speech against named persons time and time again:

    In a letter dated April 20, DeWitt responded that “none of the information you provided resolves the concerns I expressed in my letter regarding your past affiliation with the site”

    DeWitt asked directly, Ciolli hedged. Had he answered DeWitt’s questions directly he might have kept his job. Who knows? Instead he pulled the same ol’ “marketplace of ideas” shit instead of acknowledging that he does indeed have some control over the board he moderates (if not, what the hell is a moderator?).

    I’d say the free market worked just fine in this case. I don’t see the big deal.

  166. r.tavi says:

    XOXO Guy

    I’ve said that Jill and others on this blog have either stated or implied that Ciolli is responsible for content posted by others, and that I don’t believe he is responsible for such content.

    He was asked to delete the threatening/offensive posts as he had done with other posts. He didn’t delete them and therefore he’s responsible for their continued existence on that board.

  167. La Fille Torpille says:

    Regarding the ISP point.

    Don’t ISPs routinely TOS their customers if people report a customer’s abusive behavior, or if the customer is doing something illegal with the service? I don’t see how ISP and forums are similar.

    Uh, where did I say that? I’ve said that Jill and others on this blog have either stated or implied that Ciolli is responsible for content posted by others, and that I don’t believe he is responsible for such content.

    It’s not his fault that people posted contact information/rape threats, but it is his fault that he did not delete those things as per the women’s requests, which were reasonable. It’s not like they asked him to because the posts were simply offensive to their ladylike sensibilities, but because they felt legitimately threatened. I can see how allowing racist or sexist opinions on the board unmoderated isn’t condoning those opinions, but ignoring threats, harassment, stalking? It’s not illegal to be a racist but it is illegal to threaten rape. It’s not illegal to be a sexist/racist, but it is definitely illegal to make rape threats. He did in fact moderate the board, so… he’s in a sense condoning an illegal act, facilitating it, which, if I’m correct, makes him an accessory.

  168. La Fille Torpille says:

    He didn’t delete them and therefore he’s responsible for their continued existence on that board.

    That is exactly what I’ve been trying and failing to say.

  169. Evil XOXO Guy says:

    Lauren,

    First, I make no apologies for the people on XOXO that post vile material. I’m generally defending Ciolli here, not the vast majority of content on XOXO, so I have no problem with swinging a bat at bigots. What’s worse about the prejudice on this board is that it’s much more likely to be real.

    “He’s been transparent about his moderation policy — protect the people he likes, deny the people he doesn’t”

    I don’t think that’s true, but as I can’t exactly examine a record of his delete/don’t delete actions, we could argue about this to no avail forever. At any rate, I don’t think it’s “transparent.” However, I know Cohen has stated that he does not delete material concerning people who threaten to sue him. I don’t think that’s terribly unreasonable.

    Regarding what DeWitt said, I’m not sure if anything anybody could have said would have “resolved” their concerns. That’s not really relevant to whether Ciolli deserves all he’s getting.

  170. Evil XOXO Guy says:

    Regarding “he didn’t delete them so he’s responsible” argument. This gets to my original point. Is it morally wrong to have a discussion board where the only stuff you delete is “outing” information? You guys apparently think so, but I generally disagree.

  171. DDay says:

    Another aspect that might have gone into the law firm’s thinking on this issue (if I my project): admittance to the bar. Now I don’t know exactly how detailed the process is wherever he would be applying, but generally they want to know about anything that could possibly reflect badly on your character. He is an owner of a website that portrays a very negative view of the legal profession, so negative that it was the subject of an article in a nationwide publication. I would expect that this would give the bar review committee definite pause. Firms don’t want to take on the additional risk that their employee will not be admitted to the bar. Just my two cents.

    (And Jill, glad to hear that you’ll be checking on this board in between writing final papers. It’s nice to know that someone else shares my plans for the evening.

  172. La Fille Torpille says:

    (And Jill, glad to hear that you’ll be checking on this board in between writing final papers. It’s nice to know that someone else shares my plans for the evening.

    Meeeee tooooooo… subject: “Feminism Is Still Relevant.” Speak of the devil.

  173. Lauren says:

    Regarding what DeWitt said, I’m not sure if anything anybody could have said would have “resolved” their concerns. That’s not really relevant to whether Ciolli deserves all he’s getting.

    What is he “getting” exactly?

  174. JackGoff says:

    First, I make no apologies for the people on XOXO that post vile material.

    Ciolli, as has been said, is responsible for the content posted on a web forum he moderates. This isn’t to say that he has to read every thread, but when hateful, bigoted posts and rape threats (sorry, your prior argument is disingenuous at best and apologetically complacent at worst) are repeatedly brought to his attention, and yet he does nothing, he is complicit. He has power to not display those things on his website, and yet chooses not to use it. He is complicit, and you have repeatedly apologized for this. I don’t buy your obfuscation for a minute.

  175. Evil XOXO Guy says:

    It’s worse to be apologetically complacent than disingenuous?

    I’m not sure what my obfuscation is. My very first post asked if running a message board where you don’t remove stuff is wrong. That sort of implies that removing stuff is possible and leaving stuff up is a decision (but not necessesarily a case-by-case decision).

  176. Evil XOXO Guy says:

    Lauren,

    Well, he’s certainly getting a lot of ill wishes and condemnation from Feministe posters, including threats to try and screw him over (depending on your definition of threat).

  177. JackGoff says:

    It’s worse to be apologetically complacent than disingenuous?

    Well, your argument stinks all around, so it might be both/and in this situation.

  178. Alex Guerrero says:

    Evil XOXO Guy, here’s what’s wrong with what Ciolli did. (I’ll try to go slowly.)

    Let’s assume the following:

    (A1) Ciolli and Cohen were both ‘running’ the board, taking public credit for it, defending it, paying for it, and overseeing growth and development.

    (A2) Cohen, and only Cohen, could remove posts.

    (A3) Neither Ciolli nor Cohen ever posted anything even remotely offensive.

    Then we have a series of facts:

    (F1) Multiple posts appeared on the board making (a) specific verbal attacks on specific, named individuals and (b) specific explicit and implicit threats and incitements to violence against specific, named individuals. (Let us simply ignore the anti-Semitic, racist, and other bigoted posts.)

    (F2) These posts were not removed as soon as possible, and in some cases were not removed at all, even upon repeated requests made by affected and concerned parties. Nor was there any attempt made to ban IP addresses of people responsible for posting the comments, nor were there any prevention measures put in place to reduce the likelihood that future postings of the sort described in (F1) would appear.

    Here is a moral principle which seems plausible (it seems that consequentialists, deontologists, contractarians, virtue theorists, and ethics of care theorists would all endorse this principle):

    DON’T ENABLE ATTACKS AND THREATS (DEAT): one should not, morally, enable anonymous individuals to make repeated false, horrible, verbal attacks or incitements to violence toward specific named individuals in a publicly accessible forum that reaches hundreds of thousands of people if it is reasonably within one’s power to do prevent this from happening.

    Here ‘enable’ is defined in the technical way as follows: X enables action A if (1) A would be impossible without X’s having taken certain actions, and (2) X is in a position to prevent A from happening and fails to do so.

    (In this case, A = posting on XOXO, and A would be impossible if it were not for the site having been created and maintained by Cohen and Ciolli.)

    ISP providers do not violate this principle, as La Fille Torpille notes.

    Defenders of Ciolli argue that he does not violate the above principle, because of (A2).

    But from (F2) we can infer that either (a) Ciolli did not try to convince Cohen to remove all of the posts or (b) Ciolli was unsuccessful in convincing Cohen to remove all of the posts.

    At that point Ciolli had a choice to make: (1) continue to be one of the people ‘running’ the board (taking public credit for it, defending it, paying for it, etc.), or (2) sever all ties with XOXO.

    He chose (1). Given that choice, Ciolli violates a different moral principle:

    DON’T SUPPORT VIOLATORS (DSV): one should not knowingly defend or support an entity or organization that directly contributes to repeated, widespread violations of moral principles, if one can easily (at little practical or moral cost) avoid doing so.

    Ciolli is guilty of violating this principle, by knowingly defending, supporting, and even taking credit for an entity (XOXO) that directly contributes to repeated violations of a moral principle (DON’T ENABLE ATTACKS AND THREATS), even though it would have been incredibly, amazingly easy for him to avoid doing so.

    And all of this is even granting the assumptions (A2) and (A3), both of which are suspect.

    Counterexamples to DEAT or DSV, anyone?

    Jill, Zuzu, et al., you rock.

    (Long time listener, first time caller.)

  179. PG says:

    Evil XOXO Guy,

    First, kudos to you for wading into an unfriendly environment.

    Second, the moral difference between an ISP (e.g. Comcast, which in some areas is the ONLY way people could get online), and Cohen/ Ciolli, is that the ISP merely allows people to get online. If an ISP were held responsible for what was done through the line, no one would get into the business. By contrast, I run a blog where I let people say pretty much what they like in the comments, EXCEPT that I delete personal contact information, physical threats, incitement to intimidation and harassment, and the like. People can bash politicians or call for Sigmund Solares’s disbarment or whatever, as long as they don’t cross into legally questionable territory. This strikes me as a much better standard than that at XoXohth. Sure, I’m tragically short on WGWAG comments except for those that get tagged as spam, but it’s possible to have a place for free comment without its turning into a cesspool. If people want to get online, sometimes their options to do so are limited, so we don’t want to decentivize people from getting into the ISP business. Moreover, ISPs mostly track their customers; if the FBI comes knockin, the ISP can hand over plenty of info. In contrast, there are literally over a million places to post online, so AutoAdmit wasn’t a lone beacon for the huddled masses yearning to speak freely, much as Cohen would like to believe it was. I was posting my thoughts on everything under the sun before AutoAdmit ever existed, and all of the people on there can do the same if AutoAdmit ceases to exist tomorrow.

    I think Congress is likely to revise Section 230 in the future to continue to protect those who make the large investment of providing *access* to the internet, while giving far less protection to those who start a forum and then refuse to take any responsibility for what’s posted on it.

