Limits of enforcement for online civility

Interesting uproar over the actions of the "social media" reporter of The long and the short of it: the blogger asked the question "what was the weirdest thing you ever ate?" and a commenter posted the logical, lewd, immature response. The blogger deleted the comment. It was posted again. The blogger then saw from the IP address in the comment admin interface that the comment was coming from a school. The blogger notifies the school, who hunts down the (anonymous) commenter, who resigns on the spot.

The backlash is from the internets, who are incensed that said blogger would reach out to the school. It's a case of a supposed internet censor (trying to weed out offensive content) versus the defenders of free speech online. Interesting because of my past work on online civility. It's worth checking out the follow up post from the blogger, as well as the comments. I can see both sides of this issue, though I think the blogger made it worse with some insensitive twitter comments. Now there's a big push on the internets to get him fired.


This is against the freedom of free speech. The blogger could have deleted the comment, and just left it at that. Hunting down the purported 'ofefnder' for such a minor thing is totally unnecessary. If you see reddit there are thousand comments like these, its part of the freedom of free speech and the internet. As long as its not offensive to anybody, it should be fine. The blogger already decided it was offensive and decided not to publish it on his own blog (for which he has every right to edit his own blog) but going after the poster is something that I wouldnt support.

Could someone give me more information about the right to access someone's IP in an internet forum? Is it legal for the one who is the forum's admin?
I have a case. A nick was banned by a forum's admin. Later on, a blog on a famous social networking service was created with the blogger name similar to the banned nick. The blog carrying some privacy information which belong to a real person who could be in danger for that kind of information.( He/she living in a dictatorship country.)The admin notified the SNS who suspended the blog, and also he gave a warning to the blogger that he would collect some privacy information to against him. Finally, the person with banned nickname want to sue the forum's admin.
The question is how to sue a virtual person of a social networking forum?
Are there some sources of Cyber Law so I could access for studying of those kind of actions?

Apparently, the blogger in this case took it into VENDETTA territory. Maybe he wanted retaliation, but I'm afraid this will backfire on him. He would have been better off to just get over it.

Not sure whether this is apples-to-apples(I'm not in the law or journalism fields, and don't study this sort of thing--just happened to stumbl upon it today) but what would a traditional newspaper, or one of its reporters or editors, do if it received barrages of, say, foul-mouthed, immature, but 1st-amendment-covered-speech postcards or letters in response to a story -- demanding that the contents be published? would they simply toss them away? or would they look at the postage cancellation stamp, and if it were unique to a school and there were other potentially identifying details - would they follow-up? I tend to think not. Unless the journalist or editor had a lighter schedule than he should've, or a personal vendetta for some reason. Or...maybe this is closer: someone leaves obscene/foul-mouthed but essential benign nonthreatening voicemail messages on general purpose voicemail (i.e., not directed at an individual)? Would the paper try to track down the source of the call and play the message for them so they could track down the caller?

wow, I think his action was exaggerated... unless the commenter said something really, really bad.

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