But the Internet is a difficult place to police. "The law is frankly very ill-suited to respond to that," says Woodrow Hartzog, an associate professor at Samford University's Cumberland School of Law. "It doesn't really offer a great tool to respond to unwanted attention."
Most people who have sought legal remedies have failed, Hartzog says, adding that it comes down to free speech. But, he says, "The idea that free speech is without consequences is silly. The consequence is that people's reputations are involved here. It does very likely impact not only emotional stability, but people's ability to find a job. Because now we know that everyone's resume is not the thing they submit in an email, but rather what comes up under a Google search."