    Third, it’s morally wrong to have a selective moderation policy that works to protect the IRL identities of favorite (Cohen said in a comment on my blog that he only moderated to protect those whom he believed were useful posters, not to protect “trolls”) site users, but that does not protect the IRL identities of people who have nothing to do with the site. If anything, the reverse should be true: those who live by the board can die by the board, but those who have no connection to the board other than some guy who hates them posting about them there, should be able to have those threads at least de-spidered so they can keep their privacy. It’s the same reason the a student blogger at Columbia had a policy of only writing about non-blogging private individuals either with their permission or without using their names; he was happy to operate under his own name and take the hits, but he wasn’t going to subject people who hadn’t volunteered for that to it. I don’t care about the racist, sexist stuff that truly was “hypothetical,” as you put it. I do care about the stuff that used names, places, photographs, etc.

    Finally, I’ve had a lengthy discussion with Cohen, and Ciolli to a much lesser extent, about AutoAdmit. Neither has exhibited any interest in suggestions about ways to lessen AutoAdmit’s negative impact on private individuals, only in pushing the responsibility onto GoogleSearch to change itself from a search engine to a forum. I’ve pointed out that AutoAdmit can add extremely simple code so that the problematic threads can stay up but not get picked up by search engines — nope, Cohen doesn’t want to lose a single pageview. The discussion would have been a lot briefer if he had just said what a friend of mine said would have been his position in Cohen’s shoes: “In the words of DMX, ‘money, cash, ‘hos.’ We are here to make money, that we turn into cash, so we can get ‘hos, and anything that detracts from our ability to do that — hell no.”

  180. Morgan says:

    I spent a nice chunk of time last year representing the ACLU (in the lowest possible place, I was a canvasser, I would recommend it to anyone for a week just to make his or her next job seem wonderful by comparison). All day long assholes yelled at me about how there are limits to freedom of speech. Up until Imus, the latest hate crime bill and now this I thought saying “freedom of speech is limited” was the typical conservative argument, how wrong I was. Elitist assholes’ definition of the 1st amendment is a much more fucked up thing than I ever thought possible.

    Let me explain…
    On the street people would call me racist, anti-Semitic (and it is worth it to note that they were always white and from what I could tell not Jewish) and my all time favorite ‘a defender of child molesters.’ I would have to wait until they yelled themselves hoarse and then I would have to explain that the ACLU defends the Constitution and the proper use of the law. Not only do they not condone the action of many of their clients but also they certainly do not defend hate speech, threats or any form of intent to a crime. As a great example the ACLU defends the right of the Ku Klux Klan to meet. They defend this right because there is no constitutional argument against it. They also defend it because it is easy to rule wrongly against the KKK, they are horrible people. However, the ACLU works in terms of the law and one law limiting the KKK can be used against any other group. Later, when the Ku Klux Klan in the OC (of course) started showing intent of crime the ACLU firmly support the Anaheim police stepping in to arrest them before anyone was hurt. There lies the complexity of freedom of speech. Legally no matter how horrible someone’s ideas are he or she cannot be stopped from meeting or writing unless there is intent to hurt others. Now that I think about it, elitists are easy to classify, they have no problem limiting people that are easy to loath (KKK) and can’t be bothered to think of the slippery slope that would eventually mean by law that a group of feminists can’t meet in private and discuss their moralities.

    But then comes one of their own, Imus. A privileged white man is no longer allowed by his employers to spew hate on a widespread radio show and suddenly the 1st amendment is violated. A hate crime bill is passed that means some brutal crimes will be given a little more investigation and attention and the 1st amendment is violated. A man who allowed women to be horribly threatened is no longer entitled to a job and the 1st amendment is violated.

    The 1st amendment and free speech is a complicated concept. Don’t just throw it out there blindly. The only consistency between what I first saw as a demission of the 1st amendment and then a ridicules defense of it is the stench of elitism. It is easy to dismiss peoples concern about freedom of speech when you have always been listened to and never censored. It is also easy to dismiss peoples’ concern over threats if you yourself have never felt threatened.

    I am happy that this man had his job offer taken away not because of his misfortune, but because of what it says about law firms now. I personally think it is much more likely for Jill to be refused a job because of this website and it is refreshing to see a law firm fearful of the liability of Anthony rather than say a feminist. It reminds me of how Disney now offers gay weddings. It is not because of the goodness of Disney’s heart but because finally (at least in Orlando and LA) it is worse for business to be hateful and unfair.

    Sorry that his post is all over the place. I don’t usually post on such heavy topics. I have just started college and I have been struggling to articulate what I really believe freedom of speech is. I just wanted to show the at first inconsistent but when you actually type it out consistent love and hate relationship some jackasses have with the 1st amendment. And thanks for the post Jill; it is always enlightening reading what you have to say.

  181. Mnemosyne says:

    Uh, where did I say that?

    Right here, where you said:

    I’m not aware of what non-public personal info on Jill was posted on XOXO. I know Ciolli did try to shut down the “beauty pageant” site that was not affiliated with XOXO. I also don’t know if any of the vile stuff posted about Jill could be considered a legitimate “rape threat.” I haven’t read it all.

    You’re admitting that you’re commenting on something and defending someone without having all of the facts, but you’re totally sure that the few facts that you do have mean that Ciolli is right and Jill is wrong. That’s why we keep mocking you.

    Regarding “he didn’t delete them so he’s responsible” argument. This gets to my original point. Is it morally wrong to have a discussion board where the only stuff you delete is “outing” information?

    Yes, if you only delete the information that “outs” your friends and leave up the information that “outs” other people, even if those other people beg you to remove the information.

    If he had a strict policy of never deleting comments, even comments that “outed” his friends, we wouldn’t be having this conversation. But that’s not what he did. He protected certain people and refused to extend the same courtesy to others, even when asked. He claimed that he never moderated comments … but he did, frequently, when the comment involved his friends.

  182. M. says:

    I think any interpretation of the CDA that makes Cohen or Ciolli liable for the posts of others is *very* unlikely, and there is no precedent that I know of for someone becoming liable through moderation post-CDA (a la Prodigy). Shrewd doesn’t mean refraining from any action that carries a slight risk.

    You’re only thinking about the big cases, which tend to involve the major ISPs that the CDA was designed to protect. The problem is that the ICP issues are almost always handled by binding arbitration — which is why you don’t see significant development on what constitutes an ICP for the purposes of the CDA.

    Furthermore, in Barrett, the concurring opinion strongly stressed that sec. 230 should not cover ISP operators who “conspire” with defendants to defame. By intentionally hiding users’ ISP addresses so that they cannot be traced, by interacting with the defamers online, and by adamantly refusing to delete the posts, the court may find that Ciolli conspired to defame the WaPo Yalies.

    As for the hypocrisy, I don’t think a policy of deleting a certain type of post that threatens the vitality of the forum itself is hypocrisy,

    So let me get this straight. Outing is bad when it happens to your internet friends because the real-world repercussions they face as a result of their online actions harms them, and therefore harms forum “vitality.” However, outing non-forum members for actions they didn’t do is ok even though it harms them in real life?

    So basically you’re upset that someone’s finally holding you accountable for your actions. Waaawaaawaaa. Cry me a goddamn river. You’re in fucking law school, it’s about goddamn time you grew up.

    Furthermore, as I understand it, Ciolli’s actions were not to protect the forum’s “vitality” — it was to protect long-time posters, who happened to be his internet friends. Apparently destroying women’s careers is ok, but destroying his friend’s careers isn’t.

    nor do I think you have to be all or nothing to be a free speech advocate.

    The problem is that he’s portraying himself as one in interviews.

    Besides, if he’s an ala carte free speech advocate, he’s pro-hate speech, but anti-speech that hurts him. Such a clearly self-centered position doesn’t justify free speech martyrdom.

  183. M. says:

    Well, he’s certainly getting a lot of ill wishes and condemnation from Feministe posters, including threats to try and screw him over (depending on your definition of threat).

    So being happy that he lost his job constitutes a threat, but threatening to rape Jill is just schitck?

    Can we say “male privilege”?

  184. r.tavi says:

    Regarding “he didn’t delete them so he’s responsible” argument. This gets to my original point. Is it morally wrong to have a discussion board where the only stuff you delete is “outing” information? You guys apparently think so, but I generally disagree.

    ???

    Some of the posts he was asked to delete did “out” people. Or what do you call it if somebody posts your full name, adress and a photo.

    Besides, is it morally wrong to leave up threads that gleefully fantasize about raping people? You bet your ass it is. It might not be legally wrong, but it sure as hell is morally wrong.

  185. zuzu says:

    linking to a photo hosted on another website’s server is not copyright infringement, and I am pretty certain no photo was ever posted on XOXO (if there is a way to post photos, as opposed to links, on XOXO, it’s news to me).

    No, they steal photos and then upload them to Image Shack. Which will remove them if there’s a copyright violation — that’s in the dropdown menu of their complaint feature. So, even though the photos don’t appear on AutoAdmit themselves, they’re still using copyrighted images in violation of the copyright.

    Well, he’s certainly getting a lot of ill wishes and condemnation from Feministe posters, including threats to try and screw him over (depending on your definition of threat).

    Oh, I’d just LOVE to hear your definition of “threat.” Because I don’t see any here.

    And weren’t you arguing earlier that posting personal contact info about someone and stating that she needs to be raped isn’t a threat? How is it that your definition of threat can encompass wishing that Ciolli has a hard time getting a job but doesn’t include that?

  186. tinfoil hattie says:

    Jack Goff, I love you.

    XOXO Guy, maybe the law firm just didn’t hire Ciolli because they don’t want an asshole working for them. Kudos to them, I say.

    If the John Birch society refuses to hire Jill because of this blog, will you comment on AutoAdmit about how unfair it is?

  187. mythago says:

    My very first post asked if running a message board where you don’t remove stuff is wrong.

    This is what even non-lawyers refer to as “begging the question”. You seem to grasp this, since you keep shifting as to what you will admit Ciolli did (posting ‘outing’ information).

    Face, it, EXG, your real beef here is that you like AutoAdmit and don’t much like feminists, or anyone else who dares speak out against your beloved site; since Ciolli is one of the mods of AutoAdmit, there is nothing anyone can point to–legally or ethically–that will convince you he done wrong or that the consequences of his actions were fair.

  188. RKMK says:

    And weren’t you arguing earlier that posting personal contact info about someone and stating that she needs to be raped isn’t a threat? How is it that your definition of threat can encompass wishing that Ciolli has a hard time getting a job but doesn’t include that?

