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Web Site At UC Berkeley Bares All, True Or Not

Publication Date: 
March 21, 2008
Source: 
San Francisco Chronicle
Author: 
Tanya Schevitz

Lecturer in Law and Executive Director of the Center for Internet and Society, Lauren Gelman, is quoted in the San Francisco Chronicle about protected speech in the context of a website that spreads gossip anonymously:

Juicycampus.com has become the latest must-read Web site at UC Berkeley, if for no other reason than to make sure the latest gossip isn't hitting too close to home.

...

Students who have attempted to get comments or names removed from it have been unsuccessful, critics of the site claim.

Legally, that's not surprising, said Lauren Gelman, executive director of the Center for Internet and Society at Stanford Law School. That's because laws are in place to protect Web sites from being legally responsible for the comments of users.

"They don't have to take things down. As long as they are just hosting other people's comments, they are legally protected," Gelman said. "It is another example where protecting speech does create uncomfortable situations for people. But I believe the benefits of protecting speech on the Internet and the benefit for the companies that it provides is important."