    Wild guess: he’s a sociopath.

  189. Angel H. says:

    Evil XOXO Guy:

    Aww…Did I hurt your widdle feewings?

    Don’t talk to me about prejudice and bigotry until you actually knows what it feels it like, which you won’t.

  190. Evil XOXO Guy says:

    Angel H,

    “Don’t talk to me about prejudice and bigotry until you actually knows what it feels it like, which you won’t.

    AKA, “it’s ok when I do it.” Perhaps you should read some of the posts on here about double standards and entitlement.

    zuzu,

    they’re still using copyrighted images in violation of the copyright.

    Who? People other than Ciolli who copy the images onto Imageshack servers? That’s my point. You continually are attributing the actions of XOXO posters to Ciolli. Also, “use” is not a violation of a copyright owner’s exclusive rights.

    Mythago,

    Face, it, EXG, your real beef here is that you like AutoAdmit and don’t much like feminists, or anyone else who dares speak out against your beloved site

    Dude, I speak out against XOXO. It’s filled with sociopaths (or at least filled with sociopath impersonators). As for me feelings on “feminists,” that depends on their views and actions, just like “liberals” or “conservatives.”

    This has been a (somewhat) fun experiment, but I doubt I’ll stick around much more. I’d like to thank those who have posted arguments that don’t rely on ad hominem attacks and assumptions, and say that those who couldn’t do so do their own arguments a disservice and increase the risk that other Feministe bloggers/commenters will be branded angry reactionaries by association, regardless of whether they deserve it.

  191. Evil XOXO Guy says:

    I’ll just add that the two people who commented on “my definition of threat” apparently missed my point. If you buy the definition of threat that commenters on this board have proposed, then posts saying that it would be good to try and screw Ciolli’s job prospects are “threats.”

    I didn’t say that I buy that definition.

  192. SarahMC says:

    The definition of a threat is the definition of a threat. You don’t get to tack on “but I didn’t meaaaan it!” to get out of being labeled “threatening.”

  193. Angel H. says:

    Perhaps you should read some of the posts on here about double standards and entitlement.

    Perhaps you should get your get your head out of your ass and realize that you’re the one who refuses to see his own sense of entitlement and male privilege in the way you’ve been communicating to the posters here.

  194. BStu says:

    Who? People other than Ciolli who copy the images onto Imageshack servers? That’s my point. You continually are attributing the actions of XOXO posters to Ciolli. Also, “use” is not a violation of a copyright owner’s exclusive rights.

    Okay, I’ll ignore for a moment your fundamental misunderstand of the complaint concerning Mr. Ciolli’s actions. Gosh knows you’re ignoring it already, after all.

    But are you honestly trying to claim that theft and misappropriation of intellectual property is not a violation of the copyright owner’s exclusive rights? Is it “rights” that you don’t understand or is “exclusive” giving you some trouble? Reposting intellectual property is pretty much the definition of violating the copyright owner’s exclusive rights. Are you intentionally making nonsensical arguements? Is this all some manner of political theater when you present the dumbest possible proponent of the pro-XOXO position? Because’s you’re well into “water isn’t wet” territory here. You either are putting us on, have no intellectual honesty, or just flat out have no clue about any of what you’re talking about. Or is it D, all of the above?

  195. Pingback: Transcending Gender » More on AutoAdmit and consequences

  196. Bitter Scribe says:

    I’m late to the party, so all I’ll say is:

    BWAAAAAAAhahahahahaha!!!!!

  197. micheyd says:

    I’m still trying to wrap my head around the idea that our (admittedly a bit obnoxious) gloating is somehow equal to threats of rape and bodily harm. Whaa?

  198. Lanoire says:

    Is it morally wrong to have a discussion board where the only stuff you delete is “outing” information? You guys apparently think so, but I generally disagree.

    Yep! So you exercised your free speech and defended Ciolli, and we exercised our free speech and complained, and our complaining got Ciolli’s offer rescinded. And I for one am thrilled. Marketplace of ideas, folks. Deal with it.

    then posts saying that it would be good to try and screw Ciolli’s job prospects are “threats.”

    Sure they are, dear. But you know what? There’s a difference between a “threat” to screw someone’s job prospects by letting employers know about their obnoxious behavior (which is totally RELEVANT to job performance) and a “threat” to rape someone. The first is harsh but can be justified. The second is never justified.

  199. BabyPop says:

    …those who couldn’t do so do their own arguments a disservice and increase the risk that other Feministe bloggers/commenters will be branded angry reactionaries by association, regardless of whether they deserve it…

    Quick question: Have you gone to the AutoAdmin site and, on the thread where they joke about raping, etc, and said “you do men and lawyers a disservice and increase the rsik that other AutoAdmin users will be branded sorry sacks of shit by association, regardless of whether they deserve it…”?

    If not, then you goddamnedwell oughta.

  200. Kathleen says:

    What’s worse about the prejudice on this board is that it’s much more likely to be real.

    excuse me, but W.T.F.? Are you honestly saying that the AA posters making the extensive racist etc. comments are not likely to be “really” prejudiced?

    Dude you seriously need to try to take step back and look at your assumptions.

    Not that I am surprised when the most offensive prejudice to a white male lawyer is a feminist calling him out for his entitlement.

  201. SarahMC says:

    Of course not, BabyPop, for there is nothing men could do that would tarnish their image as the default & superior humans and determiners (?) of what is just/fair/humorous/threatening…

    …other than act like women – but that’s a topic for another thread.

  202. zuzu says:

    Also, “use” is not a violation of a copyright owner’s exclusive rights.

    Really? Love to see your research on that.

    I’ll just add that the two people who commented on “my definition of threat” apparently missed my point. If you buy the definition of threat that commenters on this board have proposed, then posts saying that it would be good to try and screw Ciolli’s job prospects are “threats.”

    You had a point?

    You didn’t even point out any alleged threats when challenged.

  203. Hector B. says:

    Also, “use” is not a violation of a copyright owner’s exclusive rights.

    Really? Love to see your research on that.

    This depends on the definition of use. I can read a book in a library, or look at a picture in a museum without violating copyright. But, as part of the bundle of rights, the copyright holder can control who can “display” a picture. However, the court in Kelly v. Arriba Soft held that mere linking to third party web pages, or even displaying thumbnails, was not copyright infringement. So arguably if the copies had been no larger than “thumbnails”, there would have been no copyright infringement, as long as clicking on the thumbnails led the viewer to the copyright holder’s website.

    What I find exquisitely ironic was when it was proposed that supporters of the online beauty pageant could avoid copyright infringement by taking their own pictures (in public, so no invasion of privacy) of the unwitting/unwilling contestants, thus creating their own copyrighted works, the feminists immediately accused them of stalking. At that point, copyright infringement must have looked good again.

  204. ellenbrenna says:

    Use without permission (with limited exceptions) is absolutely a copyright violation especially if the copyright holder comes foward to complain, specifically asks you to stop and the moderator of a LAW SCHOOL board does not do anything about it.

    Jumpin’ Jesus on a Pogo Stick you are dense.

    It is called copyright because you have the right to control your copies and you should really stop looking up in that tree because a burrow owl lives in a hole in THE GROUND.

  205. SarahMC says:

    it was proposed that supporters of the online beauty pageant could avoid copyright infringement by taking their own pictures (in public, so no invasion of privacy) of the unwitting/unwilling contestants

    That’s almost pathetically sad.

  206. zuzu says:

    However, the court in Kelly v. Arriba Soft held that mere linking to third party web pages, or even displaying thumbnails, was not copyright infringement. So arguably if the copies had been no larger than “thumbnails”, there would have been no copyright infringement, as long as clicking on the thumbnails led the viewer to the copyright holder’s website.

    Except they weren’t on the copyright holder’s website, a lot of them. They were copied and uploaded to Imageshack, and they linked to that page. That’s a violation, and Imageshack is smart enough to know that.

  207. ellenbrenna says:

    BTW Hector the feminists complained that it would be stalking because following a woman around to take her picture without her knowledge so you can post it online is stalking.

    It does also make you an asshole and as mentioned above…sad.

  208. Hector B. says:

    Use without permission (with limited exceptions) is absolutely a copyright violation

    You may be surprised to learn that copyright violations (with limited exceptions) are exclusively the making of copies. Which the imageshack users arguably did, assuming the “thumbnail” exception did not apply to them.

  209. Hector B. says:

    BTW Hector the feminists complained that it would be stalking because following a woman around to take her picture without her knowledge so you can post it online is stalking.

    It does also make you an asshole and as mentioned above…sad.

    Oh, I’m not advocating that. They violated the Law of Holes: “When you find yourself in a hole, quit digging.”

  210. ellenbrenna says:

    They were not using thumbnails, they made copies. And over and over again XOXO idiots have strolled over here to say nobody violated anybody’s copyright by using images without permission.

    Hector I understand that you are trying to be cute but I work in print publishing where we deal with images, permissions and use everyday and if we make a mistake there is no “Oops sorry I will take that down right away”. So go condescend to somebody that it might actually work on.

  211. Sickle says:

    Dear XOXO defenders:

    QQ more.

    You’re whining like little babies. That is all.

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  213. BStu says:

    Hector, you are deflecting from the case at hand by discussing unrelated issues. Moreover, you’re offering one (weak) interpretation of those issues. You cite Kelly v. Arriba Soft but in that case the public benefit of the use of the thumbnails was a consideration. In that case, the benefit was the search engine that was displaying the thumbnails. The purpose of the use is a legal consideration. It is inappropriate to simply state that thumbnails are always allowed, because that ignores the core of the finding. Looking over the finding, I see little reason to think that EVEN IF there had been thumbnails in this instance that the same court wouldn’t have ruled against the copyright infringement because I cannot see how that crucial finding would have fallen in favor of those infringing on the copyright. Either you are not aware of the details of the case, or you intentionally misrepresented them to bolster your belittling (and irrelevent) remarks.

    I also see little cause to find “irony” in the fact that stalking and deprivation of privacy and publicity rights was seen as a horrific “remedy” to the original theft of intellectual property. Its not ironic to retaliate through escalation. Its just being an asshole.

  214. liz says:

    IANAL, but isn’t it true that in NY State it is illegal to use another person’s photographed likeness or recorded voice without permission? Didn’t that get the Jerky Boys in trouble? Or am I mistaken?

    So taking pictures of people without their consent is not only stalking but also illegal use of likeness if done in NY, no?

  215. mythago says:

    This has been a (somewhat) fun experiment, but I doubt I’ll stick around much more.

    Shorter EXG: My wrist is getting tired. I’ll ‘disappear’ after I come up with a good exit line.

  216. Hector B. says:

    So taking pictures of people without their consent is not only stalking but also illegal use of likeness if done in NY, no?

    Generally, in this country, people can take pictures of you without your permission as long as you’re in a public place, and as long as they don’t use the pictures for commercial purposes. Which is a good thing if you want to take a pic of say, your sweetie running the Boston Marathon, or your kid playing Little League. Otherwise you’d have to carry hundreds of release forms with you all the time.

  217. Hector B. says:

    In that case, the benefit was the search engine that was displaying the thumbnails.

    In other words, if Google Image Search could run a search on “most…attractive…female…law…students,” you would be fine with that? All it would do is just index publicly accessible webpages from Facebook, MySpace, Xanga, Flickr, Webshots, etc.

  218. ahunt says:

    As far as I can tell from reading the message board, there is very little correlation between my writing about them and them responding. I’m “inviting” their attention simply by existing.

    HELLO! Once again, Jill should not have gone out in public.

    I have very little to add to what has been said, but this is the one point…in all of this…that sends me NUTS.

    Jill was under assault long before she responded, and she was attacked for DARING TO GO PUBLIC! Correct me if I am wrong, but isn’t pointing out vile, sexist, misogynist conduct online a reasonable thing to do on a feminist blog WHETHER OR NOT THE FEMINIST BLOGGER IS THE TARGET? Does anyone doubt that Jill would have been all over the news that fellow students had had their personal info posted, with nasty results, even if none of the comments were directed towards her?

    Get it straight. Jill didn’t “invite” any of this by calling out the behavior of posters on AutoAdmit, and holding Ciolli-Cohen accountable…and she did not display bad judgement by exposing the board. If anything, Jill raised awareness of safety issues and helped further the conversation of what is and is not acceptable online.

    Claiming that Jill displayed poor judgment by calling attention to a serious problem is beyond stupid.

    (just had to get that out)

  219. ahunt says:

    You apparently need to re-read what I said (hint: neither showed poor judgment when applying the same standard).

    Negative consequences? Please believe that feminist bloggers are well aware of “negative consequences.” Once again, by daring to exist, Jill showed “poor judgment?” It is to laugh.

    EXOXO, do you even get how obviously your assessment is an advocacy of the “she asked for it by going out in public” rationale? (And an expression of male entitlement?) Are you suggesting that co-owning a website devoted to feminist concerns is the equivalent of “asking for it?” Are you suggesting people who call out facilitators of of wildly unacceptable behavior are “asking for it?”

    What?

  220. Mnemosyne says:

    Generally, in this country, people can take pictures of you without your permission as long as you’re in a public place, and as long as they don’t use the pictures for commercial purposes.

    Yes, it’s true — men taking pictures under the skirts of unsuspecting women is legal in most states.

    You realize that you’re putting yourself on the side of perverts who take pictures up women’s skirts on buses and subways with this argument, right?

  221. liz says:

    But, personal use of pictures would not include posting them in a public space, right? If I understand correctly, in NY, people own their own likenesses and have to give permission for their public use. A “Beauty Pageant” is public use. The people the pictures are of would have to give their consent for the photos to be used. So either way – new pictures or inappropriate use of already posted pictures, the pageant guys are misappropriating the likenesses of the women.

  222. Hector B. says:

    You realize that you’re putting yourself on the side of perverts who take pictures up women’s skirts on buses and subways with this argument, right?

    I hadn’t considered that possibility. But upon reflection, I think that — unless they’re wearing, perhaps, black patent leather shoes — skirt-wearers still have a reasonable expectation of crotch privacy when they’re out in public.

  223. Hector B. says:

    But, personal use of pictures would not include posting them in a public space, right? If I understand correctly, in NY, people own their own likenesses and have to give permission for their public use.

    I admit I am not familiar with New York privacy law. But from a tiny bit of research, noncommercial use of your image would seem to be unregulated. I found this interesting-looking article that references several recent NY cases, if you’re curious: http://www.fwrv.com/news/article.cfm?id=100749

  224. Mnemosyne says:

    But upon reflection, I think that — unless they’re wearing, perhaps, black patent leather shoes — skirt-wearers still have a reasonable expectation of crotch privacy when they’re out in public.

    Courts have found differently. In many states, it’s perfectly legal to take pictures up the skirts of unsuspecting women, because it happens in public where there’s a reduced expectation of privacy.

    So, again, by arguing that it’s fine to take pictures of one’s classmates and post them online with comments about how you want to “hate-fuck” them because it’s not actually illegal, you’re putting yourself on the same “perfectly legal” side as guys who take crotch pictures. Congratulations.

  225. Martin Kelly says:

    class act. good on you. totally favorited the blog on the basis of this piece. if it’s any indication, time here will be well spent

  226. SpiritofMargaretBrent says:

    Dear Evil XO Dimwit, Shawn & anyone else from that site:

    The difference between an ISP or Jill & Ciolli is that when folks bring disturbing shit to their attention they’d hopefully do something about. Ciolli & his bud Cohen had to have a fire lit under their ass to remove things like full names, addressses, etc. of female law students the assholes at AutoAdmit chose to harass. I’m not saying you’re all assholes, just the ones who participated in this and refused to do anything to about it in the name of “free speech”. You may be able to post women are hos and get away with it as free speech or even “Margaret Brent is a ho” as free speech, but when you post shit like Margaret Brent is a ho & deserves to be hate fucked” followed by post such as Margaret Brent lives at 100 Main St., Anytown USA, followed by she takes such & such class at such & such time and she goes to such & such gym at such & such time. Take photos of them & post them here, you have crossed the line into seriously fucked up harassing people shit. And you should be prepared to deal with the consequences. People asked him to take it down & he didn’t. If there were any justice in the world, the assholes who posted it and AC for enabling it would’ve had their sorry asses thrown in jail for this shit. Think about what you would think if it were you’re mother, sister, etc. at the end of his shit.

    Ciolli & Cohen cried free speech as an excuse for not taking that crap down. When they finally did, they thought they deserved a “gold star” (exact wording from The Washington Post, I believe). The 2 of them allowed crap to stay up for quite awhile that made female law students afraid for their safety and may have resulted in at least one losing job prospects. Now that dumbass has a taste of his own medicine, you have the audacity to come here & whinge? WTF? Not to mention in the same Washington Post article, he & Cohen said the “girls” were asking for the attention by having Facebook photos up on the net. And First Amendment, y’all! Never mind that the women victimized by him tried to persuade him that things were FUBAR, never mind that the dean of his own law school tried to reason with him, Anthony had the power of the patriarchy & thought he could do whatever the hell he pleased. Until chickens started coming home to roost in the form of character testimonies. And firm’s diversity committments. Then all of the sudden, it was all about Jarrett Cohen’s control of the board. Right, if you believe that, perhaps you’d be intereted in buying this bridge in Brooklyn? Quite a bargain.

  227. r.tavi says:

    Hector B.

    Just because something is perfectly fine from a legal point of view, it is not necessarily fine from the point of view of a decent human being. That’s what people are trying to explain to you.

    And cute on the google search. I tried out “most…attractive…female…law…students” and interestingly enough no pictures of attractive female law students showed up on the top of the search and not website with beauty pageants either. Probably because even google picture searches look for the words associated with a picture and I guess there are few female law students, that post fotos of themselves saying, I’m the most attractive female law student ever/at my school.

  228. Hector B. says:

    Just because something is perfectly fine from a legal point of view, it is not necessarily fine from the point of view of a decent human being. That’s what people are trying to explain to you.

    Please don’t identify me with the creepy stalker set. Obviously, if you want to prevent something obnoxious, using the law is more effective than appealing to someone’s sense of decency, particularly when that person apparently has none.

    And cute on the google search. I tried out “most…attractive…female…law…students” and interestingly enough no pictures of attractive female law students showed up on the top of the search

    Bstu appeared to think that search engines operated in the public interest, and I was trying to make him reconsider. Because of the work that has been done to make photo identification more secure, it would be fairly trivial to implement an attractive woman image search function. Searching for key words like “law”, “school”, and “student”, it would be easy to flag pictures for analysis. Recent work has shown that “attractive” people’s faces look most like an average of several people’s faces. Therefore, with a little extra programming, Google Image Search could pull out a list of attractive female law students. Would this still be desirable? Does Google really operate in the public interest? Who runs Google? Do they have a sense of decency?

  229. Raincitygirl says:

    And this is relevant to the discussion at hand how? And talking about hypotheticals is all very well, but doesn’t change the fact taht AutoAdmit and Google serve fundamentally different purposes and operate in fundamentally different ways. Why is Google even IN this discussion? And we’re not talking about corporate responsibility, we’re talking about an individual, Mr. Ciolli, who made some very bad decisions in his capacity as moderator of an internet message board. I have no problem with hypotheticals or thought experiments (hell, I was a poli sci major. I would’ve flunked out if I did), but I fail to see the relevance or usefulness of comparing Mr. Ciolli to Google.

  230. Hector B. says:

    Why is Google even IN this discussion?

    Looking back through the thread, Google became relevant to the discussion here:
    La Fille Torpille Says:
    May 3rd, 2007 at 4:44 pm
    I think the pro-AA people are confused about something: Ciolli’s ex-firm didn’t drop him necessarily because of the simply offensive material posted on the board. It is because Ciolli and Cohen ignored threats (or even what could be reasonably considered a threat) being made against a person, the posting of contact information, and the violation of copyright law (for the pictures of the girls)–

    And this is relevant to the discussion at hand how? And talking about hypotheticals is all very well, but doesn’t change the fact taht AutoAdmit and Google serve fundamentally different purposes and operate in fundamentally different ways.

    Google is relevant to the discussion because as they are currently operated, both Google and AutoAdmit violate your privacy by making your personal information and image accessible to random creeps surfing the internet. Unlike Google, AutoAdmit garnishes this access with misogyny, threats of rape and stalking. But your privacy is no less violated when it’s done by an apparently neutral source with a supposedly benign purpose.

  231. zuzu says:

    Sorry, not buying it. Google is a search engine and does not place your contact info anywhere. You’re acting like the posting of the contact info just happened out of nowhere. It didn’t. It was posted to the board and not removed upon request.

    Moreover, Google has tools that allow a siteowner to fix things so that certain pages won’t get tagged for Google searches. Not surprisingly, Ciolli and Cohen were asked to do this and flat-out refused. So let’s not compare them to a search engine, hm?

  232. James says:

    What is interesting about this episode — including the controversy over AutoAdmit and the rescission of Ciolli’s job offer — is the way it reveals how many purportedly smart people have no fucking judgment.

    Think about it.

    A law firm, which is all about exercising good judgment, would be out of its institutional mind to hire somebody like Ciolli. He has exercised breathtakingly poor judgment in the management of his own life; do you bozos defending him really think a law firm should hire him to advise clients and manage their cases when he has demonstrated, on a very grand scale, how poor his judgment is?

    Yet, there a lot of kibbitzers who relish defending Ciolli and slamming the firm that rescinded his offer. How could you seriously criticize a firm for not hiring someone whose activities have brought him into widespread, public disgrace among a lot of very influential people and institutions? This is an absolute no-brainer for a law firm. His expectation that a firm would actually hire him, given what he has done, demonstrates a shocking naivete. I absolutely love that this worthless scum is seeing his law career wither and die before it has even gotten started.

    I loved his explanation that his disgrace has taught him more about the need to proceed cautiously than the average first-year associate. Ha! So his public ignominy, and all the people hurt by his website, have actually made him a BETTER candidate than other first-year associates. That’s classic. And his plea to defer his start date for a year is just hilarious. Something about engaging in good works to improve his reputation. Deferring your start date so you can go engage in Mother Theresa-like service to the poor? Ciolli, you are a pathetic dipshit.

  233. BStu says:

    I swear, I just discussed this at Consumerist. The Nussenzweig decision was appealed and the most recent ruling upheld the dismissal not on first ammendment grounds, but on procedural grounds. The case was filed after the statute of limitations expired. It sets no useful precedent at this point. It’s just one trial courts opinion, an opinion specifically not affirmed on appeal. Generally speaking, there is no generally speaking on the legality of taking or using photographs of people in public spaces. You have to check your local laws and often still hope you get a favorable judge or string of judges. So wow, Hector. You got that wrong, too. Maybe I should have gone to law school.

    Bstu appeared to think that search engines operated in the public interest, and I was trying to make him reconsider.

    I honestly don’t mean this dismissively, but did you read what I said? Or did you just skim it, catch half of a sentence and assume you knew what I said. You brought up a legal case to bolster your arguement but you you failed to recognize the details of that case. A case which, by the way, had NOTHING to do with this discussion to begin with.

    I responded by pointing out the facts of that decision and how they flatly contradicted your assertion. Namely, that thumbnails are always okay. The COURT in that case found that the use of thumbnails by a search engine was legal because the service was in the public interest. Not my opinion. The COURT opinion you tried to cite. I simply pointed out that copyright theft for the purpose of objectifying non-participatory women would likely fail that crucial test and thus NOT be legal even if it were thumbnails we are talking about even though it isn’t. So actually, yes. YOU brought search engines into this discussion by trying to pretend that Google provides the same service as a bunch of dehumanizing posts on a free-for-all web forum. Even though what actually happened STILL was blatent copyright infringement.

  234. aimai says:

    Shawn and the XoXo poster guy are, well, poster boys for just how badly informed, illogical, and downright unethical the posters at autoadmit and their enablers ciolli and the other guy were. What caught my eye in the long string of bizarro defenses was Shawn’s assertion, way upthread, that posting or saying “I’m going to rape X on sunday” was no illegal. It *is* illegal–in fact one of the first cases they discuss in lawschool and out turns on the distinction between a threat that can’t be consumated and one that can. Making a specific threat against another person that can be brought about–naming the day, for example, if the day is in the future is illegal.

    And as for the defence that ciolli didn’t actually post any of this stuff himself well, he had his chance to defend himself against this particular charge and he apparently wasn’t able to do so, or other charges were as serious, to the people at Edwards Angell. There’s no point fighting a rearguard action to protect people like ciolli from the results of his own actions because, to put it bluntly, that ship has sailed. If shawn and xoxo guy want permission from the world at large to be jerks and post, or help post, or facilitate the posting of racist, sexist, homophobic or violent threats against particular people they can have it, for all of me. But that won’t get them a free pass from society. Nor should it. That’s the free market in ideas y’all seem to want so much. I urge shawn and Xoxo guy to please, please, please keep a good record of all their off color/just joking postings and those of their buddies on the net and try showing them to women on a date or prospective employers, and see how far the “I had a right to do it!” argument goes. I’ve got a right to do lots of things, including backing my car up to an outdoor restaurant and pumping exhaust over everyone trying to enjoytheir dinners. But I’d like to see the public reaction to me if I did and then I asked the people at the table to pay for my dinner.

    aimai

  235. ahunt says:

    But that won’t get them a free pass from society.

    In a nutshell.

    Anyone who cannot distinguish between the acid, pointed and often wickedly funny posts on feminist boards, and the kind of horseshit put forth on AutoAdmit is an idiot.

    I’m convinced that “Society” will judge cutting edge feminist blogs through the standards of what constitutes “ladylike” behavior for a long time to come. It is good to see that “Society” also demands some level of civil conduct from the boys.

    Whining about the blowback from truly inexcusable behavior while simultaneously insisting “women bring it on themselves” with unladylike public presence is disgusting in its blind arrogance and assumption of male perogative.

    What truly twists my knickers is that nothing Jill has said appears to have penetrated the concrete wall of male entitlement. Her perspective and experience is blithely dismissed by some posters here, who nitpick events, argue from the letter of the law, who seek to shift blame from the perpetrators of outrage to the targets with the most transparent and dishonest of arguments, and who seek to justify the inexcusable with the constitutional right we all hold most dear.

    aimai nailed it. The owners of Feministe will absolutely be called upon to answer for the site content. And as these remarkable gals go forward in life, my best guess is that is that they will do well by us…and for themselves. Something about integrity?

    Ciolli could take a lesson.

  236. Mnemosyne says:

    Google is relevant to the discussion because as they are currently operated, both Google and AutoAdmit violate your privacy by making your personal information and image accessible to random creeps surfing the internet.

    Am I the only one weirded out by the fact that Hector thinks that a computer program and a person are the same thing?

  237. mythago says:

    ahunt got it in one. It’s really not that Ciolli and his fanboys don’t get it; it’s that they believe the rules don’t apply to them. They’re men, they’re law students who are going to be Big Shot Lawyers, they get to do whatever they want and hide behind ‘free speech’.

    You see these guys at law firms, expressing shock and outrage when HR tells them that no, it’s not acceptable to e-mail each other comments about which paralegal they’d like to fuck. Then they whine about how women “can’t take a joke” anymore.

  238. zuzu says:

    Oh, saints preserve us from first-year associates and their senses of entitlement.

  239. ahunt says:

    It’s really not that Ciolli and his fanboys don’t get it; it’s that they believe the rules don’t apply to them.

    Exactly!

    And one more time, does anyone here believe that the content on this site will not ultimately impact Jill in terms of post post-grad? For heavens sakes, the distinction between Jill and Ciolli is simply one of courage and integrity.

    Jill may not be invited to join some big time firms, (the price one pays for the courage of conviction) but my best guess is that Jill will get offers from the firms she would want to be a part of… (the reward for integrity)

  240. Leaky Lurker says:

    Rich White Male 2Ls from top schools are notoriously arrogant little pricks. Inside info has it that Ciolli was exceptional in that regard as it was. Most figure out quickly that they are like Chinese food on Tlingit carvings (Lo Mein on the Totem Pole).

    As an intern you are there to grunt YESSIRMAM, shut up, get to work and make it real while learning your chops. You are not paid to contradict your advisors/supervisors. You are not paid to ignore advice from your mentors and betters about ditching the grandiosely-headlined hate website masquerading as a student resource that you claim on your resume.

    You do not know everything and never will. Learn it sooner = better. Just because you can formulate a rationalized argument doesn’t mean it will be acceptable or ethical as your rationaliztions seem so clever to you.

    Tough shit Ciolli. You are the missing link. Goodbye.

  241. Evil XOXO Guy says:

    To BStu re: post #194,

    But are you honestly trying to claim that theft and misappropriation of intellectual property is not a violation of the copyright owner’s exclusive rights?

    Of course not. I’m saying that, according to all information I’ve seen, Ciolli never reproduced, distributed copies or phonorecords of, prepared derivative works based on, publicly performed, displayed any copyrighted images without authorization, or engaged in any other exclusive right of a copyright holder.

    Reposting intellectual property is pretty much the definition of violating the copyright owner’s exclusive rights.

    Depends on what you mean by “reposting,” but running a message board where people post links to images hosted on others’ servers is far from an exclusive right of a copyright holder. As I said earlier, anyone who copies a photo and hosts it on their own server likely commits infringement, but that’s not what Cohen or Ciolli did (at least, no one has given any indication whatsover that they have done this).

    Are you intentionally making nonsensical arguements?

    No, are you intentionally misreading my arguments?

    You either are putting us on, have no intellectual honesty, or just flat out have no clue about any of what you’re talking about. Or is it D, all of the above?

    E, none of the above. I’ll just note that, especially in the copyright infringement context, I do in fact know what I’m talking about. Please, if you think I’m mistaken regarding copyright infringement by Ciolli, please show me how.

  242. Evil XOXO Guy says:

    To zuzu re: post 202,

    Also, “use” is not a violation of a copyright owner’s exclusive rights.

    Really? Love to see your research on that.

    17 U.S.C. section 106. Let me know if you see “use” there.

  243. Evil XOXO Guy says:

    To ellenbrenna,

    (maybe I should do an all-inclusive copyright post)

    Use without permission (with limited exceptions) is absolutely a copyright violation especially if the copyright holder comes foward to complain, specifically asks you to stop and the moderator of a LAW SCHOOL board does not do anything about it.

    I refer you also to 17 U.S.C. 106. Let me know where you see “use.” This is actually one thing I’m pretty well-versed in.

  244. Mnemosyne says:

    Please, if you think I’m mistaken regarding copyright infringement by Ciolli, please show me how.

    Ciolli hosted a message board — not an ISP, a message board — where people were posting copyrighted material without the copyright holders’ permission.

    How does this make him different than websites that post illegal copies of movies or songs? Again, please look up the difference between “website” and “ISP” — you seem to be under the mistaken impression that Earthlink and the Internet Movie Database are the exact same thing.

  245. Sheelzebub says:

    It is true that posts have been deleted from the XOXO board. My (imperfect) understanding is that they generally only remove posts with “outing” personal information in them.

    Really? He and Cohen refused to take down the posts with the personal contact information and schedules of women not affiliated with the message board.

    Which means that you spinless pieces of dumpster cheese were free to slander, harass, and ‘out’ private citizens who had zero to do with your board.

    I won’t cry for Ciolli. I’m having a wonderful time laughing at him, and his little followers like you, who want to try and make him into a martyr. He got exactly what he deserved.

    No, Sparky. You cannot have a pony.

  246. zuzu says:

    17 U.S.C. section 106. Let me know if you see “use” there.

    I see “reproduce” and “copy.” Which is what they did when they grabbed the images, uploaded them to ImageShack, and then linked them to their blog. Are you missing the grabbing part somehow?

    No, really, I’d love to see the research you’ve done that says this is okay. Are you making a fair-use argument?

  247. Evil XOXO Guy says:

    zuzu,

    “I see “reproduce” and “copy.” Which is what they did when they grabbed the images, uploaded them to ImageShack, and then linked them to their blog. Are you missing the grabbing part somehow?

    How many times do I have to mention that you are attributing actions of others to Ciolli before you stop doing it? I posted that copying the images and hosting them on your own server is likely infringement. That doesn’t mean operating a website on which third-parties link to such photos is infringement.

    Jebus.

  248. Evil XOXO Guy says:

    Ciolli hosted a message board — not an ISP, a message board — where people were posting copyrighted material without the copyright holders’ permission.

    No, he did not. First, my (again imperfect) understanding is that Cohen pays the webhosting company. Second, and more importantly, you can’t post pictures on XOXO. You just can’t do it. You can post links to third-party websites which contain links to images on third-party servers on which photos reside.

    So, in short, simply “moderating” (as many on this board like to call it, though it is an ill-fitting description of what Ciolli did on XOXO) a message board is not direct copyright infringement. “Moderating” a board on which third-parties tell others how to access unauthorized copies of photographs is not likely contributory infringement (especially in light of said moderator’s attempts to shut down the primary site on through which such unauthorized copies were accessed).

  249. zuzu says:

    How many times do I have to mention that you are attributing actions of others to Ciolli before you stop doing it?

    How many times do other people have to keep reminding you that they’re not attributing others’ actions to Ciolli before you stop acting like we are?

    In any event, I asked you about your research on “use” in this context, which you haven’t provided.

  250. Evil XOXO Guy says:

    Lanoire,

    I think your post is right on the money. A shame it took nearly 200 posts to do away with red herrings and straw men.

    The only minor discrepancy I have is whether the “threats” regarding Ciolli were to relegated to “letting someone know” something that is factually true, versus passing on unsubstantiated and untrue rumours that attribute third-party activity to someone else.

  251. Evil XOXO Guy says:

    zuzu,

    Do you have ANY evidence that Ciolli copied any photos and uploaded them to Imageshack?

  252. Evil XOXO Guy says:

    Zuzu,

    I directed you to 17 USC 106, which you acknowledged does not prohibit “use.” What more do you want?

  253. Jill says:

    Ok, one more time: Zuzu is not saying that Anthony uploaded the pictures himself. No one is saying that, so quit arguing against a point that no one is making. People are pointing out that Anthony provided a forum for these pictures to be placed, and refuses to take those links down even when he was aware of their existence.

    And, I could be wrong on this point, but I’m pretty sure he made some profit from AutoAdmit.

  254. Jill says:

    Also, for “T14student” who keeps trying to post here, when you show up and call us “catty lesbians,” we aren’t much inclined to let your comments through.

    As for your idea that we’re all “amateurs” who don’t know anything about law, I’m pretty confident that there are several people on this thread — Zuzu included — who are practicing attorneys. Given that you’re a “T14 student,” I wouldn’t be throwing out the insults to quickly.

  255. Evil XOXO Guy says:

    Jill,

    I guess I must have misunderstood zuzu’s postings (there seems to be a lot of that). We both agree that uploading another’s photos to Imageshack is infringement, and this seemed to be the “use” she was talking about.

    Again, xoxo is not a forum where the pictures are “placed.” It is a forum in which links to websites/servers may be placed.

  256. zuzu says:

    Do you have ANY evidence that Ciolli copied any photos and uploaded them to Imageshack?

    I’ve never claimed that *Ciolli* copied and uploaded photos, dearest. So try again.

    I directed you to 17 USC 106, which you acknowledged does not prohibit “use.” What more do you want?

    No, I acknowledged that “use” doesn’t appear in that section of the US Code. And what I said upthread was that the posters on Auto Admit were using photos in violation of the terms of their copyright, and that Ciolli knew this but refused to do anything about it even when requested. You chose to focus on the term “using,” which I was using in its common form rather than as a term of art.

    In any event, please explain how anything these dipshits did with images might be considered fair use. Pointing me at a statute and asking me what else I want really doesn’t do much for your argument. But neither does pretending that everyone is claiming that Ciolli is the copyright violator personally.

  257. Evil XOXO Guy says:

    zuzu,

    OK, at least we all agree now that nothing indicates that Ciolli directly infringed anyone’s copyrights. The thing is, he couldn’t have stopped such infringement (except through persuasive measures, which he and Cohen actually did).

    As for “use,” I guess we now agree that mere use is not an infringement. We also agree that third parties who uploaded images to third party servers did infringe (someone’s) copyright.

    I never claimed “fair use.” There’s a conceivable argument, but not very strong, so I don’t know why you’re asking me for this info.

    I’m not sure if you’re claiming that Ciolli is somehow contributorily liable for third-party infringement, but if not, then what’s the big deal here re: infringement?

  258. RKMK says:

    Again, xoxo is not a forum where the pictures are “placed.” It is a forum in which links to websites/servers may be placed.

    No kidding.

    Man, this asshole’s tiresome.

  259. Sheelzebub says:

    Slander is against the law. As is posting threats. And when someone on a message board posts a woman’s personal contact info and gym schedule, the admin should fucking well take it down when said woman asks you to. Especially given the posts encouraging people to take the woman’s picture with a cell phone camera.

    I’m glad the firm rescinded Ciolli’s job offer. He deserved it. He, and the AutoAdmit losers, can have a nice hot cup of shut the fuck up with a small plate of stop yer fucking whining.

    What goes around comes around, asshole. Deal.

  260. zuzu says:

    OK, at least we all agree now that nothing indicates that Ciolli directly infringed anyone’s copyrights. The thing is, he couldn’t have stopped such infringement (except through persuasive measures, which he and Cohen actually did).

    It’s not that “we” now “agree,” it’s that you’ve finally gotten it through your head that nobody’s been claiming Ciolli himself uploaded images.

    There were plenty of things he could have done. He had editing and admin privileges, given that there were plenty of things he *did* change, such as threads critical about himself. All he had to do was disable links to the hosting service. He didn’t.

    As for “use,” I guess we now agree that mere use is not an infringement. We also agree that third parties who uploaded images to third party servers did infringe (someone’s) copyright.

    I never claimed “fair use.” There’s a conceivable argument, but not very strong, so I don’t know why you’re asking me for this info.

    Try not to get hung up on the word “use” already. Again: I used the word in its common, colloquial form, not as a term of art.

    I’m not sure if you’re claiming that Ciolli is somehow contributorily liable for third-party infringement, but if not, then what’s the big deal here re: infringement?

    Why do you keep coming back to Ciolli’s liability? This is an employment action, and as we’ve been saying over and over and over again here, it was his lack of judgment that got him dinged. One element of that lack of judgment surely had to be the way he handled the misappropriation of photos which were then linked to his site. IOW, he knew that these were misappropriated and uploaded in violation of the copyright — misused, if you will — but his defense of his decision to not do a damn thing about it (or about the threats or the revelation of personal contact information) obviously rubbed his future employers the wrong way.

  261. Evil XOXO Guy says:

    zuzu,

    My point about what Ciolli could have done re: the infringement is that the infringement was not posting a link on XOXO, but hosting an image on Imageshack. Ciolli does not control Imageshack.

    The only reason I’m talking about Ciolli and copyright infringement is that it was brought up by someone else and it’s a subject I happen to be knowledgeable about. I’m just trying to clarify that any implication that Ciolli infringed someone’s copyrights is misleading at best, and likely dead wrong.

  262. BStu says:

    Its also in implication NO ONE is making. You are inventing a straw-man. Not only that, you’re inventing a straw-man retcon. Your “response” to my complaint completely ignores what YOU said so as to pretend you said something else entirely. Indeed, that you said something else entirely in response to a point that wasn’t being made.

    The issue isn’t whether Ciolli was directly involved with copyright infringement. Never was. You’re intentionally ignoring the real issues.

  263. Evil XOXO Guy says:

    BStu,

    I may be legitimately confused regarding why other posters are talking about copyright infringement. Can you explain to me why anyone brought it up if no one is implying that Ciolli committed copyright infringement?

  264. Mnemosyne says:

    My point about what Ciolli could have done re: the infringement is that the infringement was not posting a link on XOXO, but hosting an image on Imageshack. Ciolli does not control Imageshack.

    Have you never heard about the cease-and-desist letters that go out from corporations to websites that merely link to copyrighted material that has been posted illegally?

    But, as everyone else is saying, the copyright issue is minuscule compared to the judgment issue. Ciolli showed extremely poor judgment both in the way he ran his message board and in the way he tried to defend it to outsiders. That’s why he lost his job offer, not some theoretical copyright violation.

    He lost his job offer because allowing your posters to post identifying information about the female classmates they most want to rape, including their full names, addresses, and class schedules shows poor judgment. Especially when you refuse to remove that information when asked, but immediately remove the same information about the posters who are your friends.

  265. JackGoff says:

    Seriously, all EXG is wanting is for someone to say that Ciolli is blameless in what is posted on his own website. As this is not the case, and as Ciolli is obviously deserving of getting tossed out on his ass by his employer, it may be best to ignore, yeah?

    I still can’t get over the rape apologist horseshit dude was pulling earlier.

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  267. T14 Student says:

    Jill wrote:

    Given that you’re a “T14 student,” I wouldn’t be throwing out the insults to quickly.

    A not so veiled threat? It sounds as if the goal of you and your ilk is to create a world where people are afraid to say things that are critical of your “protected” class. I also don’t know what warranted deletion of all of my comments.

  268. Jill says:

    T14 student, I let that comment through simply as a demonstration of how thoroughly moronic you are. “A not so veiled threat”? What exactly was I threatening? I’d love to hear it. (FYI – “threat“).

    And what warranted deletion of your comments was you showing up and calling us “catty lesbians.” We aren’t trying to create a world where people are afraid to say anything critical of us. Read the thread, or the rest of the blog — there’s lots of criticism. But I pay for this space, and I don’t need to let other people use it to make threats or toss out juvenile insults. So I don’t imagine any more of your comments will be going through. You’re welcome to email me to complain, or start your own damn blog.

  269. Evil XOXO Guy says:

    “Have you never heard about the cease-and-desist letters that go out from corporations to websites that merely link to copyrighted material that has been posted illegally?”

    Those letters go to webhosting services that actually host such content, not random third parties who allow other random third parties to post links to such content. I know. I write these letters.

    If a client or partner asked me to write such a letter to someone in Ciolli’s position indicating that he is liable for copyright infringement, I would advise them that (a) it would essentially writing a check we can’t cash, and (b) could raise possible ethical concerns for the firm.

    “I still can’t get over the rape apologist horseshit dude was pulling earlier.”

    Pretty deceptive characterization don’t you think? If not, please quote my “rape apologist” posts.

  270. RKMK says:

    I may be legitimately confused regarding why other posters are talking about copyright infringement. Can you explain to me why anyone brought it up if no one is implying that Ciolli committed copyright infringement?

    Oh for fuck’s sake. For the last time, dimwit:

    1. Posters on the AA were linking to illegally copied and uploaded images, images that were not only stolen, but were being used in a borderline obscene and harassing manner.

    2. Ciolli did not immediately remove the links to the stolen images, and he (smugly and smirkily) refused to remove them when the victims of the stolen images (repeatedly) expressly asked him to.

    3. Ergo, he (simultaneously) a) tacitly condoned the illegal actions taking place on the board, b) demonstrated meagre understanding of the definition of “free speech”, c) proved himself unable to maturely and responsibly conduct himself within his role of authority on the board, d) contributed to the harassment of innocent women, and e) proved himself an outright asshole.

    Gosh, wonder why he lost his job offer?

  271. Evil XOXO Guy says:

    To RKMK,

    I don’t agree that failing to stop something = “tacitly condoning” that thing. This is especially true in light of his and Cohen’s effots to STOP the “t14 contest” site.

    But believe what you want to believe.

  272. JackGoff says:

    Ok, asshat, try “rape threat apologist”.

  273. XOXOlurker says:

    I’m a longtime xoxo/AutoAdmit lurker and I just read your article copied there. I though it was great so I just wanted to come over here and express my appreciation. I’ll be a regular reader of your blog now.

    As a female law student (Harvard) who came to law school as a complete outsider to the legal field — I am what they call on the board “a poor” — I read the board to know what the white males are saying… know your enemy right? It has helped me to be less naive, and, at least in the beginning (say around 2004-05) it had a lot of useful information about law schools & firms for us outsiders. Mainly, it’s taught me the valuable lesson not to trust any of the white guys I know at school or who work at my firm. They might be civil in person but the board shows me what they say when we’re not there… so I’ve learned to hate them as much as they hate me.

    A sad lesson perhaps but hate can be very motivating.

  274. Evil XOXO Guy says:

    I think the people “threatening” rape are asshats. I’ve said that. I make no apologies for them.

    You might be able to get me on “administrator of forum in which some people posted vicious rape themed diatribes” apologist, but that just doesn’t sound nearly as good. Try re-working that to make me sound REALLY REALLY bad. I’m sure you can. The difficulty is keeping it factual.

  275. RKMK says:

    I don’t agree that failing to stop something = “tacitly condoning” that thing.

    If Ciolli has a demonstrable track record that shows he has no problem deleting threads of one kind upon request (i.e. those that ‘outed’ his friends), but does not remove the threads that harass/link to illegal activity, he is condoning them. He has the ability to remove the links, has removed links in the past, and refused to do so, even at the request of the victims. You can’t get around it, unless you’re an obtuse jackass, such as yourself.

    Man, I can’t wait for you to get out of law school. You’re gonna get eaten alive.

  276. JackGoff says:

    Nope, sorry, I feel I have enough evidence to call you a rape threat apologist.

    And an asshat, but that is neither here nor there.

  277. zuzu says:

    I think the people “threatening” rape are asshats. I’ve said that. I make no apologies for them.

    So why the scare quotes, and the unfounded and unsupported accusations that people in this discussion are threatening Ciolli?

    Man, I can’t wait for you to get out of law school. You’re gonna get eaten alive.

    Oh, he’s already working. And not disguising his IP address.

  278. Evil XOXO Guy says:

    RKMK

    A). I’m out of law school. No one has eaten me yet. But don’t worry. You’re not alone. Commenters on this blog make all sorts of assumptions that aren’t true (which isn’t to say that *all* commenters on this blog do so).

    B). EVEN IF you think that deleting some threads and not deleting others gives rise to some sort of presumption of agreement, you can’t just ignore the fact that he actually, in fact, in real life, sucessfuly got the main perpetrator of the photo-posting to stop doing it. That should be more than enough to indicate that he doesn’t condone such activity (“obtuse asshole” exceptions aside).

  279. Evil XOXO Guy says:

    zuzu,

    So why the scare quotes, and the unfounded and unsupported accusations that people in this discussion are threatening Ciolli?

    Because I think you have to do a case-by-case analysis regarding what constitutes a “threat” versus just a revolting diatribe.

    I’m not sure what the people “threatening” Ciolli have to do with whether I “apologize” for asshats on XOXO. To be clear, I think that people suggesting that bad things should happen to Ciolli are “threatening” him as much as posters suggesting that bad things should happen to Jill were “threatening” her. That does not mean that such “bad things” are of equal weight. They are not.

    “Oh, he’s already working. And not disguising his IP address.”

    Speaking of threats…I’ve taken the operators of this board at their word regarding publishing of personal information (and for those wondering, I don’t bill while posting). Perhaps that was a mistake. At any rate, I’ve tried to be civil.

    However, if you want to shut down debate, you’ve found a good way to do it.

  280. Jill says:

    XOXO Guy, you have my word that we won’t publish your personal information. And I do appreciate the civility.

  281. zuzu says:

    Speaking of threats…I’ve taken the operators of this board at their word regarding publishing of personal information (and for those wondering, I don’t bill while posting). Perhaps that was a mistake. At any rate, I’ve tried to be civil.

    It’s not a mistake; we won’t publish personal information. But you really should be more careful. For example, if you post to AutoAdmit from work without using a randomizer or proxy, it’s going to show up in logs somewhere. Given the threats that have been posted to that board, do you really want your firm’s IP address showing up when the inevitable subpoena is served on them?

  282. JackGoff says:

    you can’t just ignore the fact that he actually, in fact, in real life, sucessfuly got the main perpetrator of the photo-posting to stop doing it.

    Which was, of course, the crux of the problem right?! Right?! RIGHT?! Com’on guys agree with my own distillation of the larger problem!

    It’s really beyond useless, of course. A person who reads the comments made about Jill and does not feel they constitute a valid threat to her person is not someone I take to be in possession of proper mental faculty or a proper understanding of what constitutes a threat of rape towards women. Then again, with your head up your ass, you miss quite a lot.

  283. Evil XOXO Guy says:

    Jill,

    Thanks.

    Zuzu,

    I guess I have more faith than I ought to in people’s ability to distinguish one guy’s actions from the actions of others who visit the same forum. I’d be more worried if I actually posted the kind of trash that gives the site its infamy.

    That said, I’m out.

  284. RKMK says:

    I’m out of law school. No one has eaten me yet.

    Oh, my mistake. However, you can’t really blame me for my drawn conclusions, considering your performance on this thread.

    For example, if you post to AutoAdmit from work without using a randomizer or proxy, it’s going to show up in logs somewhere. Given the threats that have been posted to that board, do you really want your firm’s IP address showing up when the inevitable subpoena is served on them?

    Star light, star bright,
    The first star I see tonight,
    I wish I may, I wish I might,
    Have the wish I wish tonight…

  285. zuzu says:

    I guess I have more faith than I ought to in people’s ability to distinguish one guy’s actions from the actions of others who visit the same forum. I’d be more worried if I actually posted the kind of trash that gives the site its infamy.

    I think your faith is misplaced. They won’t take the time to sift through thousands upon thousands of posts to see if you really posted trash or not. They’ll see that someone at the firm has been posting from firm computers to a site that promotes and tolerates hate speech. If you’re lucky, they’ll simply block access. But if AutoAdmit becomes a political liability, they’re going to at the very least ask you to justify your posting there. And I hope you have a better answer than Ciolli did.

  286. Hector B. says:

    Bstu confuses me:

    [nussenzweig] It’s just one trial courts opinion, an opinion specifically not affirmed on appeal

    Dismissed on procedural grounds, so what’s your point here?

    Generally speaking, there is no generally speaking on the legality of taking or using photographs of people in public spaces. You have to check your local laws and often still hope you get a favorable judge or string of judges.

    That’s why I looked for some New York State law. And I hope the outcome of New York cases is not as judge-dependent as you depict.

    Bstu appeared to think that search engines operated in the public interest, and I was trying to make him reconsider.

    I honestly don’t mean this dismissively, but did you read what I said?

    Sorry. I’m just not used to people citing arguments when they’re not using them to advance their cause. I see now your interest is purely academic.

    A case which, by the way, had NOTHING to do with this discussion to begin with.

    Arriba Soft is the foundational case on image copyright on the Internet. I kinda thought that was a key part of this discussion.

    Namely, that thumbnails are always okay. The COURT in that case found that the use of thumbnails by a search engine was legal because the service was in the public interest.

    The COURT in Kelly v. Arriba Soft Corporation held that copying an entire photo to use as a thumbnail in online search results did not weigh against fair use, “if the secondary user only copies as much as is necessary for his or her intended use.”
    Moreover, the COURT applied the standard four-factor fair use analysis. The public interest value of being able to find images in the public interest was merely one factor arguing for fair use. Factors arguing against fair use were that the search engine was a commercial use, and the searched images had market value.

    I simply pointed out that copyright theft for the purpose of objectifying non-participatory women would likely fail that crucial test and thus NOT be legal even if it were thumbnails we are talking about even though it isn’t.

    Arriba’s use of the images was transformative because they improved access to information on the internet —
    So actually, yes. YOU brought search engines into this discussion by trying to pretend that Google provides the same service as a bunch of dehumanizing posts on a free-for-all web forum. Even though what actually happened STILL was blatent copyright infringement.

  287. Hector B. says:

    Whoa. my comment launched itself in mid-edit. sorry.

  288. Hector B. says:

    Skipping down to the bottom:

    I simply pointed out that copyright theft for the purpose of objectifying non-participatory women would likely fail that crucial test and thus NOT be legal even if it were thumbnails we are talking about even though it isn’t.

    Arriba’s use of the images was transformative because they improved access to information on the internet — the purpose of the viewer of the images was not important.

    And the point is that fair use is a defense to copyright infringement.

  289. Mnemosyne says:

    To be clear, I think that people suggesting that bad things should happen to Ciolli are “threatening” him as much as posters suggesting that bad things should happen to Jill were “threatening” her.

    Here’s the difference you’re ignoring: the people who were “threatening” Ciolli here did not post his home address or his class schedule.

    Are you really so obtuse that you don’t understand the difference between, say, “I hate that skank Paris Hilton, I hope she rots in jail” and “I hate that skank Paris Hilton, who lives as 14567 Sunset Blvd., Apt. 32A”?

    A threat with identifying information attached is a more dangerous threat than a random one, because it gives people the ability to act on the threat. Any sensible person knows that … unless they’re highly invested in defending the people doing the threats, of course.

    I guess that you think that the fact that Dr. Bernard Slepian’s home address was posted on a major anti-abortion website had absolutely nothing at all to do with the fact that he was shot and killed at his home, right? It was just an empty threat.

  290. Evil XOXO Guy says:

    A threat with identifying information attached is a more dangerous threat than a random one, because it gives people the ability to act on the threat.

    I agree. And I also agree that this type of post is the kind that is the most damning for Ciolli.

    I’m not aware of the specific nature of these posts and what info they contained. If it’s public info, it’s not as bad to do nothing, IMO. However, even if it’s public info, the fact that it’s coupled with legitimate anger/resent from people suggesting bad things should happen to Jill is enough to bring it into the realm of posts that I think Ciolli should have removed (even assuming you support his general “no moderation” policy).

  291. BStu says:

    Dismissed on procedural grounds, so what’s your point here?

    What was yours? You’re the one who brought up the case to prove a point. It was dismissed on procedural grounds, so how does that prove any point?

    I’ve already responded to your misleading remarks about the other case you tried to cite. Repeating your misleading remarks isn’t worth further response. Moving on…

    I think that people suggesting that bad things should happen to Ciolli are “threatening” him as much as posters suggesting that bad things should happen to Jill were “threatening” her.

    You ignored zuzu’s complaint. You insist on drawing a comparison but you have no justified that comparison. Who is making violent threats toward Ciolli? What were the threats? What circumstances were made around them? How many were made? You assert a comparison. Justify it.

  292. Mnemosyne says:

    However, even if it’s public info, the fact that it’s coupled with legitimate anger/resent from people suggesting bad things should happen to Jill is enough to bring it into the realm of posts that I think Ciolli should have removed (even assuming you support his general “no moderation” policy).

    Again, the problem with his policy is that it was NOT a “no moderation” policy. It was a “moderation if you out my friends, mockery for everyone else” policy. Two different things.

    Interesting how you admit that people posting identifying information about the women at their law schools was a bad and potentially dangerous thing, but still think Ciolli’s “protection only for my buddies” moderation policy was perfectly fine and no reason at all for a potential employer to question his judgment.

  293. Hector B. says:

    Dismissed on procedural grounds, so what’s your point here?

    What was yours? You’re the one who brought up the case to prove a point. It was dismissed on procedural grounds, so how does that prove any point?

    The issue was one’s right to privacy in one’s image on the public streets. The article summarized two cases on the state of privacy law in New York State. Basically, in NYS your right to prevent people from taking your picture and using it is limited to trade and commercial uses. Moreover, your image can be sold as art, even if that use violates your religion. The first case, the one we’re talking about, so held. This case, although you claim it was later dismissed on procedural grounds, applied the rationale from several other NYS cases, which seemingly are still good law.
    Per the second case, under a newsworthiness exception, your image may be used against your will to illustrate an article if there was a real relationship between you and the subject of the article. Specifically, if you, a 14 yo girl, were falsely portrayed to be a drunken slut in an article on drunken sluts, your right to privacy would give you no relief.

    I’ve already responded to your misleading remarks about the other case you tried to cite. Repeating your misleading remarks isn’t worth further response.

    Let me know when you go to law school, pal.

  294. zuzu says:

    Basically, in NYS your right to prevent people from taking your picture and using it is limited to trade and commercial uses. Moreover, your image can be sold as art, even if that use violates your religion.

    “Taking” meaning snapping your photo, right?

    Because otherwise, it’s “copying” a copyrighted image, and that’s not permissible. The difference between the two is that when you’re out in public, you don’t have any right to control your image so as to interfere with the copyright of someone who takes a photo of you. Whereas, when you post your own photos to Flickr, you control the copyright and can prevent unauthorized copying of the image.

    But of course, none of the images at issue were original photos of the posters. All of them were grabbed from copyrighted sources, and when the copyright owners asked Ciolli to do something about the links, he refused.

  295. BStu says:

    The issue was one’s right to privacy in one’s image on the public streets. The article summarized two cases on the state of privacy law in New York State. Basically, in NYS your right to prevent people from taking your picture and using it is limited to trade and commercial uses. Moreover, your image can be sold as art, even if that use violates your religion. The first case, the one we’re talking about, so held. This case, although you claim it was later dismissed on procedural grounds, applied the rationale from several other NYS cases, which seemingly are still good law.

    The case was one trial court’s opinion. I’m not “claiming” i was later dismissed on procedural grounds. It was. On appeal, the court dismissed it on procedural grounds. Only a minority of that court affirmed the constitutional arguement. Maybe the reasoning would ultimately hold up in court, but that hardly means a person could expect to have a case tossed out of hand. Implying that this is a settled legal question is misleading. It isn’t. A single trial court expressed an opinion and that opinion was not affirmed on appeal. I’m not “claiming” that. That’s what actually happened.

    This still has little to do with the discussion, though, as there the standard was proving that the photograph represented art. I’m guessing a photo taking as a specific and publicly declared attempt to menance someone would not be seen that way. Which is really the problem with all your little “precidents”. They are, at best, tangentally related to the actual issues involved here. They lay out specific tests, not blanket legality. Those tests would surely not include the behavior actually at issue here. No, I don’t need to go to law school to realize that a court finding that a search engine provides a public service is different than a court finding that a lecherous effort to objectify unwilling subjects provides a public service.

    Per the second case, under a newsworthiness exception, your image may be used against your will to illustrate an article if there was a real relationship between you and the subject of the article. Specifically, if you, a 14 yo girl, were falsely portrayed to be a drunken slut in an article on drunken sluts, your right to privacy would give you no relief.

    What does this have to do with this discussion? Or, do you just love fantasizing about underage drunken “sluts”?

  296. Sheelzebub says:

    Hello, lawyer boys? Keep in mind that the threats and the privacy violations may not have been “illegal” (though that’s debatable), but it’s certainly a law firm’s prerogative to rescind a job offer after learning about AutoAdmit’s rep as a cesspool for that sort of thing.

    Cope.

  297. Hector B. says:

    Because otherwise, it’s “copying” a copyrighted image, and that’s not permissible. The difference between the two is that when you’re out in public, you don’t have any right to control your image so as to interfere with the copyright of someone who takes a photo of you. Whereas, when you post your own photos to Flickr, you control the copyright and can prevent unauthorized copying of the image.

    But of course, none of the images at issue were original photos of the posters. All of them were grabbed from copyrighted sources, and when the copyright owners asked Ciolli to do something about the links, he refused.

    You raise some great points. I don’t know about a cause of action against Ciolli, who did not host any images, only failed to delete links. Hopefully, if I posted a link to a Steven Colbert bit on YouTube, Viacom would simply have Google delete the bit rather than try to proceed against me. Presumably the women could contact the hosting sites, as apparently they did, to remove the photos.
    There is a good cause of action against the actual copyists, who I will call the ImageShackers. To proceed against the ImageShackers, the young women whose photos were copied would first have to show they owned the copyright. Because, usually, some one else takes pictures of you, that some one else holds the copyright. Thus the photographers would have had to assign the copyright to the young women (or give them an exclusive license). That plus comparing the copies should be sufficient to show infringement.
    The ImageShackers (those who copied the students’ photos and put them on ImageShack) would then claim fair use.
    1. Purpose and character of the use. I think the ImageShackers best argument is that their use was non commercial, and determining who were the best looking law students was newsworthy. Bstu’s counterargument is actually reasonable — that the purpose was merely for some sleazoids to get off on objectifying female law students. The ImageShackers would probably lose on this.
    2. Nature of the work. The Image Shackers would argue that being posted to the web for all to see made the photos published. Although visual works enjoy a high degree of protection, the photos were not particularly creative, being merely snapshots and not exercises in composition and lighting.
    The counterargument would be that photos were not published, merely made available for the intended audience: the women’s friends and family The women would probably lose.
    3. Amount and importance of the copied part in relation to the work as a whole: The ImageShackers lose on this one, because they copied the entire photo, unless the thumbnail argument from Arriba Soft applies (taking no more than is necessary can mean the whole work.)
    4. Effect on the potential market for the copyrighted work.
    The ImageShackers will win, because there is no market for the work, unless the women decide to authorize their own contest.
    In conclusion, I think the sleaze factor could well outweigh all the other factors and negate fair use.

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